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This post contains affiliate links. For more information, click here. Every six years, a replica of the sacred Buddhist statue goes on public display. The next event will happen in , so take this into consideration when planning your Nagano itinerary. Millions of visitors flock to the city of Nagano to explore the temple grounds and commercial street leading up to the main gate. The grounds themselves are free to roam, while admission to the main call costs yen.
Discovering the key symbolizes finding the path to paradise. Behind the main hall, a lovely garden sits amidst a backdrop of mountains. I recommend the matcha soft serve cone. In Japan, the mountain town of Karuizawa is mostly known for its ski resorts and lavish vacation homes. But this little gem in the Japanese Alps is also home to several amazing waterfalls. Shiraito Falls is the easiest to reach, and the most unique.
And in winter, the falls can freeze over, creating a magical icy curtain over the black rock. Check out this guide to visiting Shiraito Falls for more details , including how to take the bus from Karuizawa station.
The falls are more narrow, but they drop into several pools amidst lush vegetation. The shrine path starts at the base of Mt. Togakushi, winding through the village and forest to the summit. Despite its remote location, getting to Togakushi is fairly simple. The Alpico Bus company provides a direct route to the village. A round-trip ticket costs about 2, yen. Be sure to grab a brochure from the bus station, which shows the bus timetable and sightseeing route for the area.
Just make sure you put the right ticket into the machine when you exit! Pro tip: match up the characters on your ticket with the sign at the bus stop. You can choose to get off the bus at the lower shrine, or stay on until the middle shrine Togakushi Chusa. It takes around 4 hours to hike Togakushi from base to summit, not including the walk to Kagami Ike mirror lake. Check out my hiking gift guide for other helpful items to bring. This Nagano day trip is mostly about the great outdoors, with a little sightseeing on the way.