A while back, i wrote about Takasaki Jr Station in Gunma prefecture, several of you asked that i do another post on JR Nagano Station as well. So here i am writing about it.
Even though we drove to Nagano, the hotel we stayed at [HOTEL METROPOLITAN NAGANO] was next to the JR Nagano Station.
Check out the Matsumoto Kiyoshi right under the station
FYI Matsumoto Kiyoshi [MatsuKiyo] is a chain of drugstores found everywhere in Japan. Perfect for all your drugstore makeup needs!
There are several stores selling food/local produce there so do check them out!
Dont know what to buy/try?
As Nagano city is a city that evolved around a temple, many of the food choices here are vegetarian or vegan.
As a matter of fact, several of their famous delicacies are so.
One of the most common questions I get from those of you travelling to Japan is the availability of vegetarian/vegan meals.
Well i’m happy to let you know, you do not have to worry if you are visiting Nagano.
To illustrate this point, here is a photo i took in the convenience store in Nagano.
Can you see the little round dumplings underneath the sandwiches? They are oyaki. [you wont find these in the stores in Tokyo!]
Note: you will notice there are many vegetarian options amongst the bentos below the dumplings as well. Many of them are vegan options.
Oyaki is a regional delicacy of Nagano. This dish is made by adding water to flour and leaving it to ferment. Vegetables such as beans, egg plant, and pumpkin are wrapped in this dough, baked, and steamed [or pan fried].
Wikipedia link : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyaki
Clockwise from right: Pumpkin, Daikon, Red Bean
The one on the top isnt an oyaki. its a miso coated rice ball. The miso used is Shinshu Miso.
As you probably guessed, Nagano is also famous for Shinshu miso. You can find soft serve ice cream made with this miso or perhaps you can try sweet pudding made with this miso too.
It sounds a bit strange but it isnt bad. As a matter of fact, i found the taste a bit too strong. I recommend you try a smaller cup or share it with someone XD
野沢菜[Nozawana] is also frequently found in Nagano and is used in many of their local delicacies like Oyaki.
I bought some chips with nozawa in it. They are wasabi shoyu flavoured 😀
As an added note, you will also find that soba is famous in Nagano. Soba or buckwheat noodle stores are found easily in Nagano as well , with many near the temple Zenkoji or JR Nagano Station.
For those of you who want a more enhanced experience of Japan, i would like to recommend you to stay in a ryokan [japanese style hotel] near Zenkoji and get your meals provided. The meals will be 精進料理 [Shoujin Ryouri]. These meals are normally vegan.
For more details, check : http://www.zenkoji.jp/syukubou/index.html [sorry, japanese only]
And when at Nagano station, do not forget to visit Zenkoji [ See my post here]
Its about a 30 min walk or you can take the bus from the station [100yen]
In other news, yes i am still sick. I am having problems getting rid of the last bit of cough/cold. Its been almost one week now [ok 6 days] but i am hoping its gone by this week. I have spent far too much time sleeping XD [which kinda explains why i am offline]
Will try to reply all my emails by this week too! Sorry for the delay!
Have a great week ahead!