Nagano City is 45k from Hakuba and the perfect half-day or full-day getaway from Hakuba. The city is rich in culture and cuisine and is easily accessible by both car and bus.
Buses depart from the Happo Information Center and arrive to Nagano Station approximately 90minutes after leaving Hakuba. A one way ticket is ¥2,200.
Zenkoji is a 7th century Buddhist temple and one of Japan’s most important temples. It is said to hold the first Buddhist Icon that was brought to Japan via China. It is free to explore the temple grounds and costs ¥500 to enter the temple.
The road leading up to Zenkoji Temple from Nagano Station is a beautifully planned space with traditional light posts and cobble stone walk ways. Along the road are a collection of excellent souvenir shops, restaurants, and cafes. It’s a lovely place to stroll and shop.
There are also several great thrift stores in Nagano including a very large 2nd Street.
Round 1 Game Center
Round 1 is a massive Japanese Game Center that features arcade games, bowling alleys, batting cages, basketball and volleyball courts, golf, mini mopeds and so much more. It’s the perfect place for a rainy day away from Hakuba.
Nagano City in blessed with an array of excellent restaurants and cafes to choose from. Our favorite, however, is Fujiya Gohonjin. Located in the hotel which bears the same name and has operated since 1642, this restaurant serves the best elevated modern Italian menu in all of Nagano City. It’s a fantastic dining experience and well worth the excursion to Nagano.