This is a blog article about worshipping at the Zenkoji temple that is in Matsumoto-shi, Nagano. We also talk about an Italian restaurant called THE FUJIYA GOHONJI, where they use local ingredients of Nagano.

Visiting Zenko-ji Temple and Mouthful Deliciousness In Nagano Prefecture

Taking trip to Nagano Prefecture to see Zenko-ji Temple!

The Biggest Temple In Nagano Prefecture: Zenko-hi

Zenko-ji is in Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture, and it was built in AD 644. At the end of the Edo era, people said, "You should visit Zenko-ji at least once in your life.”

Take Nagano Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Nagano Station. You can travel on foot after arriving at the station.

The walk through the stone path… took longer than I thought it would...but after that, you will see the main building come into your eyes!

The main building is...huge!
Not many temples in Japan are this size...

Here It Comes... Once Every Six Years!

"Gokaichoh" is the day we can see Zenritsu-Honzon (An iconic figure of Ikko-Sanzon-Amida-Nyorai). This event happens every six years with the next taking place in 2021!

This wooden pole in the picture above is connected to Zenritsu-Honzon statue, and many believe that one’s prayers are answered when one touches the pole.

It was very crowded so I could only touch it a little bit...hoping good things happen!

(Be aware you may wait in line to get to see it during the daytime!)


Lunch was the main event for me on this visit to Nagano! The area is famous for Soba Noodles, but my choice was Italian!

This building was built as a hotel during the Edo era, but has now been remodeled as a restaurant. This spacious room is also capable of holding wedding parties.

The atmosphere and views are very cozy… beautiful garden can also be seen from the windows.

Pasta Lunch Course costs 1000 yen which comes with an appetizer, pasta, focàccia, and coffee or tea. I opted for a 500 yen addition to make my appetizer four different bites!

The appetizer menu is different everyday. Today’s featured Nagano's famous Shinshu-pork and local vegetables...all dishes were well prepared!! Super tender pork in my mouth...

If you pay 1000 yen for lunch, I strongly urge you to experience how great their food is!

Additional Info: Dinner at Cafe&Kitchen Glacé

Dinner can't be missed during your stay in Zenko-ji area! Following a friend's recommendation, I went to the Hamburg Steak Restaurant; Cafe & Kitchen Glacé.

The restaurant is located in Suzaka area, 30 minutes away from Zenko-ji...but totally worth it! An old silk cocoonery warehouse transformed to the fashionable Italian restaurant. I’m betting you’ll love it!

(sorry for not having pictures of the inside of the restaurant...)

Hamburg steak with basil was my first experience...what deliciousness!! The potato with butter on top tasted very good too...

Nagano Prefecture has not only various Onsens (hot springs) and historic sites, but also wonderful food which make you go there again and again...guaranteed! I can’t wait to go back there...again!!

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