Nagano prefecture has many excellent destinations and attractions to choose from such as the castle town of Matsumoto (30 minutes by train), and the Nakasendo trail checkpoint of Kisofukushima (70 minutes by train), and Jigokudani monkey park (90 minutes by train). However, the city of Chino in this prefecture remains a hidden gem where you seldom see any tourists, allowing those who visit to indulge in authentic experiences of rural life.
The team in Japan has developed a three-day rural retreat in Chino, encompassing visits to nearby farming villages where locals lead a life in harmony with nature and crafts attuned to the cycle of the seasons. Visitors then delve into the awe-inspiring and characteristic local culture by cooking dishes together with elders, preparing preserves, and eating delicious fresh vegetables. On another day they spend time with a farmer helping prepare the harvest. We also visit a producer’s or artisan’s workshop, observing up-close the technique of a smith with the option to make your very own Japanese knife. Other unforgettable activities include a hike through a silent mossy forest; a trek to the summit of the Yatsugatake to enjoy views of Mt. Fuji and the three ranges of the Japanese Alps; and a bike ride through the foothills of the mountains.
The lodging for this trip offers a truly authentic rural village experience, consisting of four farmhouses, all of them beautifully designed to blend old-world aesthetics with present-day comforts.