Nestled in the foothills of the Northern Japanese Alps, Azumino is a picturesque city renowned for its fresh mountain water. It boasts an excellent selection of museums and is near hot springs, mountain trails and a famous wasabi farm.
Things to do in Azumino
Visit the Daio Wasabi Farm, which was founded in 1915 and is now one of the largest wasabi farms in Japan. Follow one of the walking trails between its fields and take a raft tour to visit the old-fashioned wooden water wheels. Afterwards, sample the farm’s wasabi ice cream, wasabi pickle and wasabi sausages.
Head to the nearby Rokuzan Art Museum, which is set within a church-inspired gallery built to house the works of renowned sculptor Morie Hagiwara. In addition to an extensive collection of Hagiwara’s sculptures, the museum features the work of his close friends and associates, including poet and artist, Kotaro Takamura.
Don’t forget about the Chihiro Art Museum where you can admire the famous children’s book illustrations of Japanese artist Chihiro Iwasaki. It’s located in the picturesque village of Matsukawa where Chihiro’s parents settled following World War II and is considered the artist’s spiritual home.
Want to stretch your legs? Follow the walking trail from the hot springs of Nakabusa Onsen to the summit of Mount Tsubakuro. The trail winds through dense forest before ascending above the tree line to a granite ridge with spectacular views of the Northern Japanese Alps.
Getting around Azumino
Azumino is around 3.5 hours by train from Tokyo and just under two hours from Nagano. Most of Azumino’s sights are within walking distance of its train stations or you can rent a bicycle.