We as the JAPANKURU team went to the Shiga region in Nagano prefecture. This less known area had many to explore, the Shiga Canyons, the great rift lowlands, the fossil museum, and the local agriculture. There's lots to talk about the place but let me briefly introduce a part of it.
Shiga region, Matsumoto, Nagano
This little region located towards the centre of Nagano is an area within the city of Matsumoto.
In case you are not familiar with Nagano, this prefecture is located in the Chubu (the central) region of Japan's main island.
The place is famous for those monkeys bathing in the hot springs at Jigokudani
, one of the top ski destinations in Japan. It has also hosted the winter Olympic games back in 1998.
One of our favourite destinations, the Daio wasabi farm
is also located within the prefecture.
Nagano has long been one of the favoured destinations in Japan amongst the tourists.
When we say Shiga, we are not referring to one of the other prefectures in Japan, but a smaller community located within the city of Matsumoto, close to the centre of Nagano.
This place is one of the interesting places that we've been to recently, and I wanted to briefly introduce you to what we have been through there.
The Zen experience
We started off with a Zen experience at the Tokoji temple.
We only took the meditation session there, but for those who want to do more than just that, they offer options such as mountain trecking and other zen training courses.
We even had a little visitor at this temple.
He was acting as if he belonged to the temple for years, protecting it, but he was only a little one.
The stay at the Kominka
Let's start with this.
When we were there in Shiga, we stayed at a Kominka 【古民家：こみんか】.
This is one of the traditional forms of houses in Japan and you can still find many of these houses all around Japan.
Some are reformed into cafes, restaurants, shops, etc, but these ones had their interiors renewed into an accommodation.
Some of them kept their old looks, but some of them had totally refurbished their interiors, just like these ones here.
Each one of these places has its theme and uniqueness to it and it's interesting just trying different places.
This is a made-up word in Japanese using the two English words Social and Marathon.
The purpose of this is not to compete with one another but to socialise through this activity.
Local towns and cities mainly carry out this event for anyone to participate and to get people to know the area.
We also participated and went all around the Shiga region.
Here are some of the interesting spots we've found.
The Jizo statues at Hofukuji.
Bio cafe Coudo, pizza, doughnuts, and a chillaxing atmosphere at a Kominka. (Official webpage
The Shiga fossil museum (link
The great Ginkgo tree.
It was a magnificent tree that we saw but the local people told us that it's even a better site once it's in full autumn colours.
It was all a very nice experience with many interesting things to see.
This event in Shiga was held by the community of "Shiga ni Kimasho" 【滋賀にきましょ：しがにきましょ】 which translates to "Come to Shiga" and the Cialthon committee.
We will be covering in detail about this place soon, but this should do for now as an introduction.
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