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My Time in Matsumoto (Guest's Blog)

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37 2011/11/6 Can I drive from Matsumoto to Toyama through the Mountains
milton 
AUSTRALIA
Hi, I am coming to matsumoto in December and I am bring a car to drive to Toyama. Is it possible to drive through the mountains, on the Nomigi Highway? On google maps it looks ok, but not too sure


Note of webmaster: Hi there Carmi

Yep you can...short answer.
The normal way would be through Hakuba (not Nomugi) but you can go through the Nomugi pass(toge) too.

Long answer below....Google instructions if you can bear reading Japanese road signs.
I suggest you print a Google map of the area with roads on it and if you get lost along the way ask a local showing them the map...Koko wa Doko?(Where is this place?) Then if you really want to ...say "Toyama ni ikitai. ( I want to go to Toyama ) koko kara doko ikuno wa iidesuka? (From here ...where do I go?). Make sure they can see you are reading this and are not Japanese capable (unless you are and then you won't need this) or they will answer in words rather than by pointing in a direction or at the map.
TO pronounce the Japanese above correctly..
A = are as a sound
E = ear as a sound
I= E as in Bee
O = or as a sound
and
U = as in u in blue.

Google directions below
To get a map paste the following in Google maps and click "Get Directions"

from:日本長野県松本市 to:野麦峠 to:日本富山県富山市

Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture Japan1. Head south 377 ft
2. Turn right 0.1 mi
3. Turn left at 松本城(交差点) 0.2 mi
4. Turn right toward 国道143号線 0.1 mi
5. Turn right at 中央二丁目(交差点) toward 国道143号線 0.3 mi
6. Continue straight through 中央一丁目(交差点) onto 国道143号線 0.5 mi
7. At 渚1丁目(交差点), continue onto 野麦街道/国道158号線 Continue to follow 国道158号線 12.7 mi
8. Turn right onto 野麦街道/国道158号線 3.4 mi
9. Turn right to stay on 野麦街道/国道158号線 0.4 mi
10. Turn left onto 野麦街道/県道26号線 7.0 mi
11. Turn left onto 県道26号線 0.6 mi
12. Turn right to stay on 県道26号線 1.0 mi
13. Turn left 0.3 mi
14. Turn right 0.7 mi
15. Turn left Destination will be on the right 0.7 mi
野麦峠スキー場 1173−13 Nagawa Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture 390-1611, Japan16. Head west 0.7 mi
17. Turn right 0.7 mi
18. Turn left toward 県道26号線 0.3 mi
19. Turn right onto 県道26号線 1.0 mi
20. Turn left to stay on 県道26号線 0.6 mi
21. Turn right onto 野麦街道/県道26号線 7.0 mi
22. Turn left onto 国道158号線 9.4 mi
23. Turn left to stay on 国道158号線 0.3 mi
24. Take the ramp onto 安房峠道路 Toll road 3.4 mi
25. Take the ramp to 国道471号線 Toll road 0.1 mi
26. Turn right at 平湯I.C口(交差点) onto 国道471号線 (signs for 富山・新穂高) 6.1 mi
27. Turn left at 栃尾(交差点) to stay on 国道471号線 15.8 mi
28. Turn right at 船津北(交差点) onto 越中東街道/国道41号線 Continue to follow 国道41号線 17.1 mi
29. Turn left at 楡原(交差点) onto 越中東街道/国道41号線 9.6 mi
30. Slight right at 掛尾町(交差点) to stay on 越中東街道/国道41号線 2.0 mi
31. Turn right at 県民会館前(交差点) 0.1 mi
32. Turn left 285 ft
Toyama, Toyama Prefecture Japan

Additional comment:
The upper route is, going through route 158 and then turn to Nomugi Pass Ski resort (by number 10.-15.) and back to route 158 (by number 17.-20.) (I think you cannot cross Nomugi Pass to Gifu Prefecture in winter). If you don't need to go to Nomugi Pass Ski resort, go through route 158 directly. The road is a bus route and you can drive even in winter unless it is heavy snow. Please use winter snow/studless tires and carry snow chain.
- Andy



