NAGANO Zenkōji Temple & Matsushiro Town BUS TOUR

Zenkōji Temple & Matushiro Castle Town 1 day Bus tour

¥6,000 (Adult,Child)

Departure Dates Feb. 6, 8, 22, 23
Departure Place Hakuba or Nozawa Onsen
Time Hakuba:13:00 - around 21:00 / Nozawa Onsen:13:20 - around 21:00
Meal Dinner included
Guide language English

Itinerary & Highlight

This is recommended! Highlights of this course.
Let’s experience Japan! First you will enjoy Matsushiro Town, full of traditional Japanese craft and game.
Listen to a stirring performance of the koto, Japan’s representative musical instrument, at the Sanada Family Residence in front of a beautiful Japanese garden. Afterwards, at the Teramachi Merchant House, you will experience handicrafts like “Sanada Braids,” play the traditional fan tossing game called “Tōsenkyō,” and marvel at sets of authentic samurai armor and helmets.
From there, we will head to one of Japan’s national treasures, Zenkōji Temple. First, at the traditional temple lodging facilities known as “Shukubō,” you will enjoy an evening meal of fresh vegetarian dishes.
For the finale of the tour, you can stroll through a fantastical world of illumination at Zenkōji Temple’s annual light show, the Tōmyō Festival.

A production of fantastic illumination at Zenkōji Temple

This February, two festivals of light will be held at the National Treasure Zenkōji Temple.
One is the Nagano Tomyō Lantern Festival that will be held from 2/6~11, and the other is the Zenkōji Omotesando Illumination event that will be held from 2/22~3/1. Both feature productions of magical light shows, and you can enjoy a spectacular scene that is quite different from the Zenkōji you can see in the day.

A production of fantastic illumination at Zenkōji Temple

Experience Japanese Culture in Matsushiro

Matsushiro is a castle town that still houses the remnants of ancient Japan. Inside Japanese-style buildings, you can get a taste of Japanese culture by experiencing musical instruments, playing games, and making handicrafts. A photo shoot featuring you donned in samurai armor is sure to be a hit on Instagram!

Experience Japanese Culture in Matsushiro

Zenkōji Shukubō Japanese Dinner

Enjoy a dinner of Buddhist vegetarian cuisine at one of the temple lodgings, or Shukubō, in the Zenkōji Temple grounds. Delighting in a delicious meal at a Shukubō is a rare opportunity that is sure to become a wonderful memory of your time in Japan.

Zenkōji Shukubō Japanese Dinner



Departure point and time

Departure Place Departure Point Departure Time
Hakuba Hakuba Tokyu Hotel 13:00
Happo Information Center 13:05
Hakuba Base Camp 13:15
Nozawa Onsen Nozawa Onsen Chuō(Central) Terminal 13:20


Meal Breakfast 0times / Lunch 0times / Dinner 1times
Bus Operated by Taiyo Bus or Nagano Kotsu Bus
The tour is usually conducted in a minibus, but a taxi may be used depending on the number of tour participants.
Tour Guide There will be tour guide riding along until Zenkōji Temple departure.
(Nozawa Onsen departure :from Matsushiro to Zenkōji)
Interpreter Accompany from Matsushiro to Zenkōji Temple.
Minimum number of participants 2 people
Planning and implementation Mie Kotsu Co., Ltd.
Travel Agency Licence: No.1934 by the Japan Tourism Agency
Head office 2-7-2 Nishiki Naka-ku Nagoya
Cancellation fee If you ever need to cancel the reservation, a cancellation fee will be applied as a percentage of the reservation fee according to the graph.
From two to three days before the departure date The day before the departure date The day of the departure date After departure, or without contact
30% 40% 50% 100%

If you have any question, please contact our customer center by E-mail.

This tour is implemented with assistance from Nagano Prefecture and Nagano City, so we are asking participating individuals to complete this survey.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Special Course for those staying at Nozawa Onsen

Nozawa Onsen

Zenkōji Temple & Matushiro Castle Town + Snow Monkey 2Day Tour

¥18,000 (Adult) \ ¥13,000 (Child)

Departure Dates Feb. 8
Departure Place Nozawa Onsen
Accommodation expenses(Zenkoji Shukubo) included
Meal Dinner and Breakfast included
Guide language English
Sat. Feb 8 Same as Zenkōji Temple & Matushiro Castle Town 1 day Bus tour. Accommodation at Zenkoji Shukubo
Sat. Feb 9 Shukubo・・・(Walk)・・・ or ==(Route bus)==Nagano Station(10:10)==(Nagaden Bus: Resort direct bus)== Snow Monkey Park Bus stop(10:57) ・・・(Walking / 35mins)・・・Jigokudani Yaen-koen(Free time)・・・(Free lunch)・・・ Snow Monkey Park Bus stop(14:20)==(Nagaden Bus)== Nozawa Onsen(15:20)

The first day’s journey is a day-trip course. The first day is also the only one that includes a guided tour.

