Japan’s Nagano prefecture boasts stunning natural landscapes, famous castles, and breathtaking shrines. In fact, my solo trip to the region was the best vacation I’ve ever had! But after returning home, I realized a lot of international travelers don’t know what to do in Nagano.
If you love chasing waterfalls, then a day trip to Karuizawa’s Shiraito Falls is a must. Although Shiraito Waterfall isn’t the tallest in Japan, its impressive 70 meter arc makes it one of the country’s more unique falls. And best of all, this Nagano gem is easy to reach by public transit.
From ancient samurai houses to beautifully preserved Edo districts, a day trip to Kanazawa is a must for lovers of Japanese culture, history, or architecture. And with the newly expanded shinkansen line, it’s possible to reach Kanazawa within two or three hours from popular cities like Tokyo and Kyoto.
If you’re staying in the Japan Alps region, it would be a mistake to not include a Kamikochi hiking excursion. With stunning mountain views, crystal clear waters, and well-placed food huts, Kamikochi National Park is one of the best Japanese Alps hiking experiences.
When people ask me about the must see places in Japan, I always recommend a Nara day trip. With eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, roaming deer, and a stunning Japanese garden, you won’t regret spending one day in Nara!
Japan may have a reputation for being “Westernized”, but don’t be fooled. There are plenty of things to avoid in Japan when you travel around the country.