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Best Time to Visit Nagano

Best Time to Visit Japan 810
Best Time to Visit Nagano
Well known for its winter activities, Nagano is the best to visit during winter, from December to March. Nagano has many exceptional ski resorts, which have captured the world’s attention after hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics. Among many top ski resorts in Japan, Hakuba valley is the most popular and has countless ski slopes suitable for skiers of all level. Furthermore, Nagano is famous for its onsens, thus taking a hot spring bath should be on everyone’s bucket list during a winter visit. Numerous traditional onsens are scattered around the Nagano prefecture, and one of the most famous is the Nozawa Onsen. Interested in taking a hot bath with the snow monkeys? Then definitely visit Jigokudani Monkey Park in winter! The Jigokudani Monkey Park is open year round with an admission fee. In spring, visitors can see the monkey running around the mountain, picking fruits, and eating nuts. In summer, visitors can catch the first glimpse on those fluffy newborn snow monkeys. However, only in winter would these adorable snow monkeys soak in the hot baths.


Winter
During winter, temperature can drop to the low 20°F, and it is the best time to visit Nagano for visitors to enjoy the hot bath with these adorable creatures. Last but not least, various festivals such as the Liyama Snow Festival and Nagano Lantern Festival are hosted in Nagano during winter.


Spring
Cannot make it in the winter? Don't worry, Nagano has a lot more to offer in other seasons! Staring in spring, tourists can visit the Togakushi Forest Botanical Garden, which is inhabited by various species of plants, flowers, and wild birds. As temperature warms up, flowers on the valleys start to blossom. Different flowers including Nanohana, azaleas, and of course the cherry blossoms add vibrant colors to the valleys. Before the summer heat melt the snow, be sure to visit the snow walls.  Every year, the high altitude mountains receive enormous amount of snow, accumulating up to 20 meters high. Anyone who has a chance to walk through the impressive snow corridor would never forget about the experience.


Summer
In summer, temperature can get up to the high 80°F. However, it is still a good time to explore the highland of Nagano. Numerous hiking trails are found in the mountains. In addition, biking to explore the beauty of the nature could be the most enjoyable activity. To cool down from the sweat, visitors can also swim, raft, or simply relax by the river.


Fall
Temperature tends to cool down to about 50°F in fall, and autumn foliage in the majestic forest is definitely not to be missed. In addition to immersing oneself into the autumn colors, tourists can also visit one of the many fruit farms. Due to the advantageous geographic location, the Nagano is one of the best fruit producing areas in the country. Fruits like grapes and apples are ready to harvest in fall, and many farms are open to visit with a fee. With various activities and scenery to offer, Nagano is a place to visit during any season.


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Most Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it a good time to visit Nagano in June and July?
    The rainy season in Japan is from June to July. The overall rainfall is relatively high. However, Nagano Prefecture is located in the central region of Japan. It is known as the "Roof of Japan" since there are many high mountains and natural lakes. It is a great time to cool off in the summer.
  • Any suggestions for a trip to Nagano in the autumn?
    Autumn in Japan is from September to November each year. It is a great time to view the red maple leaves. Forests in places such as Nagano, Kyoto, and Aomori are great places to see the red maple leaves. The fall of Nagano is also known for their rural culture, where there are various exhibitions, sports events and music events held.
  • When is the best time to go to the Nagano hot spring?
    From December to February, entering the winter season of Japan, it is time to go to Nagano to soak in the hot spring in the snow. It is a perfect combination of ice and fire, and it is the best time to enjoy the snow scene. Hakuba Village in Nagano has many ski resorts and if you are a ski enthusiast, you do not want to miss it.
  • When is the Nagano cherry blossom season?
    The cherry blossom season in Nagano usually runs from early April to mid-April. The time changes slightly every year but is usually around this time. The cherry blossom season is relatively short, and it usually lasts about a week from the flowering and to full bloom.
  • Can I still see the cherry blossoms when I go to Nagano in May?
    If the temperature was relatively high that year, there could be a chance to still see the cherry blossoms in Nagano in early May, especially in the mountains. Around April, there are sometimes flowers that do bloom later.
  • Is it too hot to go hiking in Nagano in the summer?
    In the summer, temperatures can get up to 26 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit). Although the temperature is relatively high, it is still acceptable and a good time to climb the Nagano mountain.
  • When is the best season to go to Matsumoto Castle?
    Matsumoto Castle in Nagano has cherry blossoms in the spring, red maple leaves in the autumn, and snow in the winter. It is considered a national treasure city in Japan. Compared to other Japanese castles, this has a unique beauty all year round.
  • What are fun activities are there to do in Nagano during the winter?
    Winter is the most attractive season in Nagano. Nagano and Shiga Kogen have many excellent ski resorts. You can enjoy traditional Japanese cultural hot springs, as well as large and small shrines, temples, ancient cities, art galleries, museums, etc. Recommended are Karuizawa, Matsumoto, and Hakuba Village.
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