We woke up early to check out of our Airbnb and get on a train by 7:35am, to head to Nagano. We got the customary vending machine coffee and headed off! We took the train fro Imaichi to Utsunomiya. At Utsunomiya station we gave our JR passes to the lady at the desk, who arranged the rest of our transportation to Nagano.
We then boarded a unreserved Shinkansen to Omiya. From there it was a 50 minute Shinkansen to Nagano. Once in Nagano we walked to our Airbnb, it was super easy to find, but we were early so we sat in a park near by and enjoyed some early cherry blossoms and a beverage.
The Airbnb was amazing! It was a traditional old house with sliding screen doors and two tatami rooms as well as a little seating area and an adorable bathroom. We then set off to explore Nagano.
We walked down an arcade street called Gondo, with lots of shops and restaurants. Then we headed off towards Zenkoji. The street leading to Zenkoji temple had many shops along the sides. We stopped to try some snacks; Oyaki (a pickled veggie version called Nozawana) and Taiyaki, a fish shaped snack . I had chestnut filling, Jives tried apple custard and Gaby had red bean. Nagano is know for their apples, so Jives tried the local flavour.
We walked all around the Zenkoji complex and found an adorable shrine to lost postal deliveries, as well as a shrine to the lost souls of flowers used in floral arranging.
We then walked to find food, and found a old timey feeling salary man restaurant. We ate at a booth. I had a sashimi set and a beer, Gaby and Jives shared a yakitori and sashimi set.
We then went to an arcade and showed Gaby purikura (Japanese photobooths). Jives tried the taiko drums and did really well. Then he tried a drum hero type game and failed. Then both Gaby and Jives tried the taiko drums. We walked home afterwards, and stopped at Animate along the way.
If you use our airbnb link, we get $25 off! https://www.airbnb.ca/c/hollyg2569
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