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

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12 2017/7/26 From Matsumoto to Takayama
I hope you can help me. We are going to travel with our child in August. He is 1 year old and we would like to find the most direct way to go from Matsumoto to Takayama. Is there any direct bus or train?
On the other hand, do you have any recommendation of a hotel in kamikochi? Thank you in advance for your help!

Note of webmaster: Hi Laura!

Thanks for your message. Yes, there is a direct bus from Matsumoto to Takayama. Here is the bus timetable in English.

As for hotels in Kamikochi, it really depends on your budget and how much "luxury" you're looking for. Here is a list of the hotels in Kamikochi that should give you a good place to start:

A good mid-grade hotel is the which is especially geared toward mountain climbers may also be a good option.

However, you need to be careful traveling in mid-August because it is the Obon summer holiday in Japan, and many places will be full or more expensive than usual.

Enjoy your trip!

- Felice

11 2014/2/1 Takigi noh
Laura Rodriguez 
Hello! I'm thinking of going to your city next august 2014. Which day is Takigi Noh, the 8th or 9th this year? Thank you and see you soon

Note of webmaster: Hi, Laura
This year, it will be held on the 8th as usual year (last year was unusual).
- Andy

10 2012/6/8 How can I reserve a tent in the camp Konashidaire
I would like to stay to nights in the camp, the 24th and the 26th August 2012 (renting a tent) but I don't know how to contact with them. Do they have an email, please????


Note of webmaster: Hi, Cristobal
They have only Japanese mail form and I don't think they understand if you write English sentences. (Before, there was an English reservation page in Japanese governmental website, but we are sorry it closed.)
If you don't read/write Japanese, I will ask them to reserve your tent instead of you. Send your name, time to arrive, place to stay on the previous day, and phone number (if you have in Japan) to One rental FIXED tent costs 7000 JPY for 3-5 people.
- Andy

9 2010/6/5 Toyota rent-a-car with English GPS?
I'm going to Matsumoto on November,6-8, and I'm planning to make a daytrip to the Kiso Valley by car. Would you know if Toyota or any of the rental car companies there offers English GPS system?

Thank you

Note of webmaster: Hi gnsanz,
I asked Mazda and they say he hever heard GPS car navigation system with English maps. Nissan seems to have such system for their cars, but Nissan Car Rental has no English website.
Toyota Car Rental has English website and call desk phone No. for foreigners in the website. Please ask them.
- Andy

You can't really get lost in the Kiso Valley - there's one main road (Route 19 all the way from Matsumoto) and all the side roads are parallel/go nowhere. Stop when you see something interesting. The dealer will probably set the destination for you. If you want to find points of interest, all convenience stores sell map books (cheapo ones fine) - some of them are bilingual with place names.

Not too hard - getting a bit lost all part of the fun :) Jim

8 2009/8/1 THANK YOU!
Hi again!

No more questions this time. I just wanted to thank you for all the info provided. And my congratulations again for your website and blog, it's been of great help when planning our trip.

We're taking the flight to Japan tomorrow... We're really looking forward to it!

Regards from Barcelona


7 2009/7/27 accomodation in Kiso valley
Hi again

Thank you very much for your advice on my question re transport. Based on your comments, we will give it a try and come from Hokkaido in one day. We hope we do not get to the wrong platform in any of our many train connections

I have a new question for you. From Matsumoto we will be moving forward to the Kiso valley. We have booked a night in Magome and would like to sleep on the following day in Tsumago, after hiking between the two villages. We have not been able to find a reasonably cheap minshuku in Tsumago having english website and/or email for contacting them... Can you suggest a place to stay in Tsumago that costs no more than 8000 or 8500 yen per person including 2 meals? Or do you know any tourist office in the area that speaks English and whom we may contact for reservations? Apparently Tsumago and Magome tourist offices do not have English-speaking people and unfortunately we do not speak any Japanese...

Thanks again !

Note of webmaster: Hi There

I was in Tsumago a few weeks back and noticed that they seem to have a policy of no English being displayed or promoted as available...I think it is a village rule to stop one business getting an advantage over the others...
But I did find one Ryokan that is a restaurant during the day called Fuji or something that have a very competeant English speaker on their staff...
I will try to get the details and get back to you.


In Japanese Guest Houses website, you can find some minshukus in Tsumago. The ryokan Milton mentioned above might be "Fujioto". Also, I know Eric Cunningham in Otaki Vil., whose blog is in "Go! Nagano".
- Andy
Hi again It is Fujioto that can handle English.

It is a bit out of your price range though..10500 for adults and 7500 for kids.
I have called the Ryokan and they are able to to speak reasonable English It is a nice looking Ryokan though I haven't stayed.

