Frequented by locals and tourists alike, Shiraito Falls in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture is a waterfall measuring three meters high and 70 meters wide. Its name literally means “Waterfall of White Threads,” as it looks like a white string curtain. The area looks even more stunning in autumn when the leaves change colors.
Gohei mochi is grilled rice cake on a stick coated in soy-based or miso-based sauce usually eaten as a snack. Originating in mountainous areas like Nagano, it is said to be the perfect combination of rice and miso. Don’t miss to try gohei mochi when in the area!
Aside from being one of the five castles designated as National Treasure in Japan, Matsumoto Castle in Nagano is also one of the country’s oldest surviving castles. This historic site offers amazing views of the Japanese Alps, as well as Matsumoto City. The beautiful fall foliage in autumn and white snow in winter add to its overall charm. The reflection of the illuminated castle in the moat at night is also a must-see!
Located in a small town nestled in the mountains, Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma is a hot spring village known for its high-quality water said to cure various ailments. Not only does it boast the largest flowing water volume in the country, it also prides itself for its unique bathing methods of “jikanyu” (timed bathing) and “yumomi” (water stirring). This is the perfect destination for those looking to warm up in a traditional Japanese onsen town during the cold winter months.
Characterized by its mellow aroma and soft texture, Shinshu beef from Nagano is said to have one of the strongest meat flavors. This type of high-quality beef is made from cattle raised on good local produce, including Shinshu apples, thus its name. Shinshu beef can be enjoyed in a variety of ways—grilled, sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, etc.—so you are sure to find a suitable dish for you.
JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area) is a discount pass that allows unlimited travel on all JR East trains in the Tokyo and Nagano, Niigata areas (all covered areas are shown on the map), inclusive of the Shinkansen, for 5 flexible days within a 14-day period. It is a great way to explore the eastern region of Japan this fall/winter!
JR EAST PASS is a special discount pass available only to non-Japanese passport holders with a short-term visa of no longer than 90 days. It allows unlimited rides on all JR East trains including the Shinkansen in the specified area. It can be purchased at JR EAST Travel Service Centers and online.
For example, you can start your journey by exploring Tokyo, then hop aboard the Shinkansen to the Tohoku area or the Nagano, Niigata area.
*There are two types of JR EAST PASS, and the areas you can travel to depend on the pass type.
Travel around East Japan with just one pass
Travel faster via the Shinkansen
Make seat reservations for free and secure your seat in advance
Save money with the amazing prices
JR EAST Travel Service Centers are travel assistance facilities selling and exchanging passes, as well as providing information in different languages.
Take a ride on the Shinkansen that boasts not only speed and reliability, but also high-tech comfort.