One of the biggest attractions in Nagano City is the near-1400 year old temple complex of Zenko-ji. As one of the oldest, largest, and most significant Buddhist temples in Japan, visiting Zenko-ji is a must for any visitor to the city and with 39 temples to explore in the precinct along with the historic shopping street of Nakamise, you’re likely to build-up an appetite while there!
Here are our recommendations for restaurants in the area:
Enya fuses Japanese classic dishes and Western cuisine in an exciting menu sure to suit all tastes. With extensive sushi and sashimi options, popular local dishes including Nagano wagyu beef and Fukumidori-style chicken, along with pizzas, vegetarian options and a great cafe menu, Monzen Terrace Enya offers both indoor and outdoor seating – a great place to soak in the atmosphere and enjoy a great meal!
Kinoko and Vegetable is a lovely place for lunch, especially if you are on a no-meat/no-fish diet. Nagano, as one of Japan’s major agricultural prefectures, has many vegetables for you to try. Kinoko and Vegetable gives you a chance to try them all (at least the vegetables seasonally available) in their all-you-can eat veggie buffet.
Hiyori Cafe has one of the most atmospheric interiors in Nagano City. It feels like you’ve left Japan and stepped into a classy European cafe. This cafe is Italian, with a little Japanese influence in the mix. Take a seat, enjoy the look of the place, the taste of the food and the good wine, and just relax. The place has an English menu.
Daimaru Soba is one of the most famous soba (buckwheat noodle) places in Nagano City. They make their soba by hand, something you can see through their shop window. If you’d like a side to the soba, you can ask for tempura made of local fresh vegetables. There is also handmade udon for those wanting to mix it up.
If you’d like to class it up for a night, a recommendation would be the Fujiya Gohonjin restaurant. This restaurant combines the Italian and Japanese kitchen not just in the food served, but in the look of the place as well. The Fujiya Gohonjin is famous amongst Nagano residents for the elaborate weddings held there and for the very tasty food. The restaurant has an English menu.