I am living in Shiojiri city Nagano prefecture for 4 years. Before living in Shiojiri, I lived in Shanghai (2.5 years) and Beijing (2 years) in China for business. (I could speak a little bit Chinese.) I lived in Barcelona, Amsterdam and Dusseldorf in Europe for 11 years. I could accommodate you with my experience lived in overseas. Please give me your need of trip in Japan. Let’s create good plan with you for enjoying staying in Nagano.
The location of Shiojiri city is around 200Km from Tokyo and from Nagoya toward mountain area, center of Japan. You take JR train, highway bus or rental car. It takes around 3 hours to come to Shiojiri or Matsumoto area. Matsumoto city are second largest city in Nagano prefecture, which has Matsumoto black castle called as “crow castle”. Matsumoto castle is the 5 famous old castles designated as national treasure.
Nagano prefecture is mountainous area, so that you can enjoy cool and comfortable weather. Japanese summer period (from the end of June till September is terribly hot and humid, but if you stay at Nagano prefecture in summer period, you can escape from hot and humid and enjoy Japan. (Hokkaido area is also good in summer period.) These are a lot of sightseeing spots especially for the beautiful nature, sport area for trekking and ski / snowboarding, various type of hot springs, shrine and temples in Nagano prefecture. You can enjoy Japanese four season in Nagano prefecture.
Here are some cities recommended for tour in Nagano prefecture.
Suwa district for lake and 4 famous shrines, Matsumoto district for castle and museums, Kamikouchi district for trekking and national park (starting from Matsumoto), Shiojiri-Kiso district for old post town from 17 century, Hakuba ski area (winter) trekking (summer), Azumino country side for cycling, Spa and gourmet, Nagano city for Togakushi shrine and Zehkouji temple, Jigokudani monkey park near Yudanaka hot spring.
Compared to big city such as Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, shopping area, big hotel and international restaurant are not so many, but I am sure you can enjoy comfortable Hotel and Japanese-inn with good taste Japanese local food such as Soba noodle (Buckwheat noodle), horse meat, Sanzoku yaki (Deep fried Chicken) and Source Katsu Don (Deep fried pork bowl) and so on.
Let's make itinerary plan together.