Hakuba Soba At 700 meters above sea level, Hakuba’s high elevation, cold climate, and clear, alpine streams together form a setting which imparts superior flavor to the locally grown buckwheat known as “Hakuba soba.” Flour ground from the soba is used in several regional specialties, and a soba festival is held every autumn. Soba noodles (often simply called “soba”) are served by numerous shops in town and may be eaten hot or cold. Hakuba locals will insist, however, that the crisp air of winter brings out the noodles’ best flavor. FRUITS GROWN IN THE SHIGA KOGEN HIGHLANDS Fruit trees growing apples, grapes, peaches, and other fruits are grown under favorable conditions, such as sloping terrain with good sunlight and drainage, as well as a large difference in temperature between day and night. In addition, the mineral-rich melt water from the Shiga Kogen Highlands, which is registered as a UNESCO Eco Park, nurtures these trees and produces sweet and delicious fruit. Enjoy the exquisite fruit produced by the land of the Shiga Kogen Highlands. SUKAGAWA SOBA NOODLES Sukagawa, Yamanouchi is located near the entrance to the Kita-Shiga Kogen Highlands, where buckwheat has long been grown and handmade soba noodles are served at celebrations and other occasions. Sukagawa soba, made from 100% local buckwheat flour and using the fibers of oyamabokuchi leaves as a thickener, has a strong texture and is served at soba restaurants and guest houses.Hard-boiled shredded daikon radish is mixed with buckwheat flour dissolved in water. It is called “Hayasoba” (fast buckwheat noodles) because the amount of daikon (radish) is larger than that of buckwheat flour, making it look as if it is cut into buckwheat noodles, and because it can be made in a short period of time. Sakae Village and Sukagawa in Yamanouchi Town are the only places in Nagano where it is made, and it cannot be found outside of the prefecture. FRUIT-PICKING IN YAMANOUCHI Yamanouchi is one of the leading producers of fruit in Nagano Prefecture. The clear streams from the Shiga Kogen Highlands and the difference in temperature between the day and night produce sweet and delicious fruit. Depending on the season, you can pick a variety of fruits such as cherries, blueberries, grapes, and apples at farms in the town. You can experience fruit-picking in Yamanouchi at authentic farmhouses, so you can enjoy the freshest market-ready fruits. SUKAGAWA SOBA NOODLE-MAKING EXPERIENCE In Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, a town known for its Sukagawa soba (buckwheat noodles), visitors can experience soba noodle-making at soba restaurants and guest houses in the town. The experience begins with grinding locally-grown buckwheat on a millstone. Using the leaves of a type of burdock called oyamabokuchi to thicken the noodles, soba is made in an authentic, old-fashioned way. A SEA OF CLOUDS AS SEEN FROM THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN REACHED BY ROPEWAY Ryuo Mountain Resort in Yamanouchi is a resort complex offering glamping, herb gardens, and cafés. Visitors may take the world’s largest 166-seat ropeway to “SORA terrace” at the top of the mountain, where they can enjoy a panoramic view that stretches 1,770 meters above sea level. When conditions are favorable, the entire area can be enveloped in a sea of clouds, offering a fantastic and magical view of the world. The morning sun rising above the sea of clouds is a truly unforgettable sight. SNOW MONKEYS, POPULAR AMONG FOREIGNERS The “snow monkey” is known overseas as a emblematic feature of Japan. More specifically, the term refers to “Japanese monkeys soaking in hot springs.” The Jigokudani Onsenkyo, a hot-spring village located in a valley near the Shiga Kogen Highlands in northern Nagano Prefecture, is famous for its snow monkeys. The “Jigoku Dani Yaen-koen” in the hot spring resort is a park where wild Japanese monkeys can be observed. In the winter, they can be seen soaking in the hot springs, earning the park the nickname “Snow Monkey Park” both in Japan and abroad. Hakuba Galette A galette is a crepe-like dish of French origin made with buckwheat flour. As the flavorful buckwheat flour produced in Hakuba is perfectly suited to galette, the Hakuba Galette was born, a regional specialty topped with local ingredients. This new dish is gaining popularity in hotels and bed and breakfasts around Hakuba. Shinshu Salmon Shinshu salmon is a new variety of salmon that crosses easily farmed, high quality rainbow trout with disease resistant brown trout, inheriting the strengths of both. It has beautiful silver scales and flesh with a delicate, melt-in-the-mouth texture and is getting attention as a fish that goes well with Japanese-Western crossover cuisine. Don’t miss your opportunity to try it while visiting Nagano. Mountain Cart Mountain carting originated in Germany is a mountain activity in which the rider drives through the mountains without an engine, using the steering wheel and brakes from the top of the mountain. The low weight, wide wheels, and easy-to-operate handlebars make it fun for beginners. The exhilaration of riding with the spectacular view of the Northern Alps at your back while looking down on the city is irresistible. Check it out to enjoy Hakuba in a different way!