Chances are, most travelers never heard of Nagano. Some people know it as that place in Japan that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics–but other than that, Nagano, unfortunately, still remains widely unknown.
Nagano is one of Japan’s larger prefectures located in the Shinshu region directly west of Tokyo (about a one hour bullet train ride away). It is one of the most mountainous regions in Japan and is known for its snow, great peaks and amazing forests.
Nagano is special to me, because it’s the first place I ever went to in Japan. I did a one month study abroad program here, and it was nothing less than magical. The mountains, the food, and most of all the kind hearts of the people in the countryside are what made me fall in love with this place–and convinced me to come back.