Home to the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani, Central Japan is defined by its dramatic mountain vistas, natural beauty and bubbling hot springs; celebrated for its historic temples, castles and towns. From 1400-year Zenko-ji Temple, iconic Matsumoto Castle, the beautiful old town of Takayama, and ancient Nakasendo Trail, the region’s cultural importance is as deep as the abundant powder snow of winter.
Host of the 1998 Winter Olympics, Nagano is blessed with some of Japan’s best snow and most popular resorts including Shiga Kogen, Hakuba, and Nozawa Onsen. When the snow melts in spring, Nagano’s cherry blossom trees bloom in the valleys while nestled in the mountains above, the fabled Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route and alpine oasis of Kamikochi emerge from the snow to reveal two of Japan’s most stunning landscapes.
Through summer and autumn – a time of festivals, fireworks and local celebration – bountiful farmlands yield some of Japan’s best fruit and vegetables. Perfectly complemented by its award-winning sake, Nagano’s food culture is as abundant as the landscape and traditions which have nurtured it over centuries.
Within easy reach of the major metropolitan centers, Central Japan is in so many ways a world away from the neon and buzz of the cities - a place to unwind and soak in the true essence of Japan.';