The Official Tourism Site of Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
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My Time in Matsumoto (Guest's Blog)

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643 2018/6/22 Daio Wasabi Farm visit in October
Geert van den Doel 

We plan to visit the Matsumoto area last week of October. Is this still a good time to visit the Daio Wasabi Farm? I read at some places 'April to late October' so I am afraid that late October you have the chance that there is not much to see.

Thank you!

Best regards,


Note of webmaster: Hi,
It opens even in winter (closes 16:30 from November, 17:20 until October) and it is a good place to visit all year round (though spring is best). In October, maybe you can enjoy beautiful colored leaves (see from 7:15 of
- Andy

642 2018/3/22 Visiting Matsumoto in March.
Charles Taylor 
Hello there!
I’m visiting the beautiful region of Nagano very soon and plan to do some exploring in Matsumoto, after checking the website of Kamikochi I’ve noticed they will officially be closed until April. Can you give me any information regarding what routes we can take while the park is closed so we can still get some hiking done in the off season. Are we still able to visit certain areas during the “winter” season in late March?
Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks

Note of webmaster: Hi Charles,

Even at the end of March, conditions in Kamikochi are still those of winter. Since buses do not run to Kamikochi until April 17 (and cars are not allowed into the park) you will most likely need to snowshoe to get to the park. No facilities at the park are open, and you would be entering at your own risk. We strongly recommend that you have hiking/snow shoeing experience in winter conditions or plan to visit with a guide. Experienced guides can be found here and may be able to guide you even in the winter: Or you may be able to find a guided tour through a travel agent.

We recommend snowshoeing in places like Norikura, where companies offer snowshoe rentals/guided snowshoe tours. You can find more information here:

Enjoy the mountains!


641 2018/3/5 Kamikochi and Hoppo
My plan in Japan is around 4-13 April'18. I've seen Kamikochi in many websites and it is very interesting. Unfortunately, I found that it was close and it will open on 17 April'18 referring from

I'm not sure that there is a way to go in my vacation. It's really good to see...

Anyway, if I miss Kamikochi could you please recommend the place where is similar to this place. I'm interested in natural trip.

I've heard about Hoppo pond trip. Could you please inform about this program.

Thank you very much in advanced.

Note of webmaster: Hello Ippo,

Unfortunately, since the mountain is still closed, the only way to see Kamikochi would probably be a guided tour. Winter weather conditions remain so it is still cold on the mountain, and there is snow is on the trails.
If you would like to see a view of the Japan Alps up close, you could try the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway.

The Daio Wasabi Farm, although not in the mountains, offers a nice area for a stroll and great views of the Japan Alps up close.

As for Hoppo Pond, it is accessible by gondola and ski lifts, but requires hiking. Like with Kamikochi, snow remains even in April, so the only way to access it may be by snowshoe. More information is available here:

If you are interested in a snowshoe tour, some are available in the Norikura Highlands. Please see our Winter Activities page for more information.

Hope you are able to enjoy the outdoors!

- Paige

640 2018/3/1 Luggage and Baggage Storage

Are there any known areas that handle luggage or baggage storage for the day? My luggage is about 100L in size, so I'm afraid it will not fit in the coin lockers at Matsumoto Station. I am planning to spend 2 hours in Matsumoto and leave directly to Haneda Airport for a flight.

Thank you very much in advanced.

Note of webmaster: Hi Marie,

The large-size coin lockers (see this size list and map of locations) should be able to accommodate even 100L suitcases, but in the event that they cannot/are full, the only place nearby that does storage is at the shop at Matsumoto Castle.
Please note that you will need to pay to enter the inner garden, so if you don't have plans to view the castle, this might not be the best option.
A taxi will cost you less than ¥1,000 to get there. Or you can take the town sneaker which runs every 20-30 minutes and will cost ¥200. If you plan on making any other stops, I recommend the Town Sneaker 1-Day Ticket, which costs ¥500, but also offers discounts to the castle and other sightseeing attractions.

Hope you have a chance to visit us again!


639 2018/2/20 Winter Wonderland: Snowshoeing in Kamikochi
Dear Team,
thanks for all the information provided on this website.
I'm very keen on going for a snowshoeing hike in Kamikochi this February/March after I read the blog article on this page.

How can I get there best? I'd like to do it individually rather than joining a group or a guided tour but can't find proper information.

Thanks a lot in advance!

Note of webmaster: Hallo Teresa,

We would highly recommend using a tour to hike in Kamikochi during the winter because all facilities, including emergency facilities, are closed until April. It can be dangerous if you do not know there area well (there can be small avalanches and there are no well-kept trails).

The best place to schedule a tour would probably be Little Peaks located in Norikura Highlands. They offer a one-day tour for 9,000 yen, or two-day tours where you spend the night in Kamikochi for 23,000 (camping) to 31,000 yen (stay at an inn). Unfortunately, their site is only in Japanese, but you can also try to contact them via email ( or phone (0263-93-1243). I believe that the staff can at least speak some English, but we can try to help if necessary.

If you insist on doing the hike without a guide, you will need to drive yourself/take a taxi to the Sawando parking area near the Kama Tunnel, and then take a taxi from there to the Kama Tunnel which is the entrance to the road that leads to Kamikochi. There is some information on this blog post, but I cannot find more detailed info else where:

You will want to make sure you are thoroughly prepared for winter weather, have a map and supplies, and make sure you inform your hotel or someone that you are going on the hike, in case anything happens. And make sure you don't go alone :)

Sorry I can't give you specific details, but let me know if you have any other questions!

