Nagano, Japan

This is just a small taste of Nagano: the town of the most delicious savory pastries, eye-popping topiary and colourful parking garages—or at least that’s what stood out for us. Plus a visit to the ancient Zenko-ji Temple, around which the town was built.

And on our way there, in Karuizawa, a most unexpectedly delicious discovery: an oasis of a backyard pizzeria—Qui E La— originally “discovered” by Kalle Lasn of Monocle. We came just after lunch, so there was no pizza to be had. But our shy host Hayato was quick on his feet and whipped up another Neapolitan oven wonder, this dessert below.

Qui E La garden

Qui E La

Nagano flora

Nagano topiary

Colourful Nagano parking garage

Zenko-ji Temple, Nagano

Buddha at Zenko-ji

Buddha at Zenko-ji

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UnaNagano, Japan


  1. Carol

    I just love the Japanese sensibilities. So calm, peaceful, simple. Is that a picture of you under the wisteria? Next time you find yourself next to a wisteria, take a big sniff and think “boiled hot dogs.” You’ll be surprised.

    1. Author

      Yep that’s definitely me, high on Japan. ;)
      Boiled hot dogs?! What do you think nature intended with that smell? Is that a repellant?

  2. Carol

    I don’t think hot dogs existed when nature invented wisteria. Maybe I’ve got it backwards and hot dogs are wisteria scented?

What do you think?