Get to Know Nagano Prefecture at Japan Society!

Japan Society invites you to get to know Nagano Prefecture with three informative events about the host of the 1998 Winter Games. In these special Get to Know Series programs, learn about the unique qualities that make Nagano the perfect destination to experience Japan.

Nagano is a wondrous region filled with lush nature, rich history, and enticing cuisine. Home to architectural treasures like Zenkoji Temple and Matsumoto Castle, Nagano is filled with historical sites to admire. Nagano is serene and enchanting in every season, offering breathtaking views all year round, and is a world-class location for winter sports.

The three events take place during a two-day period later this month, with a special talk that yours truly will moderate!

©Nagano Prefectural Government

TALK & TASTING – Get to Know Nagano: The Home of Nature, History, and Sports

Wednesday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Japan Society – 333 E. 47th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

Tickets: $21/$17 members, seniors, and students

Nestled in the mountains of central Japan, Nagano Prefecture is admired for its many beautiful natural and historical landmarks. A striking black-and-white structure, and the oldest of its kind, Matsumoto Castle is considered a National Treasure. Even long after the 1998 Winter Games, Nagano remains the go-to destination for winter sports in Japan. The region is recognized for its unique cuisine and pristine waters, including rich shinshu soba, flavorful oyaki dumplings, and succulent fruit.

I am honored to serve as the moderator for this special talk, where Akira Kumagai, Executive Director for Shinshu Brands and Director General of Business Bureau, will help guests discover the beauty and resilience of this unforgettable region. Unfortunately, Nagano Governor Shuichi Abe, who was originally going to speak at this program, had to cancel his visit to New York in order to focus on recovery efforts for the devastation caused by Typhoon Hagibis. We extend our heartfelt condolences to all those affected by this disaster.

Following the talk, there will be a tasting reception featuring cuisine from Nagano and a sampling of fine sake and beer from the region. Attendees will receive a special gift of Nagano specialties, including a handmade mizuhiki cord. Take a look at the tasting menu below, and go to Japan Society’s website to purchase tickets!

Tasting Menu

Shinshu salmon, oyaki dumplings and shinshu soba, with shichimi and wasabi seasonings

Shinano Sweet Apple Juice
Kyoho Grape Juice

3 Regional Beers:
Karuizawa Premium Clear
Karuizawa Premium Dark
Karuizawa Weiss

14 Regional Sake:
Junmai Daiginjo Takizawa
Miwatari Daiginjo Genshu Muroka
Tokubetsu Junmai Genshu Zankuro
Motooi no Matsu
Ikioi Masamune
Hokko Masamune
Hokko Masamune Junmai Daiginjo
Hokko Masamune Tokubetsu Junmai
Hokko Masamune Junmai Ginjo Yukiakari
Daiginjo Masumi Sanka
Junmai Masumi
Junmai Kurosawa
Nigori Kurosawa

All items are sourced from Nagano Prefecture

The following day, Japan Society and the Nagano Prefectural Government will present two workshops featuring two traditional items from the prefecture, mizuhiki and shichimi.


Mizuhiki: Japanese Embellishment Cords

Thursday, November 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets: $47/$42 members, seniors, and students

Stiff, yet flexible, mizuhiki is a strong cord derived from washi paper. Traditionally used in Japan to decorate gifts, this art form is now finding new life in a variety of ways.

©Nagano Prefectural Government

While still used as embellishments for gifts, mizuhiki is becoming a popular way to accessorize just about anything! These durable cords can be twisted into beautiful knots that will add a traditional element to gifts, phone cases, or even hair.

Iida, located in Nagano Prefecture, has long been a source of mizuhiki cords for all of Japan. At this workshop, an instructor from Kinoshita Mizuhiki in Iida will explore the history of this special cord, demonstrating all the fun, interesting ways to use mizuhiki.

All materials included.


Shichimi Making: Spice of Japan

Thursday, November 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $47/$42 members, seniors, and students

Spicy, earthy, and a little sweet, shichimi togarashi is a common spice mixture that will add flavor to a wide variety of dishes.

©Nagano Prefectural Government

This versatile seasoning gained popularity in the Edo period for its medicinal properties, but it quickly became a staple in Japanese cuisine. Though found all over Japan, shichimi’s flavor profile varies from region to region.

At this workshop, expert Yuki Muroga from spice shop Yawataya Isogoro in Nagano will explain the history, preparation, and variety of shichimi, and participants will measure and mix their own unique shichimi blend using authentic and high quality ingredients.

All materials included.

Get to Know Japan Series: Nagano is part of Japan Society’s yearlong, institution-wide Passing the Torch series, which shines a spotlight on Tokyo, host of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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