36 2011/7/4 Some questions about Matsumoto
Sonya 
AUSTRALIA
Thank you so much for your blog. We've had two great days in Matsumoto and could easily have stayed longer. I especially recommend this city for people with kids. My partner, Matt, is writing an article on Matsumoto (may or may not end up being published) and had a few questions: 1. Does anyone know the story of Okada-San from the bike shop ( Okada Cycling Museum) in Takasago-cho ( our Japanese wasn't up to the explanation)? 2. Does anyone know more about two of the early 20C artists featured in the permanent collection at the Art Museum - Kishoyshi Tateishi and Hakute Ishii? We will be encouraging all our friends to visit Matsumoto. Thanks again, Sonya


Note of webmaster: Sonya,
Umm.. You and your partner may know some aspects of Matsumoto more than us!
I know Okada bike shop (a page about it in our Japanese site is here) but I don't know his story. I don't know either of Kishoyshi Tateishi (if he is a master carpenter of Kaichi school, his first name seems to be Seiju) and Hakute (should be Hakutei) Ishii.
If your husband has specific questions about them, e-mail from this page. I can interview Okada-san and/or staff of the Museum.
We will appreciate your article and encouragement to your friends very much!
- Andy



35 2011/6/9 Thank you Matsumoto
Sukotto 
AUSTRALIA
To the wonderful people of Matsumoto, who for the second year in a row, have taken me in and made my stay in Japan so very special.

To all the people who took the time to chat to the Shiroi Gaijin during the matsuri Ofune, thanks you a million times You have helped turn my holiday into a real experience I will never forget!

See you all again next year

Once again...
Domo arigato gozaimashita

Sukotto M

Scott Minns
Sydney Australia


Note of webmaster: Thank you, Scott! Very happy to hear that.

I like 'Sukotto'!

BTW, tourism promotion of Matsumoto on G'Day Japan in Australia will be started very soon. Please check it out!

http://gdayjapan.com.au/

You see now test page which shows 'Matsumoto Welcomes you!' website, but will be changed shortly. Also free magazine will be published.

Thanks,

Teddy Yamaishi



34 2011/5/14 Car hire continued
Sonya 
AUSTRALIA
Thank you Andy, I should have been a bit clearer. We wouldn't use a car to get around in Matsumoto but were thinking of hiring one to go to Takayama (dropping off in Takayama, which I think costs extra) via Norikura Kogen to make it a bit more flexible than the bus (especially as there are 4 of us with luggage). Does this sound like a good idea? Sonya


Note of webmaster: Sonya,
Yes, I think car hire is flexible and maybe cheap for 4 people. The road to Norikura and Takayama is pretty narrow (generally Japanese roads except for freeways are narrrow) and winding so it requires some technique of driving mountain roads.
Hiring car from Matsumoto (when you leave Matsumoto downtown) to Takayama 48 hours seems to cost 15,000 - 30,000 yen depending on the size of the car. If you can spend 6,000 - 12,000 yen more, you can hire when you get to Matsumoto and you can drive to Seifu-so and downtown.
- Andy



33 2011/5/12 Accommodation, car hire advice
Sonya 
AUSTRALIA
Thanks for the really useful site. We are a family of 2 kids and 2 adults and want to either stay in Matsumoto 2 nights in July, or spend a night in Matsumoto and a night in Norikura Kogen area en route to Takayama. We were thinking of staying at Ryokan Seifu-so but I was wondering if it is too far from the centre if we're there just one night? I read the car hire section on your site, any further suggestions?


Note of webmaster: Sonya,
How about riding free bikes hire instead of car? Seihu-so has such service (I am not sure they have four avaliable bikes) and some other places in Matsumoto lend free bikes. You don't need look for parking lots (and eco-friendly) if you ride bikes.
Otherwise, rent a car or ride a public bus. If you walk, I guess it takes about 40 mins from Seifu-so to Matsumoto Castle.
- Andy



32 2011/3/17 Hosting Student
Emma 
AUSTRALIA
We are currently hosting a student from Matsumoto Agatagaoka High School and are worried about what she will be coming home to next week, we wish she could stay a little longer until we are sure that it is safe for her to return.


Note of webmaster: Emma,
I understand your concern and difficult choices. See this blog article about the current (March 18th) situation. Matsumoto is about 300km far from Fukushima. The officially reported radiation level in Nagano is almost twice as much as the normal level, but it still doesn't affect health (I think smoking and air pollution are much worse for health.) and it have NOT increased day by day.
People here is not worrying so much (some foreign media like CNN exaggerate to attract viewers).
Only concern is a big explosion of the core of the reactors or used fuel pool. Electricity of the reactors will revive today and I hope it can cool down them within a few days.
I recommend that you make decision a few days later.
- Andy



31 2011/3/14 Thank You
Andrew 
AUSTRALIA
Thanks Andy, I know very well what you mean as we have our share of natural disasters in Queensland this year. I can come bar the nuclear reactor melt down. It's not covered by my travel insurance!Looking forward to visit your city. Thanks again.


