Hakuba (白馬村 Hakuba-mura), is a skiing resort in Nagano Prefecture, in the Chubu district of Japan. The name Hakuba which means white horse was derived by the shape of a horse of snow on the mountain side during spring time. History shows traders following the famous Salt Road from the Japan Sea to Matsumoto who would stop in the Hakuba valley overnight to rest.
Hakuba is a stop on the JR Oito Line.
From Shinjuku in Tokyo, there is one daily Super Azusa limited express service that runs to Hakuba. The ride takes 3 hours, 45 minutes and costs ¥8070 each way. As of November 2009, the outbound service leaves at 07:30, and the inbound service (to Shinjuku) departs from Hakuba at 14:57. There is also an additional Azusa service on certain dates, making the run to Hakuba in about 4 hours.
Otherwise, you will have to take an Azusa or Super Azusa to Matsumoto and take one (possibly two) Oito Line local trains, increasing the journey to 4 1/2 hours.
The fastest route from Tokyo is by Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station to Nagano: 105min./8,170yen. Then by bus from Nagano to Hakuba 65min./1,500yen. Trains run every half hour or so, buses every hour. Note that the last bus from Nagano Station to Hakuba is 8:30PM. This whole trip takes just over 2.5 hours, 9,700yen one way.
These trips are useful for Japan Rail Pass holders, or else it is probably cheaper to take the bus.
- Hakuba-Shinjuku Express (高速バス白馬・安曇野－新宿線). Every two or three hours.. Buses run from Shinjuku and stop at several places in the Hakuba region. The trip takes around 4 and a half hours ¥8500 round-trip for adults, half off for children.
- Nagano-Hakuba Express (特急バス長野－白馬線). Every hour during ski season.. Buses from Nagano to Hakuba. The journey takes just over an hour. ¥1400 for adults, ¥700 for children.
- Nagano Snow Shuttle, ☎ . Operates in the winter season.. Daily service from Narita Airport to Hakuba.
- Outside of the winter months, there are plenty of bike trails and walking paths to get around the area. Many hostels have bike rental which helps if you are a little bit outside of Hakuba proper.
- If you are based around Kamishiro station, you are on the main rail line and road so a trip into Hakuba proper is only five minutes by JR or by Bus.
- The Shuttle Bus "Genki-Go" runs from December through March in the evenings from 17:00. Three lines run throughout Hakuba for 300yen a ride.
During the Green Season
Near Hakuba, during the green season (i.e. spring, summer & autumn), there are three freshwater lakes that are so clean that you can swim in them. In order from south to north, they are called Aoki-ko, Nakazuna-ko, and Kizaki-ko. The use of engines and outboard motors is banned on Aoki-ko, making it the quietest and nicest of the three. Popular activities include boating, sport fishing, and windsurfing. Nakazuna-ko is very small and only really attracts fishermen. Kizaki-ko is the most developed, and since engines are allowed, sports like wakeboarding are popular.
During the summer, most of the ski resorts operate some of their lifts to allow access to higher elevations. At Hakuba 47 and Aokiko (in nearby Omachi), the lifts allow access for mountain biking. Hiking or simply enjoying the views are popular at Happo, Goryu and Tsugaike. Above Happo, an easy trail extends for 40 minutes to a small pond in which the local alpine peaks are reflected. A couple of hours further up the trail lies the peak of Mt. Karamatsu on the main ridge of the North Alps. The top ski run at Goryu becomes an alpine garden in summer and another trail leads further upward to a viewpoint (around 50 minutes) or the peak of Mt. Goryu itself (around four hours). Above Tsugaike, a further ropeway takes you to a wetland that is designated as a national park. A trail from here takes you up to Mt. Shirouma, after which Hakuba is named. Shirouma and Hakuba are different readings of the kanji for "white horse". The smaller ski field of Iwatake uses its pistes to grow thousands of lilies in summer and also has a dry ski slope if you're desperate for turns.
Like all mountain areas in Japan, temperatures in Hakuba stay much cooler than in the cities on Japan's Pacific coast. That alone makes it worthy of a visit.
