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Obuse (Nagano-ken) [E]
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PostYou have posted in this forum: Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:03 pm Back to top

Location : Obuse (小布施)
Prefecture : Nagano-ken (長野県)
Attractions : A dynamic small town with a rich cultural and artistic history, some nicely maintained buildings and good museums.

Access :
by train, from Nagano : 22-34 minutes by Nagano Elc Railroad, 750 yen;
by car : 15 minutes from Joshin-etsu Jidosha-do, Suzaka Nagano Higashi IC, and 10 minutes from Shinshu Nakano IC.

Official web site :

Obuse is a small town located 20 km northeast of Nagano. During the Edo period, the town prospered and was even called the small Kyoto of Shinshu (yet another small Kyoto). The fame of Obuse faded during the 20th century, but efforts of a committed local population, the sake brewery and the museums have transformed the already pleasant center of the town to a very attractive and thus popular among tourists area.
Apart tourism, the local economy also includes local agricultural products (chestnuts - which are said to be cultivated for 6 centuries in the area, apples, wine grapes and rice).


Obuse station


Obuse Museum - Nakajima Chinami Gallery


Hokusai-kan museum


Takai Kozan Memorial Hall


Masuichi-Ichimura (sake brewery)


Floral Garden Obuse

The center of the town is a triangle formed by the Hokusai-kan museum, the sake brewery and the Takai Kozan Memorial Hall. With many maple trees around, the village is very atmospheric in mid-November; it is just a pity that buses park just in the middle that triangle.

A visit of the town usually starts with the main museum.

Hokusai-kan museum (北斎館)

Image 899Opening hours - 9:00 to 17:00 (9:30 to 16:30, from November to March)
Entrance fee - 500 yen
Address - 485 Obuse, Obuse-machi, Nagano-ken
Telephone - 026-247-5206
Internet -

This museum is dedicated to the work Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎, 1760-1849), a Japanese artist and printmaker of the Edo period. Born in Edo, Hokusai's masterpiece is the collection of 36 views of the Fuji-san (富嶽三十六景, Fugaku Sanjū-Rokkei), which is in fact a series of 46 representations of that mountain painted in 1832, at the end of the artist's life.


There are interesting displays in this museum, including two huge festival floats (designated official treasure of Nagano Prefecture) with Hokusai's paintings attached to their ceiling - Hokusai worked on the dragon and phoenix of those floats when he was 85 years old. There are also many brush paintings and books published by Hokusai - his illustrations for the kyoka ehon, yomihon, edehon and ehon publications are considered as the origin of japanese manga. A film on his work is also projected.

Takai Kozan Memorial Hall

Opening hours - 9:00 to 17:00 (8:30 to 16:30 from Nov to Mar)
Entrance fee - 200 yen
Address - 805-1 Oaza Obuse, Obuse-machi (上高井郡小布施町大字小布施805-1)
Telephone - 026-247-4049
Internet -

When Hokusai came to live to Obuse, it was with the help and support of his friend Takai Kozan. The house of that tycoon, who was also an artist and calligrapher, can be visited - and is worth it. There are big calligraphic works on the ground floor - really big, as the owner of the house used a 2.5-meters long brush to paint the kanji - and music instruments on the second floor, which visitors can even try. As an important person of the village, the owner of the house also planned some traps around the house (under the floor, on the balcony) for easy escape. There is a small garden with a tea house.

Image 903   Image 902

Masuichi-Ichimura (sake brewery)

The local sake brewery contributed a lot to the development of the center of the town. They produce high quality nihon-shu which can be bought on the spot or by internet, but not anywhere else. They even designed their bottles. Next to the brewery (which can not be visited) is a popular restaurant opened for lunch only, Obusedo (026-247-2027).

Internet - (in English, with the possibility to order online)

Image 900   Image 901

Obuse Museum - Nakajima Chinami Gallery (おぶせミュージアム・中島千波館)

Image 906Opening hours - 9:00 to 18:00 (17:00 from Oct to Mar)
Entrance fee - 500 yen
Address - 上高井郡小布施町小布施595
Telephone - 026-247-6111
Internet -

A modern museum featuring art work from local artists (mostly modern arts) as well as festival floats. Definitively not the most interesting museum on town, but has the advantage of being included in the combined ticket.
Access is less than 10 minutes by foot from the center of Obuse.

Other attractions

Floral Garden Obuse, containing 5000 tropical plants and a phoenix made of 35000.
Entrance fee - 300 yen (May - Oct) or 200 yen (Nov - Apr, but less interesting at that time)
Open - 9:00 - 17:00 (9:30 - 17:30 Nov - Apr)
Telephone - 026-247-5487
Internet -

Joko-ji Temple, built in the early Muromachi period (1392-1573)

The Japanese Lamp Museum with almost 1000 lanterns, candle stands and lamps used from the 17th century.
Entrance fee - 500 yen
Open - 9:30 - 17:00 (9:30 - 16:30 Nov - Mar), closed on Wednesdays
Telephone - 026-247-5669

Image 905   Image 904


A very comprehensive pamphlet in Japanese, which has to be downloaded page by page.

There is a good onsen in Obuse, with a nice view.

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:16 pm Back to top

hi!! in Obuse there is a very good onsen ,i'm been 2 year ago and i think return this time,i'm visited a old garden with a ceramic collection keeped by a very gentle old man,a very good place

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