- Felice

638 2018/2/13 Shinhotaka ropeway
I plan to Shinhotaka next Thrusday from Matsumoto. Is it possible to go there on that day because I heard it’s too much snow this year?

Note of webmaster: Hello Kwan,

Next Thursday (2/22) should be okay. However, this may change if there is large snowfall. Please check their website (machine translation) before you go:
If you are driving, please be sure that your vehicle has proper winter tires. The roads may be snowy and/or icy.

Safe travels!


637 2018/2/13 Return bus from Kamikochi to Matsumoto

I've read that when travelling on a return ticket from Matsumoto to Kamikochi, you need to collect a numbered ticket for the return bus from Kamikochi. How quickly do the tickets disappear for the buses leaving Kamikochi between 3-5pm on a weekday in July? I'd like to get off the bus and start hiking from Taisho-ike, but am worried that reaching the Bus Center around mid-morning will make me too late to get a ticket for my preferred return bus.

Thank you!

Note of webmaster: Greetings Michelle,

Weekdays in July, especially those before the 20th, are not in peak season, so ideally you should be able to get a seat on one of the buses that depart between 3 and 5 p.m. You cannot reserve seats on the Kamikochi-Matsumoto bus line, so even if you get a ticket early, you will need to be physically present to secure a seat on the bus. While there are only a few buses that run direct from Kamikochi to Matsumoto (Station/Bus Terminal) there are a number of buses that run from Kamikochi to Shin-Shimashima from which you can take a Kamikochi Line train to Matsumoto Station. You can purchase round trip tickets that are valid on both the bus and train lines. See ALPICO's site for more details

Enjoy the park!


636 2018/2/9 cliff
Plan to be in Matsumoto April 16-18. Will the cherry blossoms be in bloom? Considering a day trip to Takato castle park. Is this possible by train? Will cherry blossoms be in bloom there? Thanks

Note of webmaster: Hi Cliff,

Although it varies by year, the cherry blossom schedule for Takato Park is usually as follows (give or take a few days):
Begin blooming: around Apr 5
Full bloom: around Apr 10-23
Finished: around 4/29
As for the park hours, they are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Apr 1-30. The trees will be lit up at sunset starting Apr 6. When the cherry blossoms are at their peak, the park will be open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Note: Last entrance is 21:30.
You can access the park via a combination of train and bus. From Matsumoto Station you will take the JR Chuo Line or the Super Express Azusa to Okaya Station. Transfer at Okaya Station to the JR Iida Line and get off at Inashi Station. Take a bus to the Takato Eki stop then walk about 15 minutes to the park. The buses depart about every 20 minutes.
Admission to the park is 500 (250 for elementary and middle school students) during the festival.

Cherries in Nagano near Matsumoto are forecasted as,
Begin blooming: around Apr 12, 2018
Full bloom: around Apr 17-23

Happy Hanami!


635 2018/2/8 Visit Matsumoto and Kamikochi?

My friend and I are visiting Matsumoto from April 23th till April 27th. We'd love to do a dayhike in Kamikochi. We read on the site that Kamikochi will open on the 27th of April. But we also read that buses allready drive to Kamikochi from the 17th of April. Is it possible to visit Kamikochi by bus in the days before the 27th of April for a dayhike?

And if that's not an opportunity. Are there more hikes you can recommend in the area of Matsumoto?

Thanks in advance!

Kind regards,

Note of webmaster: Hello Elisa!

The 27th is a festival celebrating the opening of the mountain for the season, so many people visit from that day, but the mountain will be accessible by bus from the 17th. You and your friend can visit Kamikochi and hike before the 27th. There will still be some snow on the trails (due to the weather and altitude), so just be sure to have proper footwear.

Safe hiking!


634 2018/2/6 Driving around Matsumoto - April 9-12 2018
Winter Visitor 
Hi everyone. Great website.

We're thinking about spending a few days in the Matsumoto area in the second week of April 2018. My question is about what it would be like hiring a car and driving to some of the onsens in and around the mountains close to Matsumoto (for example, Shirahone).

From looking at weather reports from previous years, I know that there's a chance that it could be very cold, but I don't know what to expect the roads to be like. Will they have ice and snow? Will it be pleasant to drive at this time of year, or would people try to avoid it?
Thanks for any help you can give...

Note of webmaster: Greetings Winter Visitor!

They will be taking care of snow removal on the major roads so the onsen areas should be accessible. Please be aware that some areas will still have snow and it may snow even in the second week of April. If you do not have any experience driving on icy roads, we don't recommend that you drive. If you do rent a car, however, rest assured that they will come with the necessary winter tires. Our website lists car rental companies in the area, most of which have English websites:
Onsens with day-trip bathing like Shirahone, Norikura Kogen (Highlands), and Asama are accessible by bus. Bus timetables may change in April (start of the new fiscal year) so be sure to double check the times if you would like to take the bus.
The bus timetable for Norikura Kogen and Shirahone is here:
Asama Onsen bus timetable:

Hope this helps. Enjoy the onsen!


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