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Country culture and color between the Alps

The Ina Valley in southern Nagano stretches between the Southern and Central Alps. The Ina area is off the beaten path and home to small villages, interesting events, and a splendid natural environment.

Don't Miss

  • The awesome natural wonder of Senjojiki
  • Boating down the Tenryu Gorge
  • Trying some off-beat traditional fare

How to Get There

Ina City makes an excellent base for exploring the area. It is easily reachable from Tokyo via rail.

From Shinjuku, take the JR Limited Express Azusa to Okaya, about two hours and 30 minutes away. Change there to the local Iida Line. You'll reach Inashi Station in about 60 minutes. As is often the case in the Japanese countryside, a rental car will serve you well.

Outdoor adventures abound

There are endless hiking opportunities in the nearby Central and Southern Alps and their foothills. Most famously, from Komagane, the Komagatake Ropeway whisks you to over 2,500 meters in elevation and into a world of gorgeous alpine scenery at the Senjojiki Cirque .

Tenryu Gorge

Try boating the rugged Tenryu Gorge in Iida in the valley's southern reaches. The tours are run by a conical-capped skipper and mate in happi festival jackets, who paddle the traditional wooden boats along. The rides run year-round and are a fantastic way to enjoy the scenery at the foot of the Southern Alps.

Beautiful flowers abound

Takato Castle Site Park in the Ina City area offers fantastic Central Alps views all year but comes into its own in spring. Visit to experience Takato's renowned cherry blossom festival, one of the most famous viewing events in the nation.

Overlooking the city of Ina, Kasuga Park on the former grounds of Kasuga Castle is famous for its 200 cherry trees and 20,000 azaleas.

Seek out the valley's cultural events

Enjoy fascinating events and unique festivals throughout the year. Iida's early-August puppet festival is the largest in the land and features performers from across Japan and abroad.

Taste something out of the ordinary

The Ina Valley has plenty of tasty local food. Try the popular romen, a unique local noodle dish that is different to both ramen and yakisoba. Sauce Katsudon is also an Ina favorite, consisting of a large bowl of rice topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.


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