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

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23 2016/12/6 Restaurant

I am planning to visit Matsumoto and wondering if there is any event going on from Feb 4- Feb 12?

Beside, is there any local restaurant that you could recommend. We are looking for REAL local experience? We are looking for one above average expensive restaurant and one cheap but good restaurant

Note of webmaster: Hi,

February is off-season and no event in Matsumoto during 4-12. In Omachi, about one hour by train from Matsumoto, Dream Fireworks and Sound Festival at Omachi Onsenkyo (Hot Springs) and Ameichi Festival at downtown will be held.
As for restaurants, Hikariya East I added to Japanese restaurant directory might be real local experience with Japanese dish menu (lunch / dinner). Sakuraya (Eel) is a little cheaper but good for Japanese food experience.
Cheap but good one might be in izakaya and yakitori pubs in the directory. Irori Kaisen Ninnikuya is good and has English menu. Motojiya Robata Shoya is another option. Banrai is popular among local Japanese. [Andy]

22 2016/4/8 Mr
Thanks Andy for your prompt reply. It is greatly appreciated.

Even though we go hiking hills in Hong Kong every week, we have zero experience in winter mountaineering, especially there is snow and ice along the trail.

We might visit Kamikochi in early September instead to cater for better condition in hiking, latest early October.

For the mountain lodges (yamagoya) you mentioned what kind of facilities they can provide? For example, bed, quilt, food, water, etc. Are they difficult to book in September?

Your advice is greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,


Note of webmaster: Felix,
September is a good season for hiking.
Yamagoya is a place to provide the minimum facilities and service for climbers, so you can use quilt (futon) (no bed), food, water (no shower). Usually you don't have to book because yamagoya must accept any climber without reservation for climbers' safety (but you should reach yamagoya early in the afternoon (before 3 pm if possible, latest 5 pm)). Refer to "MOUNTAIN LODGES" in this page.

Staying in yamagoya is less comfortable than normal hotels, but it will become interesting experience and good memory.

- Andy

21 2016/4/7 Mr
Dear Matsumoto,

My name is Felix Ng. i am living in Hong Kong. My friends and I are planning to visit Kamikochi in October 2016.

We are planning to stay at Kamikochi for 6-7 days. Besides the usual sightseeing in Kamikochi, we would like to spend 4-5 days hiking around the mountains near Kamikochi. We would like to get some mountain hiking recommendations in Kamikochi. I found in the map that there are many mountain around Kamikochi. For example, Mt Yake, Mt Nishi-Hotaka, Mt Myojin, Mt Mae-Hotaka, etc. Ideally, is that possible to make each trip a day trip so that we can go hiking for at most 9 hour per day? As a result, we can return to the hotel before sunset.

On the other hand, it would be great if we can enjoy onsen after a day of hiking in Kamikochi. Are there any onsen hotels to recommend? Price range can be 8,000 yen - 15,000 yen per person

Your help and advice is greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,

Felix Ng

Visitor from Hong Kong.

Note of webmaster: Hi, Felix

Staying in Kamikochi for 6-7 days would be fantastic experience.

But, in October (especially late-Oct), it is winter season in 2000-3000 meter high mountains. There might be snow and ice, so it is dangerous if you are not expert of winter mountaineering.

Mt Yake is close to Kamikochi and not so high (2393m), so you can go up and come down in 7-9 hours. But other mountain peaks such as Mt Nishi-Hotaka (expert level), Mt Myojin (most expert level), Mt Mae-Hotaka cannot be hiked in one day. Japanese stay in mountain lodges (yamagoya) for climbing such high mountains. Karasawa, very famous for fall foliage in early Oct, and Dakesawa can be climbed in one day each (10 hrs for Karasawa, 5 hrs for Dakesawa) and I recommend them even though they are not mountain peaks. There is a route map including course time in this site (no Mt. Yake included).

There are two onsen hotels in Kamikochi, but even cheaper one, Kamikochi Onsen Hotel, costs at least 16,000 yen (hotels in Kamikochi are expensive). Nishiitoya is the cheapest and good for hikers and foreigners.

- Andy

20 2016/2/28 Free Shuttle of Mt. Norikura
Konnichiwa Andy!
I read the poster from the Mt.Norikura ski resort here,which mentions the free shuttle from Matsumoto station to the resort( I cannot add a URL here)
I would like to know is there any way for me to reserve a place. I dont speak Japanese, and hence I cannot communicate with the company.
Thank you!!