The bus fare for the Nagano Station~Snow Monkey Park~Nozawa Onsen route (¥3,200) will be each participant’s responsibility.


Lantern Festival at Zenkōji Temple

The Lantern Festival at Zenkōji Temple (Nagano Tomyo Festial) is an event which commemorates the Nagano Olympics.
During this festival, Zenkōji Temple is illuminated with five different colored lights.

Lantern Festival at Zenkōji Temple

Illuminations at Zenkōji Temple

A top designer will put on an aerial display out of light at Zenkōji Hondo and Sanmon, inviting everyone into the wondrous world of the Pure Land, a Buddhist vision of heaven.

Illuminations at Zenkōji Temple

Sanada Family Residence

The Sanada Family Residence was a palace built in 1863 over the span of a year. It served as a residence for the lord’s mother-in-law. Later, it became the residence for the lord as well, following his retirement. There are only a few palaces that were built apart from a castle like this remaining in the country. The main house and the many other buildings and gardens that remain on the premises are part of an important cultural heritage. You can experience playing koto.

Sanada Family Residence

Teramachi Merchant House(Former Kanehako Family Residence)

From around the middle of the 19th century until the first half of the 20th century, this was the residence of the Kanehako family who ran a pawnshop.
The large building, storehouse, and expansive garden will give you a feel for the lifestyle of the merchants of that time.
In addition to tours of the residence, they also have a café and gallery, allowing you to casually enjoy this cultural heritage.

Teramachi Merchant House

TOSENKO(Traditional Game)

Throwing fan is a kind of traditional Japanese game.
Throw a fan at the target called a "butterfly" set on the paulownia box, scoring the shape made by the fan, butterfly and pillow according to the Tale of Genji and the point formula traced to Hyakunin Isshu.


Sanada braid making experience

Sanada Braids are flattened patterns of cords that are woven vertically and horizontally to make a pattern. The fact that it can be used to make vertical patterns is one of its unique characteristics. Because of this pattern’s durability, it was often used in crafting weapons and various lifestyle tools.
Let’s try making Sanada Braids!

Sanada braid making experience

Japanese armor experience

It’s not real samurai armor, but you can take a commemorative picture in easy-to-wear armor outfits.

Japanese armor experience

Dinner at Zenkōji Shukubo(Japanese style)

Zenkōji Temple houses 39 temple lodgings, or Shukubō, and each one has an enshrinement hall and a chief priest. The head chief serves the Nyorai, or the Buddhist deity of Zenkōji Temple, and along with that protective role they gather worshippers’ prayers from all over the country and relay them to Buddha. We will enjoy an evening meal of fresh vegetarian dishes at one of these temple lodgings.

Dinner at Zenkōji Shukubo

National Treasure Zenkōji Temple

One of the most visited temples in Japan, Zenkōji was founded over 1,400 years ago and stores what many believe to be the first Buddhist statue ever brought to Japan.

National Treasure Zenkōji Temple

Participant's impression

  • Would be good for people wanting an informative, cultural experience.(Australian、Female)
  • Very fun and exciting!(Australian 、29)
  • Thank you! (Australian 、31 Female)
  • A pleasant surprise, intimate tour with genuine local people showing us the culture of samurai and beauty of Zenkoji Temple. It was very fun, laughter, food. Very excellent, saiko!(Croatia、41Male)
  • Tour very nice! Thank you to all the people involved. Arigato gozaimasu suteki! From Matt. (New Zealand,35 Male)
  • Way above what I expected. Best value for money! (New Zealand,47Female)
  • Fantastic! Brilliant! Highly Recommend! I don't have enough words to say how awesome today was and thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. To everyone who shared their special skills with us here, thank you! Amazing, amazing, amazing! Tumeke ("Too much!" in Maori)
  • The Lantern Festival was the best experience in Japan! Weren't expecting much Traditional Japanese atmosphere in Hakuba so we planned to go to Nozawa Onsen, but this experience totally changed my opinion.(New Zealand,47Male)