The Official Tourism Site of Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan

My Time in Matsumoto (Guest's Blog)

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70 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!


69 2017/12/9 Accommodation Receommendations
Dear Matsumoto Tourim,

We are seeking your advice on a ryokan for our stay for two nights from 10 April 2018. Would like somewhere outside of the main centre but within 20 minutes bus ride. We like luxury.

Note of webmaster: Hi Richard,

We recommend ryokan in the following two areas↓

Asama Hot Springs Area (about 20 min by bus from Matsumoto Station/Matsumoto Bus Terminal
Kai is the most luxurious of the ryokan, but we recommend the following ryokan, which are slightly less luxurious, but still very impressive accommodations:
Tamanoyu Ryokan:
Hotel Koyanagi:
Hotel Omoto
Other ryokans in the area include:

Utsukushigahara Hot Springs Area (about 20 min by bus from Matsumoto Bus Terminal More convenient bus access, but less ryokan than the Asama Hot Springs Area)
Hotel Shoho: A ryokan-type hotel with a free shuttle service from JR Matsumoto Station
Other ryokans in the area include:

Have a nice stay!
- Paige

68 2017/12/7 Takayama - Komikochi - Matsumoto
Hello you have such a great info on the region.

We will be travelling from Takayama to Matsumoto on 10April 2018. I wonder if Kamikochi is open for visitors then.
Do you think we need to book the bus for this journey? April is a cherry blossom time so is a peak tourist time. We also like to visit Kiso valley - Nara and perhaps Tsumago- Magome if you think we can get accommodation without booking? Your advice will much appreciated.

Note of webmaster: Hi Stell,

Kamikochi opens mid-April, so the park will not be open for regular visits when you come on the 10th. If you would really like to visit the park, you can enter Kamikochi on foot preferably by reserving a tour with a private guide or travel agency.

Tickets cannot be reserved for the Takayama-Matsumoto Route (not so crowded). Seats are available on a first-come first-serve basis (standing not allowed). The buses are operated jointly by Nohi and Alpico

Since April can be a busy time and smaller lodgings need time to prepare for guests, we recommend booking an accommodation in advance.
Tsumago Accommodations:
Magome also has a few minshuku (guest houses).
There is a luggage transport service between the two areas.

More information about the Kiso Valley and Nakasendo Road is available here:

Have a nice trip!

67 2017/10/29 Matsumoto to MMJ Airport
Hi there,
Trying to figure out which way is better to get from Hakuba to Sapporo.
1) Kamishiro to MMJ Airport or
2) Nagano to Haneda Airport (will have JR pass)

How do you get from Matsumoto station to MMJ Airport? If by bus, is there a timetable? Trying to work out if we'll make the one flight in time!


Note of webmaster: Hi Wei-san,

> 1) Kamishiro to MMJ Airport or
is faster but only one flight per day
> 2) Nagano to Haneda Airport (will have JR pass)
is much cheaper and more flights by some airlines.

The bus info including timetable to MMJ Airport is
here and it departs to match the flight time.

Enjoy Hakuba and Hokkaido,

- Andy

66 2017/8/28 Utsukushigahara Onsen Line
I wonder if you could please help me. I'd like to book accommodation at Utsukushigahara Onsen; however, i can't seem to find any bus timetable from Matsumoto station to Utsukushigahara Onsen. I will arrive in Matsumoto quite late, approx 6 pm. Will there still be bus running to Utsukushigahara Onsen that late? Thank you so much in advance :)

Note of webmaster: Hi there,

Yes, there is a bus from the station to Utsukushigahara Onsen! It runs until 9:45 pm on weekdays and 8:45 pm on weekends/holidays, and there are about 2 buses every hour. The bus leaves from the Matsumoto Bus Terminal across from the train station (it's attached to the Ario shopping center. Google Map). The bus number is 31 and it leaves from platform 3 inside the Bus Terminal. Fare is 340 yen to go to Utsukushigahara Onsen.

Have a good trip!
- Felice

65 2017/6/15 English Speaking Guide required in Matsumoto
Yuri Cherniavsky 
I need an Engligh speaking guide for a half a day tour in Matsumoto on 11 November 2017 for 8 people. Pick up from railway station between 8.30-9.00 AM. Could you please put me in contact with a reputable LOCAL guide

Note of webmaster: Hello,
A female professional and reputable English guide living in Matsumoto, Rico can do. I will tell your e-mail address to her, so please read her e-mail and negotiate.
- Andy

64 2017/5/29 Transport to Utsukushi ga hara open air museum
Hello. I'm going to be in Matsumoto 25th-28th June and would like to visit the Utsukushi ga hara open air museum. It appears there is a bus that runs there but only in August? Can anyone let me know if I can get there on public transport in June, or do I need to hire a car?

