Meet Your Guides
Peter CarnellHi everyone! I am originally from Melbourne, Australia but now living in Nagano Prefecture. When I first came to Japan and ventured outside of the big cities I was struck by the beauty of the landscape – the mountains, forests, rivers, and farmlands. This is a place with four distinct seasons, each typified by different colours, aromas, sounds, and cultural activities; all of which make Nagano so memorable and worth visiting anytime during the year.
I have a Master of Cultural Heritage with an interest in all forms of traditional cultural expression. You might be surprised to learn that for most Japanese, the national heartland is not Tokyo or Kyoto but traditional rural areas such as this – often referred to as 'satoyama'. It is place where you can step back into tradition and discover the values and practices that define this amazing country. See you in Nagano!
Kieron NicollG’day! I’m Kieron and originally from Brisbane, Australia.
When young and wanting to spread my wings, I followed the well worn path to Europe and then on to work in the U.K. While en route back to Australia from that adventure, a planned stopover in Japan became slightly extended and is now more than 20 years and counting!
In particular, I felt embraced by the surrounding mountains of Nagano and one of the reasons I now call Nagano my home. The history and tranquility of the area, along with the variety of outdoor pursuits on offer over four seasons, keeps me active and entertained.
It’ll be my absolute pleasure to show you some of the highlights of this magnificent area!
Mai TodorokiHi everyone, I am Mai Todoroki. I was born and grew up in Nagano and moved to Victoria, Canada after graduating from high school to study hospitality and tourism management.
I have experienced working in Japan, Canada and the States, and I really enjoyed interacting with guests from all over the world when I was working at a guesthouse and theme park. Now I seek an opportunity to welcome guests coming to Japan and introduce my beautiful home, Nagano and traditional culture.
I look forward to sharing a memorable experience with you!
Chieko KogaiHello! My name is Chieko. I’m originally from Nagano, nearby the snow monkey park! Before joining Snow Monkey Resorts, I used to work in health food and pharmaceutical industries in Tokyo for over a decade. After returning to my hometown, I felt strongly that there is still a lot of beautiful nature in Nagano. I also felt that as much as possible, I should share it with people coming from overseas who want to visit Nagano.
I hold a bachelor degree in Communications from the United States and now studying hard to obtain my teaching license for Japanese language. I love traveling inside/outside of the country! I love to bake various kinds of bread in my spare time as well as exercising at the gym.
I look forward to meeting you and exploring Nagano together soon!
Haruna KomatsuKonnichiwa, everyone! I am originally from Nagano but used to live in London for thirteen years. When I came back home in 2017, I was amazed by the nature of Nagano. The beautiful mountains along with the tasty local and seasonal food made settle back here!
In the UK, I worked as a multi-instrumentalist and to support the revitalization of my town – Iizuna - I am currently playing in a local Japanese 'taiko' drum group. I want to share my love for taiko with my town and across all of Nagano.
Here's what I love to do in Nagano in each season: in spring, I enjoy picking fresh green wild vegetables; in summer, I make quick getaways to cool and relaxing spots in the mountains; in autumn I eat wild mushroom miso soup while viewing the autumn leaves; and in winter, I visit the Snow Monkeys of course!
I would love you to experience this beautiful place called Nagano.
Motohiro HayashiHi, I am Moto and originally from Saitama, next to Tokyo. I spent most of time running through mountains in my 20's. I kept moving around, sometimes overseas for running races. I then shifted my focus to skiing in winter at Nagano's most famous snow resort, Hakuba.
Working as a hiking guide in New Zealand, I noticed most of my guests had been to Japan or wanted to go to Japan. That experience led to ask the question, "Why not guide in my country, Japan?" That is why I am here!
Nagano is good place to chill, see the beauty of nature, getaway from the busy city and do all outdoor activities I mentioned. I would love to introduce this beautiful place to you!
Toru OuchiI am a Certified National Guide, born and raised in the city of Ueda in Nagano. At university I majored in English education and have now been learning English for a long time. I enjoy cross-cultural interaction with international visitors and therefore really being a tour guide as it satisfies that interest.
I am proud of my home, Nagano. It attracts many visitors seeking to enjoy its remarkably beautiful nature. I want to be of service in helping you to enjoy the attractions of this region and walk away with a really memorable travel experience.
I am very active, walking at least one hour each day or riding a cross-bike, and also love to travel myself. I have visited the UK, USA, Turkey, and the Philippines. Someday soon I am planning to visit India.
Before I do, I look forward to being your guide in Nagano!
Ryutaro OshimaHi everyone, I’m Ryutaro Oshima. I’m was born in Tokyo, grew-up and went to high school there. Once I started university, I moved away and began my life of migration that has led me to live in Ehime, Nagoya and eventually back to Tokyo. In that time I also backpacked to more than 30 countries in the northern hemisphere.
I have Masters Degree in Geography with an interest in urban landscapes. If you're interested in the backstreets of a city, I'd love the chance to take you deep in the urban culture of Japan's cities. But it's my guess that if you're coming to Nagano, you are most interested in the region's beautiful natural landscapes...
Growing up in Tokyo I wasn't exposed to the abundant nature you experience in Nagano. There wasn't even a ditch by the road let alone huge mountains, rivers, and lakes! Living in Nagano, I am so impressed by those things that I now see everyday. Viewing the mountains reflect the morning sunshine fills me with a deep happiness and I'd like to share such wonderful experiences with you.