Hakuba, located in Nagano Prefecture, equally central to Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo and nestled at the base of the Northern Japan Alps is towered over by the Three Peaks which provide a stunning backdrop year round. While Hakuba is world famous for it's snow and boasts more than 10 resorts, the green season offers plenty to those craving an escape from the confines of Japan in general.
Whether you're a snowboarder or skier, beginner or pro, with seven ski resorts in the area you shouldn't have problems finding a run to suit your style.
- 1 [dead link]Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park (Hakuba 47 ウインタースポーツパーク), 24196-47 Kamishiro, ☎ . Open 8.30AM to 4.30PM daily, Dec-May approx. With an annual snowfall of over 10m, Hakuba 47 offers 23 name runs, from beginner to advanced, as well as snowshoe and snowmobile tours. Private lessons for skiers or snowboarders are available in English and they rent basic equipment too.
- 2 Hakuba Happo-one (白馬八方尾根スキー場), 5713 Hokujo, ☎ . Hakuba Happo-one is an extremely popular ski resort in Nagano Prefecture. Kick off your winter snow sports adventures in the heart of Japan. Happo-one is located in a pure natural setting in the Northern Japanese Alps where hot springs flow abundantly in this extensive mountainous region. The ski runs are varied ranging from beginner level to Olympic challenging long course and downhill runs (Nagano Olympic 1998). 13 courses and 23 lifts with the longest run 8000m. There is much to be experienced in Happo area. Not only a winter sports resort Happo runs all year round and experiences peak visitor times during the summer in July and August. Outdoor sports lovers should come to Happo to soak up the wonderful views, the fresh clean air and enjoy the local food and wine which is highly recommended. With this and Happo's friendly and polite customer service the visitor will not be disappointed. Please come and experience Happo-one! Click on our English Home Page above for further information and links.
There are plenty of onsen (hot spring baths) in the Hakuba area, perfect for soaking away the aches and pains of a day on the slopes. Don't forget to wash off before you enter the water.
- 3 Juro No Yu (十郎の湯) (A ten minute walk from Kamishiro Station.), ☎ . Dec-Mar 24h, Apr-Nov 10AM-10PM, closed 2nd Tu each month. Enjoy the piping hot mineral waters in the inside and outside baths while looking out over the snow capped mountains. When your skin starts shrivelling up, dry off and head to the lounge to kick back on the tatami and watch TV or dig into a steaming bowl of tempura soba. Sauna, lockers provided. Adults ¥500, children ¥400.
- 4 Tenjin No Yu (天神の湯) (A 15 minute walk from Hakuba Station.), ☎ . W-M 9AM-10PM. Recommended by locals for its healing waters, Tenjin No-Yu offers great views of the mountains from both indoor and outdoor baths. Lockers available. ¥500.
Hakuba's specialty products include blueberries and purple rice.
- Fresh blueberries can be picked straight from the vine during spring and summer at The Blueberry Farm, tel. +81 261-75-2735, or purchased from most gift stores in the region.
- For the same berry flavor with increased shelf-life, try some locally made blueberry youkan (sweet jelly) or daifuku (rices cakes with sweet paste).
- Hakuba Murasakimai, or purple rice, is the result of boiling a mixture of glutinous and non-glutinous grains. It's available from roadside stations around Hakuba.
Skiing and snowboarding gear
- 1 The Boarding Co (ＴｈｅボーディングＣｏ．), Hakuba Eki Mae (Opposite Hakuba Station), ☎ . noon-8:30PM. Hakuba's largest Burton dealer. The owner has snowboarded in Hakuba for 17 seasons.
- Burton Pro Snowboard Shop and Rentals, Turn off Route 147 towards Goryu Ski Field (Follow signs to Escal Plaza (Goryu Skifield) will be on your right hand side with the river on your left.), ☎ . 7:30AM-8:30PM. Huge range of rental boards. Brand new boots, boards and bindings. Try a Prior Powderstik or Burton Fish next time it dumps. Boots in all sizes—up to size 15 for men and size 10 for ladies. Staff speak English. Door to door deliveries and fitting service available.
- 2 Spicy Rentals (スパイシー), 3020-752 Hokujo, ☎ . 7:30AM-5:30PM. Largest ski & snowboard rental shop with the best selection in the Hakuba valley and over 25 years of experience in Hakuba and Whistler. Free helmet with all kids rentals. ¥2,500 and up.
