This morning we took the bullet train from Karuizawa to Nagano.

As this is the centre of a ski area it is high altitude so the blossom is just coming into flower here.

Nagano itself is in a valley surrounded by mountains many of them still having snow covered peaks. It is a very attractive area with numerous fruit orchards, hence the blossom,  and the grape vines. It is famous also for its sake as they grow the finest sake rice here.

Soon after our arrival we drove out to Yaen Koen, a forested area that houses the Macaque (snow monkeys) reserve. We had a longish walk through the forest to the monkey park, all of us hoping to get a sight of these unusual primates. We needn’t have worried, there were numerous very cute monkeys all doing what monkeys do and all ignoring us as if we weren’t  there.

On the way back to the hotel we visited Obuse, where there is a gallery showing works by Hokusai, he of the famous wood block print “The Wave”.


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