Day Trip Nozawa Onsen
Experience Zenkoji Temple & Matsushiro Castle Town in a day!
If you’ve got a day to spare away from the slopes, or would prefer a shorter morning ski with more activities to do from lunchtime, then this tour would be perfect for you. Hop on an incredible bus tour where you’ll get to embark on a traditional martial arts and culture experience! At just ¥6000 per person, the tour bus with an English tour guide will pick you up at Nozawa Onsen at 1:20pm, and will take you to various traditional sites where you can participate in an array of fun activities, listen to traditional music, and eat an incredible traditional dinner, not to mention getting to see the annual light festival at the end of the tour.
The bus will return at approximately 9:00pm, ready for you to have a decent night’s sleep before hitting the slopes again the next day!
On the Matsushiro Town and Zenkoji Temple tour, firstly, you will get to visit the Sanada Family Residence, which is an old famous samurai house where samurai warriors used to live over 150 years ago, boasting amazing traditional architecture and an impressive Japanese garden. Here you will also learn about the history of the building and the samurai by your English guide, and you’ll also get to listen to a live performance where the traditional Japanese instrument ‘Koto’ is used.
Day Trip Nozawa Onsen
After visiting the Sanada Family Residence, you will head to the Teramachi Merchant House where you’ll get to experience handicrafts such as the ‘Sanada Braids’, and participate in playing a game called Tosenkyo, which is a traditional Japanese game where you have to throw a fan at a target! But don’t worry, you’ll get a chance to practice first and you’ll be taught by some of the locals! You can even put on some Japanese Samurai armour while getting to marvel at sets of authentic armour and helmets.
For dinner (which is included in the tour cost), you’ll get to try ‘Shoujinryouri’, which is a vegetarian cuisine originally derived from the dietary restrictions of Buddhist monks, and it’s made using local ingredients. From the restaurant, you’ll walk to one of Japan’s national treasures, Zenkoji Temple, through an amazing sea of beautiful Japanese lanterns. As it will be nighttime, the lanterns will all be lit up which in itself is an incredible experience that is well worth a look! Here, you can find some local souvenir shops and other special gift items to remember your experience by.
Zenkoji Temple itself is a gigantic and spectacular structure that pictures just can’t do justice. Just before the tour ends, you are able to stroll through a fantastic world of illumination at Zenkoji Temple, which is where they are holding the annual light show, the Tomyo Festival.
The Matsushiro Town and Zenkoji Temple tour is a fantastic way to experience traditional Japanese culture, and with dinner provided and various fun activities to participate in, it’s an all-inclusive way to spend an afternoon outside of Nozawa Onsen. The tour is being run on the 22nd and 23rd of February to align with the annual light show.
If you’re interested in heading on the tour, you can purchase a ticket online at https://nagano.oneday-pass.com.