- Eclipse Bar & Restaurant, ☎ . Located in the Hakuba Luna Hotel (see below) at the base of the Sakka Quad Chair, Eclipse has the best pizza in Hakuba, together with excellent fresh pastas & salads and great deserts. Serves a range of international wines, local beers, sake, spirits and cocktails. Expresso coffee available. Open for dinner. Occasionally closed. Very reasonably priced (e.g. regular pizzas approx. ¥900; large pizzas approx. ¥1350). English speaking staff. Kids menu. Happy Hour from 4PM to 5PM each day (discounted drinks served with a free slice of garlic & cheese pizza).
- Gravity Worx Cafe (Next to Hakuba station). This warm and inviting cafe has English menus and homemade apple pie. A wide range of pizza and pasta dishes are available, or you can settle in with a few drinks and watch a movie on the bar tv. The large hot chocolate, served rich and steaming in a huge beer stein, is the best medicine for the icy winter days. Service is excellent and there is local produce and baked goods for sale. Meals ¥800-1500, Desserts ¥400.
- Hindi Momo, Mizuho, ☎ . 11:30-14:20lunch, 17:30-21:30 dinner. Some of the best Indian in Japan. The menu is constantly refreshed, offering the best "in season" vegetables. The tandoori prawns are a favourite dish. mid.
- Kicchonchon (500m West of Hakuba station), ☎ . 17:00-24:00. Traditional Izakaya with friendly staff and great food.
- Sidehill Lodge (French dining & bar), 6th ave. South Echoland (399-9301), ☎ . 18:30-midnight. High quality natural & 'slow food' French style evening meals using locally produced fresh meat and vegetables. Serves a wide range of beers, spirits and wines. 4200yen-.
- Uncle Steven's Mexican Restaurant. Just across the bridge up the hill from Happo Village. Some of the best Mexican food in Japan. Don't miss the baked banana. It usually runs a family of four about 8,000 including beer and bananas. Free Wi-Fi.
- White Horse Restaurant (in Echoland). Offers a great range of hearty western style meals including steaks, burgers, and pizzas. They have a large international wine list and English speaking staff. Friday night is the famous BBQ night. Expresso coffee available.
- Yamano Hotel Restaurant (in Happo-One, in front of the Ski Jumping Stadium), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Offers delicious French Style and traditional Japanese Style meals (Chanko Nabe - famed sumo wrestlers one-pot meal) and also a wide range of drinks: wine, beer, sake etc. to enjoy with. Service is excellent with friendly English speaking staff. A reservation is required in advance.
- [dead link]Nonjae, 3020-106 Hokujo, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba-mura 399-9301, ☎ . A modern day izakaya, with a cheerful atmosphere, and decently priced drinks - beers, sakes. Excellent Genghis Khan mutton bbq, and grilled squid, also assorted yakitori sticks. Also offers pizzas. In a quiet location, but worth the effort.
- Hie (Izakaya), Echoland Main St, ☎ . 18:00-0:30. Designed for foreigners to enjoy a traditional Japanese izakaya, this place has great food! An English menu is available as well as private Japanese style rooms. mid.
- Mt Hakuba Bar, Echoland (just off Echoland Main street, near bar 902). 18:00-22:00. New in Echoland, Mt Hakuba has cheap meals all 500 yen, happy hour every day from 6PM, billiard table and free wireless internet. low.
- Off Piste, Echoland Main St. 18:00-?. A cute pub showing snowboarding and skiing videos, darts and great drinks. The staff is very friendly and it's always warm inside! Check for special events. Call 812 61727274 for more information. mid.
- Tomatito, Echoland (just before Echoland Main street, between the gymnasium and the Echoland onsen), ☎ . 18:00-1:00. New in Echoland, Tomatito has everything, from pizza to sake. There is a pool table, darts and fussball. The spring rolls are a must try. mid-high.
- Tracks Bar. One of Hakuba's most happening nightspots.
- White Horse Bar. A cool atmosphere for apres drinks with a great selection of local and international beers, wines and spirits and some smooth tunes. Situated in Echoland.
