When English archaeologist William Gowland coined the term “Japanese Alps” in the late 1800s, he was originally referring to the Hida Mountains, now commonly known as the Northern Alps. Here on the…

When the English archeologist William Gowland saw the major mountain chain in the middle of Honshu he thought they resembled the European Alps so he named them accordingly. Later, English missionary Reverend…

On the border of Nagano and Niigata prefectures is an area that defies time as its mountain ranges have set the stage for some of Japan’s most historic moments. Within this area there is…

With their charmingly retro architecture and atmosphere, these traditional towns around Japan offer a glimpse back in time to the Edo period — perfect for a strolling weekend getaway. As a handy…

Japan’s winter resort town of Nozawa Onsen, located in the northern corner of Nagano’s Japanese Alps, is best enjoyed by foot. Walk from onsen to onsen (all free) amongst the steamy vapors…

The year 2020 taught us that we can work from anywhere in the world. Thanks to advances in digital technology we can work from the beach, the mountains, and even the ski…

In southern Nagano Prefecture between the Southern and Central Alps is the scenic Ina Valley. The rapid waters of the Tenryu River, referred to as the “Violent River” in Nara period records,…

After driving up a long winding road, offering expansive views over the rolling mountains and towns of Shizuoka, you arrive at Katsuragi Kitanomaru, a dream-like castle resort constructed from seven 200-year-old repurposed country homes. Pass over the impressive moat and main gate, and you will enter the spacious grounds of the hotel resort, boasting not only beautifully designed tatami rooms with original beams and sunken hearths, but also a vast Japanese garden, three public baths, and two golf courses, all perfectly blending history with modernity. Make sure to stay in one of the Japanese-style suites and let yourself get transported back to the Edo-era. To complete your modern castle experience, indulge in one of the hotel's splendid kaiseki dinners, which combine the region's best produce and meat in a beautiful succession of courses you will never forget. Address: 2505-2 Ugari, Fukuroi, Shizuoka Website: www.yamaharesort.co.jp    Tel: 0538-48-6118

Just like my family’s Christmas traditions back home in the States, for the New Year’s holiday here in Tokyo we spent three days holed up inside cramped apartments with various members of…

While the ski resorts of Hokkaido are currently the hot ticket with international visitors, and Niigata Prefecture is where skiing started in Japan in the early 20th century, Nagano Prefecture retains the…

When a city is chosen to play host to the Winter Olympic Games, as Nagano was in 1998, you know you can expect some of the softest powder snow around. Located in…

Hakuba Valley, once a secluded gateway to the Japanese Alps, is now a premier global ski destination complete with world-class terrain, modern accommodations and first-class dining. The area played host to the…