Area GuideSouthern Nagano

Southern Nagano

Southern Nagano extends across the Ina Valley flanked by the Japanese Alps. Famous for Takato Castle’s cherry blossoms and the easily accessible 2,600-meter Senjojiki Cirque, the area boasts majestic scenery as well as rich history and culture.

The magnificent peaks of the Central and Southern Japanese Alps tower over the Ina Valley. Experience the mountain grandeur yourself by riding the Komagatake Ropeway (which has Japan’s largest elevation gain) to the Senjojiki Cirque. On the other side of the valley is Shimoguri no Sato, a mountainside hamlet known as the Tirol of Japan where locals make a living the same way as from generations ago.

Senjojiki Cirque

The Ina Valley was formed by the mighty Tenryu River which flows from Lake Suwa through Aichi and Shizuoka Prefectures out to the Pacific Ocean. Over centuries the river has carved the deep Tenryu-kyo Valley which is popular for boat rides that take in the colorful changes of the seasons.

In 2006, Achi Village was designated Japan’s Best Stargazing Spot. The village is ideal for starry skies followed by a relaxing stay at the Hirugami Onsen hot spring resort.

Takato Castle Remains Park is one of Japan’s three most famous cherry blossom spots. Every April the Sakura Festival is held, with the blossoms lit up at night and lively food stalls serving local sweets and soft serve ice cream.

Another favorite destination is Miharashi Farm, where you can enjoy fruit-picking and activities such as soba-making.

Map and Access

The JR Iida Line runs from Tatsuno Station through Southern Nagano to Toyohashi Station in Aichi Prefecture. Service is infrequent so highway bus may be a better option. For information on access by train, refer to the Access to Nagano page.

Sightseeing around Southern Nagano