- Yamano Hotel Bar. Called "Noroc" in Happo - One, in front of the Ski Jumping Stadium. Good music, wide range of drinks and friendly staff. Opening hours: 22:00 - 1:00
- Bluebird Chalets, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The accommodation can sleep up to 8 people and features 3 western style bedrooms, two bedrooms with your choice of a king bed or two twin beds and one bedroom with two bunk beds. Upstairs boasts a large open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area with a large screen TV and a brand new Japanese massage chair.
- Alpine Chalets Hakuba, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The accommodation can sleep up to 8 people and features 3 western style bedrooms, two bedrooms with your choice of a king bed or two twin beds and one bedroom with two bunk beds. Upstairs boasts a large open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area with a large screen TV and a brand new Japanese massage chair.
- Happo Village Cabins, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Sleep 3-5 each. Two self contained loft cabins right in Happo Village, 140 meters from Happo Ski Resort. Recently refurbished and within a very short stroll of shops, restaurants and bars.
- 1 White Horse House (Down a quiet street off the main Echoland strip), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A recently renovated 2 bedroom residence with one double and one twin room (an extra fold-out bed is also available). Features a computer with high speed internet, big-screen satellite TV, CD/DVD player and iPod dock, spacious lounge/dining area and a well-appointed modern kitchen.
- 2 Gakuto Villas (In the heart of Wadano surrounded by restaurants, slopes in the winter and green in the summer), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Twelve chic, two-story houses with enough room to sleep up to six people per villa specifically designed for comfort and convenience. Perfect accommodation for taking advantage of the Wadano area and close in proximity to the Happo-One slopes and summer activities. Each villa has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a comfortable living/dining area, a fully-equipped kitchen, free wi-fi internet, flat screen LCD V with English television channels, DVD player, heated bamboo flooring, high ceilings and large windows, iPod dock, amenities, towels, and ethanol fireplace.
- 3 Snowlines Lodge (スノーラインズロッジ), 3020-1064 Hokujo Oaza Hakubamura (Close to Happo One (800m) and central to all Hakuba has to offer.), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Large rooms with views of the Alps, breakfast and a spacious lounge with a great bar to relax and meet friends. Starting at ¥4000.
- 4 [dead link]Hakuba Alps Backpackers, 22407-4 Ohaza, Kamishiro, ☎ . Look for the wooden building with a windmill on top, just a few minutes walk from Kamishiro Station. Facilities include kitchen, jacuzzi, lounge with DVD player and satellite TV and a BBQ on the deck. HAB is run by a group of friendly expats happy to offer advice about their time on the slopes.
- [dead link]Gladerunner Lodge (located in the middle of Echoland Village), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Australian owned and operated western style lodge, with 9 bedrooms ranging from double rooms with en suites to 4-6 share dorm rooms. Relax in the lounge area that has a fully equipped bar, flat screen with cable TV and wireless internet. ¥5,000 per person per night (dorm room) including continental breakfast..
- 5 K's Hostel Hakuba (ケイズハウス白馬アルプス), 22201-36 Kamishiro, ☎ , fax: . A couple of minutes walk from Kamishiro Station, however if you are feeling lazy, when you arrive you can phone and one of the members of staff can pick you up. Run by two cheerful young Japanese folk, they like to hang out with visitors when the hostel is less busy. Facilities include a kitchen, large bath house, large lounge with TV, DVD and Playstation 2 with plenty of games and DVDs. Only 8 minutes downhill from Goryu.
- 6 [dead link]The Lab Hakuba (300 m from the base of Happo One), ☎ (Australia office). A western style ski lodge. Can accommodate 70 people in a range of 4, 6, and 8 share rooms with continental breakfasts supplied each day. Has Japanese onsen style bathroom, fully stocked bar and restaurant to follow a big day skiing or boarding. Private and shared rooms, communal kitchen, satellite TV, ski/snowboard drying room, private shuttle bus, workshop and tuning room, and laundry service. Hot breakfast is included. English spoken. From ¥4000 per night.
