We made our way back to Nagano Station and caught a local train out to Shiga Kogen. The train was empty when we first got on, but that eventually changed.
After a 1 hour ride through the Nagano countryside, we arrived at the last train stop. We departed the train and made our way to the bus station to buy tickets. Shawn used his excellent Japanese skills to make sure we got tickets for the correct bus!
We had to wait about 1 hour for the next bus to depart.
As you can see, there wasn’t much to do at the bus station…
The old, rickety bus climbed through the mountains and we eventually made it to our hotel (Hotel Shiga Sunvalley). The hotel is nestled at the bottom of a ski hill…and it was so nice to breathe the fresh, crisp, mountain air. (Remember – this was in July, so it was 90+ degrees in Tokyo, with 90% humidity!) The staff at the hotel was extremely kind and welcoming.
The Shiga Kogen area of Nagano Prefecture is a very popular location for skiing in Japan. I can only imagine how busy this place must be during the winter!
We decided to stay in a traditional Japanese room. This is how the room looked when we arrived. 🙂
Since we were in the middle of the mountains (and it was dark out), there was nothing for us to do in the area. So…we had dinner at the hotel, played a few games, and called it a night.
Day 1 of our trip to Nagano is complete. Check back for more photos from day 2!