Note of webmaster: Hi, Zuro-san
I can reserve your seat instead of you. The bus operates only Wednesday, weekends, and 21th (nat. hol) until 21th. You have to reserve by the noon of Tues if you ride on Weds and Fri if you ride on weekends or 21th. If you decide the date, please tell me (
- Andy

19 2015/6/26 Driving from Matsumoto to Ogisawa Station
Thanks very much for your reply. I shall go from Matsumoto to Ogisawa Station for the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. Can I drive from Matsumoto to Ogisawa Station and park the car near Ogisawa Station? What is the parking charge ?

Note of webmaster: Hi again,
Yes, you can drive to Ogisawa Station and park your car. There are one large parking lot just in front of the station (1000 yen per day) and free two parking lots before entering the way to the station (it takes a few minute walk to the station), two bottom "P"s in this Japanese map.
- Andy

18 2015/6/19 Matsumoto to Shinano Omachi
Hi, thanks for this good site.
If I drive from Matsumoto Station to Shinano Omachi(信濃大町), are there parking spaces for cars at Shinano Omachi? About how much will it cost if I park from 9am to 6 pm?

Note of webmaster: Hi, Lam
There is a parking space in front of the station. It costs 100 yen/hour (maximum charge: 1,500), so 900 yen for 9am to 6 pm.
- Andy

17 2015/6/14 Question about train tickets from Shinjuku to Matsumoto
Hi, after I have bought あずさ回数券 for travel by train from Shinjuku to Matsumoto :

(a) do I need to exchange the 回数券 for train ticket when I travel?

(b) does 回数券 include the price for reserved seat(指定席)?

Thank you for your reply?

Note of webmaster: Hi, Lam
(a) No, you can use it as a train ticket.
(b) Yes, you can reserve your seat at a ticket counter in any station of JR showing your 回数券 (or JR website in advance). Even if you don't reserve, you can set non-reserved seat(自由席) by the 回数券.
- Andy

16 2015/3/16 Shinjuku to Matsumoto by train
I see from the JR East website that あずさ回数券(6枚つづり) are cheaper than 6 single tickets. Because we have 3 adults, can we use 3 of the tickets for travel from Shinjuku to Matsumoto by Limited Express Azusa train on 20 September and the other 3 tickets for the return journey from Matsumoto to Shinjuku by Limited Express Azusa train on 26 September ?

Note of webmaster: Lam,
Yes, you are right. Azusa 回数券 is much cheapter than normal tickets and Japanese use it very often. It is smart to use it.
- Andy

15 2012/6/30 Kamikochi hiking

I am planning to hike to one of the 穗高岳 from Kamikochi but I need to find a place to store my suitcase and only carry the backpack to the mountain. May I know if there's any locker or luggage storage place at Kamikochi that I can store my suitcase overnights (probably 2 nights)? And what is the charge?

On the other hand, if I hike via 涸澤分岐, would you recommmend 奧穗高岳 or 北穗高岳? Which one has a better view and what about the difficulty level? Thank you very much for your help!

Note of webmaster: Hi there Karry.

I will paste an earlier reply from another editor re lockers.
Note of webmaster: Hi denn1,
There is a baggage room (tel:0263-95-2034) at the Kamikochi Bus Terminal, but there are no coin lockers. The price is 500/400/350yen for one large/middle/small size bag per day.
You can check your stuff there day and night.
Kamikochi is very wonderful and popular place during summer vacation.
Have a nice trip!
Hopefully Andy will join in here to advise you on which Mountain is the best to climb. I will let him know soon if he doesn't notice this post.

Best wishes


Hi, Karry
I have climbed up to 奧穗高岳 from 涸澤 and 北穗高岳 from 槍ヶ岳 (not 涸澤). I think both have similar difficulty level and course time (3:00-3:30) from 涸澤 and 奧穗高岳 has a better view if the sky is clear, because 奧穗高岳 is the highest peak in Nagano area. Be careful and enjoy your climbing safely!
- Andy

14 2010/10/26 Norikura Highlands
Tom Chan 
Hi Andy,
Thank for your advice last time. I did enjoy very much the sceneries. Share with U my photos:
Thanks Tom

Note of webmaster: Hi, Tom
Thank you for sharing your photos.
I am very glad you enjoyed Norikura!
- Andy

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