- [dead link]Maison de Sasagawa, Wadano-no-mori, ☎ (mobile), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 3 min. to the Happo One gondola. Enjoy a cozy family atmosphere, with friendly English speaking staff. Facilities include: wireless internet, laundry, kitchen for free use. Baby sitting service  also available. ¥6,000 /person/night (includes continental breakfast and all the taxes).
- Mt Hakuba backpackers, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Free shuttle buses to and from 6 major Hakuba ski resorts. Is centrally located in the Echoland region of Hakuba, a one minute walk from the closest convenience store, a couple of minutes walk will take you to numerous bars and restaurants, and 5 minutes walk will find you at the closest onsen (hot spring). Equipped with an inhouse bar (separated from the sleeping areas), restaurant, guest laundry, guest kitchen, an internet cafe (with free wireless) and a free book exchange. The bar has cozy sofas, a billiard table and a large screen for international sports. You can buy cheap but filling meals at the hostel restaurant.
- Snowbeds Backpackers, 2937-304 Hokujo, ☎ (mobile), e-mail: Mitch@snowbedsjapan.com. Hakuba's first and most famous backpackers. Cheap long term rates, minutes walk to restaurants and bars. Snowbeds was opened in 1998 and was one of the first foreign owned businesses in Hakuba. Free shuttle bus stop for 5 resorts right out front. Closest ski resorts being Happo One and 47/Goryu. Features western style private and shared rooms, communial kitchen, satellite TV, ski/drying room, workshop and tuning room. English spoken. ¥3900 per night.
- Yamano Hotel Hakuba, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in front of the Olympic Ski Jumping Stadium, 5 min on foot to the slopes of Happo One resort (Nakiyama Area). Ranked in 2009 by Michelin Green Guide Japan for modern Japanese and Western rooms, delicious cuisine and great mountain views. Free WI-FI throughout the hotel, complementary shuttle bus service, indoor hotsprings and sauna, tips and advises to get the most out of your skiing/snowboarding, long stay and discounts available for 2011-2012 season.
- Blue Dragon Hakuba, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. An Australian-owned boutique hotel. Skype: bluedragonhakuba.
- B&B Koyuki (In the Misoland/Echoland area), ☎ . Modern Japanese-style B&B with 5 guest rooms.
- Double Black Hotel (In the Wadano area.), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 22-room boutique hotel. Each room has Western style beds and ensuite. Doubles, twins and triples. Complimentary shuttle bus service. In-house onsen, international TV, free wireless internet, game room.
- Green Valley Hakuba, 24196-24 Kamishiro, ☎ . Living and Bed rooms (TV, Heater, Fan Vacuum cleaner, Bed). Kitchen (Gas or electric stove, Refrigerator, Rice cooker, Microwave, Toaster, Pot, Kitchen utensils, grill). Bathroom (Washing machine, Drier, Shampoo and Conditioner, Hand soap, Toothbrush, Towel). Outside (Parking, barbeque space).
- [dead link]Hakuba House, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The highest lodge in Hakuba. Sitting at 890m, this mountain ski lodge is in the forest area of Wadano, right on the Japanese Alps. The lodge is above the chair lifts of Hakuba’s Happo One and is virtually ski in, ski out. Otherwise it’s just 180m walk to the entry point of the Happo One ski area. With underfloor heating, en-suited rooms, pool table, bar, open fireplace and local booking service for restaurants, ski/snowboard hire, lessons, sightseeing and back country tours.
- Hakuba Luna Hotel, Near the Sakka Quad chair lift., ☎ (during winter season), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A 16-room boutique hotel. Large, western-style beds. Most rooms ensuite. Restaurant and bar attached. Large hot breakfast included. Free pick-up and drop-off from bus or train station during reasonable hours. Large lounge room for guest use. TV/DVD player in every room, extensive free DVD library, individual room heating, free wireless internet, free PC with internet connection for shared guest use, free laundry facilities, heated drying room.
- Hakuba Meteor Pension, 2937-730 Misorano Hokujyo, ☎ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. A family run pension, consisting of 2 lodges (one deluxe), small cottages and new condominiums, Meteor has something for everyone. Set in the quiet forest around Echoland, the pension is within a short walk of Echoland Main Street. The English speaking staff is more than helpful. low-high.
