Central Nagano developed historically as a temple town surrounding the Zenkoji Temple.The Zenkoji Temple is believed to have been built about 1,400 years ago, and people with power inthe olden days had great faith in it. The Edo period saw a rapid increase in the number of ordinarypeople who made a pilgrimage to the temple from all over the country. The daimyo procession of theKaga domain travelled between Kanazawa and Edo on routes maintained for a pilgrimage to the temple. Amida Nyorai, the main devotional object at the Zenkoji Temple, was brought from the continentsalong with the arrival of Buddhism and is said to be the oldest Buddhist statue in Japan. However, no one actually has seen the figure of the “absolute secret Buddha.” People have felt Nyorai, who isinvisible to the human eye, and deeply offered a prayer. The Zenkoji Temple, which conveys thehistory and the mind of a prayer, attracts some six million visitors each year. If you extend your trip to outside the central city, you will have access to a variety of Nagano’sappealing sightseeing resources, including rich nature, historical sites, hot springs, and skiresorts.