In the western center of Honshu Island, approximately 140 miles to the west of Tokyo, Nagano sits amid mountains and on the confluence of the sizable Chikuma and Sai rivers. Prior to playing host to the 1998 Winter Olympics, it was most famous for the large, ancient temple, the Zenko-ji, that overlooks it and dates to the 7th century. Today, Nagano event venues include the main stadium for those Winter games; it has 30,000 seats and today hosts baseball and concerts.
The main airport for the city is Matsumoto Airport (MMJ). This is in Nagano Prefecture but 50 miles to the south. Matsumoto Airport is home to only domestic Fuji Dream Airlines, which does not fly to Tokyo. The city is well served by trains.
Chief among convention venues in Nagano, Olympic Memorial Arena, also known as the M-Wave, has stunning architecture and space for events of up to 20,000 persons. It also has three more manageable meeting rooms, the largest able to host 120 persons, as well as the Nagano Olympics Exhibition Corner gallery space.
Hotel venues in Nagano able to support groups and meetings include the 242-room JAL City Nagano, which has four meeting rooms, the largest able to host up to 100 persons; the 235-room Metropolitan Nagano, which has 10 meeting rooms and the Asama Hall for up to 1,000 persons; the 90-room Mielparque Nagano, which has eight meeting rooms and the Meilparque and Hakahou halls for 712 and 800 persons, respectively; and the 89-room Saihokukan Hotel, which has six meeting rooms, a small ballroom for 400 persons, and the Grand Ballroom for 900. In the mountains is the 345-room Shinshu-Matsushiro Royal Hotel, which has one meeting room, the Grand Hall for 330 persons, and the Royal Hall for 1,000.
There are some very interesting function spaces in Nagano. Chose between the Hokuto Cultural Hall, which is also known as the Nagano Prefectural Culture Hall and has five meeting rooms, a small hall for 300 persons, a medium one for 1,070, and a large one for 2,173; Nagano Lifelong Study Center, which was opened in 2006 and has nine rooms for functions, one of which is Japanese in style; Matsushiro Municipal Hall, which is in the Nagano suburb of Matsushiro, deep in the mountains and with a theater for 330 persons; Riverfront Square Terrace Glanz, which has a country feel, three rooms, the largest able to host 80 persons and the Juju Hall for 350; and Wakasato Multipurpose Sports Arena, colloquially called the Big Hat, which contains seven meeting rooms and a 7,000-seat arena.
Restaurants able to look after your group include the Fujiya Gohonjin, an international-Japanese restaurant in a stately brick building dating to 1925 that has five private spaces, the largest able to seat 155 persons; Sakura, inside the grounds of the Zenko-ji temple, and which has four indoor spaces, the largest able to seat 92 persons, and a courtyard garden for 150; spare but stylish, Japanese-menu Asama at the 138-room Chisun Grand Nagano; Uzuraya, which is celebrated and in a hotel in Chikuma, approximately 12 miles to the south; and Chanko Ryori Tamaya, which has sumo wrestling paraphernalia on the walls, tatami mats on the floor, and great food on short-legged tables.