- Hakuba Panorama Hotel (Hakuba Panorama Hotel), Happo, Hakuba Mura, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. Located 350m from the slopes at Happo One. Rooms have mountain views, Cable TV, Wifi Internet access and are all en-suited. Bar open from 3PM daily. Natural Spa (private use), Guest Laundry, Guest use PCs, Pick Up / Drop Off service, English and Japanese newspapers. Open year-round.
- lodge & bar Side Hill, 6th ave. south Echoland (399-9301), ☎ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. Side Hill is a cozy lodge located in central Echoland. The lodge was recently renovated and has a new fireplace and lounge area. All rooms have a TV and heating/air condtioning.
The Bar is open from 8:30 - midnight daily and serves a wide range of beers, spirits and wines. Its a great places to enjoy the nightlife in Hakuba. 5000yen-.
- 7 [dead link]Mon Coeur Yamato, 5-chome, Echoland (Just off Echoland's main street), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A Japanese-run pension located conveniently in the Echoland area. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Hot breakfast extra. English spoken. ¥6000.
- Morino Lodge (5 minutes walk from Happo bus terminal and close to Hakuba station with free pick up), ☎ . Spacious twins, doubles and group rooms in western and Japanese style. Rooms come with ensuite bathroom, shower and toilet, televison, DVD player, mini fridge and patio windows with balconies. There is also a huge lounge with big sofas to chill out on. The Lodge is surrounded by great restaurants and bars and is only 4 minutes walk from the Happo gondola. The western owners have been in Hakuba for years and have great knowledge of the area.
- Pension Hayaokidori (five minutes walk from Kamishiro train station and the bus-stops for travellers arriving from Shinjuku or Nagano city), ☎ . Within walking distance of Hakuba Goryu ski resort. Rooms are simple but clean with shared bathrooms, including Japanese-style bath. Friendly owner Bono-san speaks excellent English and may be able to help you rent ski equipment or drive you to some of the closer resorts. The common bar area is warm and inviting, if a little musty-smelling, and serves alcohol until 11PM along with lasagne and other home cooking. A huge breakfast is available for a little extra. ¥7350/10920/16380 for singles/doubles/quads without food.
- Hakuba Springs Hotel (Heart of Happo, three minutes walk from Happo Bus Terminal, free Station pickup), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Spacious rooms, all with ensuite bathroom as well as access to in house hot spring / jacuzzi / sauna. Free wi-fi throughout the building, free laundry machines, esthetic service room, free DVD service. Rental shop with quality gear located just outside of the hotel.
- Hotel Phoenix Wing (300m from the Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort.), ☎ . Five star boutique hotel and chalets.
- [dead link]Oharukanoyu, 2942-17 Misorano Hokujou, ☎ . A luxury hotel with satellite TV, internet in all rooms, an indoor bath, an outdoor bath, and a ski and snowboard drying room.
- Sierra Resort Hakuba (Between Tsugaike and Happo-One ski areas), ☎ . Large hotel room. En-suite fireplaces, heated floors. Outdoor hot spring complex. Free limousine service to many areas around town. ¥12,500 and up.
- Traumerei Hotel, 860-13 Hokujo (Near Hakuba's Echoland district.). A five star boutique hotel. The restaurant serves delicious French cuisine with an impressive wine list.
- [dead link]White Horse Arctic Hotel, 3020-647 Aza-Shinden, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Spacious Japanese rooms, situated in the main dining area of the valley. Includes a sumptuous breakfast and shuttles to any of the ten resorts in the valley. Western-style dining, a full bar, games room and private onsen bathing. English speaking staff.
- Visit the nearby towns of Ikeda, Matsukawa, and Otari.
- Stop off in the prefectural capital of Nagano, with historic sites dating back to the 7th century.
- Chikuma - Explore the onsens, mountains and temples of this small city straddling the picturesque Chikuma River
- Matsumoto - Check out the famous black castle
- Azumino - Spice up your life with a visit to the Wasabi farm
- Jigokudani Monkey Park — snowbathing monkeys
- Joshinetsu Kogen National Park — More fun in the snow at Shiga Kogen, Japan's largest ski resort
- Ueda - castle ruins and mountain hikes