Minami Shinshu: A Solo Alps Journey
Outdoor guide Daniel Moore gets a taste of deep mountain life on a drive around Minami Shinshu in southern Nagano Prefecture. On his way he stays in an abandoned old post town, hikes with a hunter, visits a master wood artisan, camps under a blanket of stars, shoots down the Tenryu River in a traditional boat and sips tea high up on a farmer couple's terraced slope.


An abandoned post town from the mid-18th century that could have been lost to time. But a group of volunteers came to the rescue. They keep up the village and rent out the residences as lodgings. It's a great way to experience the old lifestyle, and help preserve Odairajuku.

Seina-no-Mori Campground

A campground tucked away near Achi Village in the Shimoina area. You can pitch a tent or book one of the cottages and bungalows. There's a tent sauna over a stream and locally baked natural yeast bread.

Tenryu River Boat Ride

The Tenryu River boat ride dates back some 100 years. Every year a new wooden boat is made, with its building method passed on from one boat maker to the next.


From Tokyo to Iida it's 3.5 hours by car, or 4.5 hours by express and local trains.