Note of webmaster: Hi. The bus to the Open Air Museum operates only in August. But, there is another bus to Utsukushigahara Nature Preservation Center (you have to walk 100 min to the Open Air Museum, but it might be a good hike on the highlands) which starts operation from June 17. It operates only weekend until July 17 so you can ride 27th June (28th is Tour de Utsukushigahara cycling race, so the bus operates only in the afternoon).
It departs Matsumoto Sta West (Alps) Exit 8:15 and arrive at Utsukushigahara 9:30. For return, it departs Utsukushigahara 16:30 and arrive at Matsumoto Sta 17:45.
I hope 27th June will be fine and have a wonderful hike and art viewing.
- Andy

63 2017/2/3 accommodation in Matsumoto
Hi I am going to Matsumoto with my 80 years old mum. We want to stay 2-3 days in onsen and 2-3 days in Matsumoto city.
Please recommend area/place where can do slow strolls (flat), good view onsen accommodation (Asama or Utsukushigohara) and reasonable hotel in Matsumoto (with rotenburo if possible, something like Dormy Inn)

Note of webmaster: Hi, Igor-san
If your mother is inrested in Japanese traditional old house shopping street, Nakamachi and Nawate in Matsumoto and Narai-juku (old post town) in Shiojiri in Kiso Valley are flat old streets good for strolling.
Most ryokans in Asama or Utsukushigohara Onsen provide good view. Especially, Kikyotei Yumotoya in Asama has a private big hot spring bathroom with excellent view of Japan Alps in the 6th floor.
I think Dormy Inn is the only reasonable hotel with rotenburo in Matsumoto downtown. If you don't insist on rotenburo, please look for other hotels in the list of our accommodation page.
- Andy

62 2016/12/30 Contact details in Matsumoto
Tony Jarrett 
Hello, first of all I am not concerned if you don't post this public ally as there are really a series of questions I hope you can assist me with.

I have visited Matsumoto 3 times in my 8 visits to Japan. I have written a few posts on my blog about Matsumoto, with many more still to be finalised. See "tonyj2japan"

The volunteer guides at Matsumoto Castle were my first experience with this fantastic way of connecting up with passionate local people. I have used volunteer guides in 12 places now in Japan. Which leads into my questions.

Can you find me the address of Matsumoto Fire Station 21 please, that covers the Uchida and Kotobukidai areas.

Also, I am trying to make contact again with Yuri Kashiwazawa from the Matsumoto City Government - then in the International Relations Section - if he still works for the City.

I appreciate your help. Great site by the way, which I have trawled for previous visits.



Note of webmaster: Dear Mr. Tony Jarrett
I briefly read your blog post about your great and interesting international exchange with local Matsumoto Fire Station people.

The mail (not e-mail) address of the Station #21 seems to be
2203-1 Uchida, Matsumoto City, Nagano 399-0023 Japan
The Japanese title of the station is,
Matsumoto-shi Shobodan Dai 21 Bundan (in Matsumoto City Uchida Office)

I asked the City Office about Yuri Kashiwazawa, but we are now in the New Years' holidays as you may know, so pls wait until early Jan. I will e-mail you when I got an answer from the City Office because it might contact a private contact info.

I will you have a happy new year,
- Andy

61 2016/12/22 Can I do Kamikochi & Norikura in one day (from Matsumoto return)
Hi there. Your website is a fantastic help for travelers, so thank you . I will be in Matsumoto in June 2017 and I am wondering if it would be possible for me to do the following in one day: Matsumoto to Kamikochi (early bus at 5.30am). Then from Kamikochi to Norikura (via Hirayu Onsen & Norikura Skyline) leaving about midday. Then from Norikura back to Matsumoto. Is this too much for one day? I can't seem to find information on how long the bus takes between Norikura & Matsumoto.
Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Note of webmaster: Uum.. if you like a busy trip by which you go around many places like our Japanese travelers, it is possible.
For example, leave Kamikochi at 11:00 (see this time table of 2016) and transfer at Hirayu Onsen and leave there at 11:40 and arrive at Mt. Norikura at 12:40 (time table B of this page). Leave their at 15:05 and transfer at Kanko Center (TIC) (time table). Leave there at 16:13 and arrive at Matsumoto Station at 17:52 (the 4th time table of this page).
Good luck,
- Andy

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