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Much of Japan’s most glorious mountain scenery is to be found in the Japanese Alps of Nagano Prefecture, home to the 1998 Winter Olympics, and linked to Tokyo by a convenient new bullet train route.

Nagano has become a world-class ski area with excellent runs and facilities and is well worth a visit during the winter.

Exploring the Japanese Alps

The hub for the region is the picturesque town of Matsumoto, home to the famously brooding ‘Black Crow’ castle. From here it is easy to strike out to the popular hiking centre of Kamikochi, deep in the mountains. Summer is also an excellent time to visit this region, with walking trails among the mountains and lakes of the area, available for all levels of energy and experience.

Yudanaka Onsen

Also nearby is Yudanaka Onsen, made famous by the wild monkeys which come down from the hills in the depths of the snowy winter to bathe in the area’s natural hot spring pools.

Tateyama - Kurobe Alpine Route

For the adventurous the Tateyama - Kurobe Alpine Route crosses through the heart of the Alps from Matsumoto to Toyama.

Only 2 hours from Tokyo, the Japanese Alps are the perfect place to escape the heat of the city in the summer and take on the slopes in winter.

Audley Travel specialist Rebecca
Speak to someone who's been there

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Japan specialists at 1-855-834-8210

Speak to someone who's been there
Liz Jao headshot

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Japan specialists at 1-855-834-8210

Places to visit in the Japanese Alps

Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting the Japanese Alps, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travelers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.

Suggested itineraries featuring the Japanese Alps

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in the Japanese Alps, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Accommodation choices for the Japanese Alps

We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit the Japanese Alps. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.