Nagano named as one of the best places to visit in 2018 – let Japan Holidays take you there!
Nagano, a land of chilled soba noodles, steaming onsen hot springs and perfectly powdery snow, hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics, but is only now emerging as an international travel destination.
Spurred by the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, a series of new and improved hotels have emerged in the mountains around the city, among them the revamped Risonare Yatsugatake, which celebrates winemaking and evokes Italian mountain villages.
Openings also include KAI Alps, a luxury inn-style Ryokan near the famed Omachi Hot Springs in northern Nagano and the Scandi design-inspired House of Finn Juhl ski hotel, hidden away in the mountains of Hakuba.
Yet another option is the new Karuizawa Marriott Hotel, which balances English-language services with Japanese aesthetics for a relaxing result — clean lines, neutral colors and in-room onsens.
If the impeccably groomed ski slopes of the Hakuba Valley aren’t enough of a draw, there’s the history, culture and relaxing hot springs of the all-natural Nagano area, or the beautifully preserved 17th-century Matsumoto Castle.
Don’t miss: Wildlife lovers will not want to miss a visit to the famous Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park, next to Yudanaka Shibu Onsen village, where red-faced macaques thaw out in hot springs under a blanket of snow.