Japan In Depth - 2015
Denver Takayama Sister Cities


Nagano as we see it

Nagano City is Nagano Prefecture's largest city and the prefectural capital. Nagano is an entrance point to the Japan Alps area for skiing and hot springs in the winter and hiking and walking in the summer.


We will be staying at the Hotel Metropolitan Nagano for one night and then the ryokan called Yakimmochiya.

Some things to do in Nagano

Here are a few suggested sites to see / things to do in Nagano. Feel free to suggest additions. When we are in Nagano, this will be our first source in deciding what we'd like to do next.


Interesting that a Buddhist image was enshrined in zenko-ji in 642, then the image was completely hidden from the people in 654, and since then no one has ever been allowed to see it.

Underneath Zenkoji's main hall is a winding, pitch-black tunnel (okaidan) that represents the road to enlightenment. On the way through the darkness, you should discover a metal handle, which is the "key" to salvation. Admission to the tunnel is 500 yen and the experiece is not for the claustrophobic.

The 'Rokujizō' are statues of the six Bodhisattvas, who gave up Buddhist enlightenment, in order to provide salvation to others. The Bodhisattvas are said to be able to commune with the six realms of hell, starvation, beasts, carnage, human beings and divine beings. The Rokujizō are located to the right of the Daikanjin at zenko-ji. (See image in box at left.)

This page has useful information for getting to zenkoji.

Togakushi actually has several shrines and sites in the vicinty.