Well, summer break isn’t over yet.
But I’ve just got back from a week of travelling throughout Nagano!
Also summer break is just a little over 2 weeks, as it started on Aug 1st, and ends on Aug 18th. Unfortunate, but everything is messed up this year because of the ‘rona.
You can click any of the images to enlarge them.
First up on the trip was Iida, a nice little city close to the southern border of Nagano Prefecture.
These are the views around the ryokan my friends and I stayed at. There were even better views from the onsen, which was on the top floor, but naturally, I couldn’t bring my phone…
The open air onsen was actually on the ground floor. And it was the kind that had a bunch of fake stones strewn about, including a big one that would be perfect for the “I’m taking a bath when girls start to enter and I have to hide behind a rock” situation we see all too much in anime. That made me laugh.
Only thing is that at this place, and most of the places we visited, the onsen doesn’t alternate between men’s and women’s time. There are separate onsen for men and women, so that mistake would never happen.
A short shuttle bus ride from the ryokan there is a gondola that takes you up to the “stargazing village”. I don’t remember the exact name, but it’s real high up on a nearby mountain and on a clear night you can see all of the stars without any pesky light pollution.
Unfortunately, we didn’t account for a full moon, which is basically another form of light pollution haha. Still, was a nice night and could see some stars but nothing photo worthy. What was cool though is that they had these big lights that they would use to project a beam into the sky to point out the names of the various stars we could see.
Last image there is of that pesky full moon through some trees, lighting up the sky. I’d definitely return to this place though, when there isn’t a full moon, with a date. The atmosphere was perfect for it: laying on a blanket, looking at the sky…
Anyways, that was the first destination of the trip. The ryokan we stayed at was very, very nice. Because of the reduced tourism, it wasn’t very busy and we got a good price on a nice Japanese style room.
Overall, Iida was a great start to the trip.
More to come in future posts!
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.