They said that if you want a cheaper rate you will need a Minshuku.
Here is a Japanese Webpage it lists a lot of local accomodation in Tsumago.
You can click the links by the prices you like to see if one looks interesting.
It is all in Japanese but Prices phone numbers and fax/email are displayed and the Cheap ones are all 民宿 (Minshuku)

I suggest then if you wanted to you fax each one a basic English fax asking if any can manage English. The date and number of people coming etc If you got a reply you will know they are up to the job.

But if you can handle the financial pain I would go for the Fujioto. Their e-mail is......


6 2009/7/25 aks for suggestion
Hi Andy, thank you very much for your advice. Indeed I am very doubtful about where to go around kamikochi. I read about Takama-ga-hara onsen and I was excited for going there, but I am afraid it can take three days to arrive there from kamikochi? and then another 3 to come back? Is it possible to go from somewhere closer? What would you suggest us? We have 2-3 nights to visit the area and we would like to go to some impresive open air onsen... Thanks once more!

Note of webmaster: Hi again, Marta!
I asked one of our project members who has been to Takama-ga-hara onsen. She went there by another route (from Oomachi and go down to Toyama), but, she guess it takes 3 or more days from Kamikochi to Takama-ga-hara. Yumata onsen, another hot spring in a mountain area, is a little close but needs 2 or 3 days. Besides, those routes are for skilled climbers and very risky if you have much experience of 3,000m mountain climbing.
One easier course is climbing Mt. Yakedake from Kamikochi and going down to Nakao Onsen (in camp site), or going down to Nakanoyu Onsen.
If you are skilled climbers, it might good to go to Mt. Yarigatake, then go to Mt. Tyubakuro via Omote Ginza Route and go down to Nakafusa Onsen (I think 3 day course from Kamikochi).
Prepare enough goods for climbing and be careful.
- Andy

5 2009/7/23 travel by train from Hokkaido/bus to Kamikochi
Hi !

First of all, congratulations for your website ! It's the best one we've found on Japan

We plan to travel to Matsumoto from Hokkaido (Asahikawa) by train in one day. According to Japanese train planners that we have found in internet, this can be done in one day but involves changing 5 times of train, with train connections of around 10 to 20 minutes. We do not have experience travelling by train in Japan and would like to know if you think we are crazy trying to do this or if this is feasible. Is it true that Japanese trains are absolutely always on time? Or is there a real risk that we may miss some of our train connections?

We have also a question on buses to Kamikochi. Because this is such a popular place, is it necessary to book in advance the bus from Matsumoto to Kamikochi or can we go directly to the bus station on the day of travel without reservation?

Thank you !

Note of webmaster: It's definitely possible. I've done the same trip in reverse, from Matsumoto to Sapporo in Hokkaido. What you may consider is traveling overnight, so you don't lose precious sightseeing time (and you'll save on hotel).

There is a sleeper train from Sapporo that runs overnight called the "Limited Express Twilight Express." It stops at "Naoetsu" Station, which is one of the closest stations along its route to Matsumoto. From Naoetsu Station, you can take a local train to Nagano City, and from Nagano you can take either a local train or an express train to Nagano (but the difference in time is usually only by 20 to 25 minutes).

To do this though you have to leave Hokkaido (Asahikawa) pretty early in the day. It takes a couple hours I think to get to Sapporo from Asahikawa, and then you need to be on the train from around the early afternoon.

I wouldn't worry about connections, I didn't have a problem with it before (just make sure to set an alarm on the train).


Japanese trains are usually on time, but, sometimes it is delayed by some accident or very heavy rain. In that case, the connected train may be delayed, too. But, another risk is that you can't distinguish the correct platform of next train. Be careful not to go to different platform and get on a wrong train.
The bus from Matsumoto (or Shinshimashima) to Kamikochi seems to be unnecessary to book, but you can get a coupon before ride the day or the day before ride at the bus terminal if you don't want to wait the bus in high season (especially August 8th - 16th).
- Andy

4 2009/7/19 One night in Kamikochi
Thanks for you help Andy,but the other option is very expensive for us... So we will try maybe to stay in the surroundings.Thanks anyway!

Note of webmaster: Umm.. That's too bad. Kamikochi is popular and stay there is expensive. How about staying in hotels or camp sites in Norikura Plateau and go to Kamikochi? For example, some rooms in Alpine Inn Mizushiro, whose owner speaks English, and standing tents in Ichinose Enchi Camping Ground both seem to be available in August 1st.
- Andy

3 2009/7/13 Staying one night at Kamikochi
Thanks so much Andy! The cheapest bungalow (6000Y) would be great. And one of the reasons why it is so popular among foreigners is because they are recommended by the Lonaly Planet Guide. Thanks again!

Note of webmaster: Hi, Marta
I asked Konashidara Kyampu-jo and unfortunately they say all rooms are already booked on August 1st (it is Saturday night in the most crowded summer vacation season) .
I searched another cheap lodge (Kamikochi Nishi-Itoya Mountain Lodge) and found only room of 15750 yen / person is available.
Or, can you stay in a tent you bring or rent and pitch?
- Andy

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