Summer Vacation in Nagano

I went to Nagano prefecture for a short vacation last week, during Obon (or Bon Festival) Buddhist holiday. A friend of mine who moved to Nagano last year invited a bunch of us from Tokyo.

On the way to his home, we went to Yatsugatake Alpaca Farm. The alpacas there were very friendly and love to be fed from your hand. One of the young ones (actually called “Happy” for his smiley face) didn’t even mind being hugged — he just stayed still as if he’s a statue.

That night we went to watch Les Miserables movie under the starlight 🙂

One of the highlights of our trip was visiting Akeno Sunflower Field in the neighboring prefecture Yamanashi. According to the official event site, Hokuto City has planted a total of 600,000 sunflowers. I think these photos deserve full-width treatment!

明野ひまわり畑 / Akeno Sunflower Field

明野ひまわり畑 / Akeno Sunflower Field

明野ひまわり畑 / Akeno Sunflower Field

明野ひまわり畑 / Akeno Sunflower Field

明野ひまわり畑 / Akeno Sunflower Field

And here’s a panorama one which your can click to view a larger version.

明野ひまわり畑 / Akeno Sunflower Field

More photos from my friend and my Flickr set.

We were bummed that the Lake Suwako Fireworks Show was canceled because of a rainstorm (which somehow hit the lake area just as the show started) but it was still fun that I got to wear my new Yukata for the first time this summer.

Nagano is a great destination that is easily accessible from Tokyo by trains. I picked up a flyer for a hiking event this fall, it will be nice to visit there again in a few months.