Note of webmaster: Andrew, I have been to Queensland and Christchurch and feel very sorry for flood and quake this year.
See my response to Emma above and this blog for the current situation of radiation and reactors.
- Andy



30 2011/3/13 Earthquake update
Andrew 
AUSTRALIA
I just hope everyone safe and sound at Matsumoto from the earthquake. We are going to stay overnight on 2nd April. I hope it is OK for us to travel. Please advice. And good luck to Japan and it's people.


Note of webmaster: Hi Andrew,
Thank you for your message.
Matsumoto is safe and sound even now. I think and I hope there will be no big problem for tourists even in other areas you will visit by April 2nd.
I understand your anxiety, but if it is safe, visiting Japan will help the recovery of Japan, especially for tourist industry.
- Andy



29 2011/3/1 Ms
Marion 
AUSTRALIA
Hello,
I am looking forward to spending a couple of days (2nights/3 days) in the Matsumoto/Takayama area on my way to Kanazawa from Tokyo.
Ideally my sister-in-law,(with whom I am travelling)& I would like to stay in an onsen ryokan in a natural setting. Since Asama appears to be more suburban, I am therefore wondering if you can recommend any smaller,traditional ryokans between Matsumoto &/or near Takayama.
Since I am looking at the 12th/13th or 14th/15th April I discover that this coincidentally falls at the time of the big festival in Takayama& we may have difficulty. It was not my intention to be attending a festival of thousands of people!
Any suggestions will be appreciated.


Note of webmaster: Hi Marion,
I guess you will transport from Takayama to Matsumoto by express bus.
You can stop at Sawando Bus Stop and there is a very popular ryokan Shiorie. It is a little expensive (18,000- per person by two people, with dinner and breakfast) but you can experience really nice traditional ryokan.
Nakanoyu Onsen Ryokan near Nakanoyu Bus Stop is cheaper but less traditional.
There are also some ryokans near Hirayu Onsen Bus Stop.
If you can transfer buses or transport by car, Shirahone Onsen is popular onsen. For example, Sasaya is not so big and budget ryokan.

Takayama Festival is, yes, crowded, but very popular especially for western travellers. Mid-April might be best season for cherry blossoms in Takayama and Matsumoto.
- Andy



28 2010/9/13 visiting kamikochi, norikura etc
cath 
AUSTRALIA
We will come Matsumoto, stay a couple of nigths and then travel and travel to Takayama. Can I buy a Nohi or Alpico bus pass that will last a couple of days and cover the routes I need?

We would like to visit Kamikochi, Norikura onsen, Shirahone onsen and Shin Hodaka onsen and ropeway on the way.

We could stay one or two nights traveling between Matsumoto and Takayama.

Can you recommend an itinerary? Where do you recommend we stay? There is a place called Alpine Inn in Norikura that looks peaceful but i'm not sure if it is convenient to reach by bus. Maybe we can visit Kamikochi and Shirahone onsen from there? Then I thought maybe we should stay somewhere in Shin Hodaka - but not too expensive :)

We will visit Kiso Valley too - should I stay one night there or two?

Sorry to ask so many questions, it is hard to get this info.


Note of webmaster: Hi, Cath
4 Day Alps Wide Shinshu/Hida Free Passport“, Y10,000, sold at Matsumoto Bus Terminal, Shin-Shimashima Station and some other places, perfectly matches your trip.
Norikura onsen is good to stay because you can enjoy beautiful fall foliage around October 3rd in the high area of Mt. Norikura and room rates are cheaper than Kamikochi and Shirahone. Alpine Inn's host speaks English and it takes 5 minutes from bus stop "Naranoki".
As for buses, could you look at the English timetables in detail and plan your schedule by yourselves? (Sorry we are volunteers operating this site and not a travel agency).
I think you need two nights or more to see around Kamikochi, Norikura, Shirahone and Shin Hodaka and the ropeway. Kiso Valley is also an attractive place and you need one or more nights to go there, too.
The fire festival at Asama Onsen starts at 7pm. See our event page.
October is perfect a season to visit Norikura, Kamikochi, etc. Enjoy your travel!
- Andy



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