The Official Tourism Site of Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
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“Morning” Places to Get Breakfast in Matsumoto

Referred to as simply “morning” in Japanese, breakfast at restaurants in Japan can sometimes be hard to find. The following are all within walking distance from Matsumoto Station. While this is not a complete list of all breakfast-serving facilities in Matsumoto, it should hopefully give you some options that you find to your liking.

Local Restaurants

Abe

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One of the earlier opening restaurants in the city, this traditional coffee shop is just down the street from Matsumoto Station. The classic decor creates the perfect ambiance for easing into the day.

Breakfast available: 7:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Closed: Tuesdays

Price: Drinks are ¥390 and food items are ¥50 to ¥100 with the purchase of a drink.

Some English spoken, English menu available, cash only, will be non-smoking from January

Location


Marumo

Connected to a traditional Japanese inn along the Metoba River in the Nakamachi area, this coffee shop is over 60 years old. Sit back in some of Matsumoto’s traditional furniture and enjoy their slightly acidic, aromatic coffee.

Breakfast available: 8:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. in the winter) to 10:00 a.m.

Price: Starting at ¥550 for a set meal

Some English spoken, English menu available, cash only, non-smoking

Location


Paneterie Marunaka
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A bakery run by friendly women. Morning set options include toast, tiny sandwiches, or a bagel. All sets are accompanied by a salad, drink, and your choice of yogurt or a hard boiled egg.

Breakfast available: 7:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Price: Starting at ¥497 for a set meal

Some English spoken, menu includes pictures, cash only, non-smoking

Location


Nakamachi Cafe

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Open slightly later in the morning, this cafe sits in a renovated storehouse and serves pancakes and waffles all day. They also serve their very own specialty-blend coffee.

Hours: Weekdays: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. / Weekends/holidays: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (last order for food 30 min before close, 6:00 p.m. close during winter months)

Closed: Thursdays

Price: Pancakes starting at ¥750, waffles starting at ¥600 (tax not incl.)

Some English spoken, English menu, cash only, smoking section available

Location


SWEET Co. (Temporarily closed until April 16)

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Located on Nawate Dori (Street), this bakery was opened in 1924 after the company was founded in Seattle in 1913. Their breakfast includes a bread buffet with a variety of bread and your choice of drink. One of the breads contains peanut butter, so those with nut allergies should ask about the selection of bread.

Breakfast available: 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Price: Starting at ¥650

Some English spoken, English menu, non-smoking, outdoor seating available

Location


Coffee Ito

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Breakfast available: 7:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Closed: Mondays & the first Monday and Tuesday of the month

Price: Starting at ¥550

Wi-Fi available

Location


Agatanomori Tea Room

Located within the Former High School Memorial Hall in Agatanomori Park. It is quite far from Matsumoto Station, but within walking distance from the Matsumoto City Museum of Art. Offers cakes and traditional Japanese desserts as well as full meals.

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Closed: Mondays

Location


Yatoro-Onkan

Located within Matsumoto Hotel Kagetsu which is a 5-10 minute walk from Matsumoto Castle.

Breakfast available: 7:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Price: Coffee starting at ¥500

Location

Chain Restaurants

Gusto – Ohashi Store

While Gusto usually lets you order individual items off of a menu, this Gusto is affiliated with Hotel Richmond and is buffet style only. Various Western and Japanese dishes with English name cards.

Breakfast available: 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Price: ¥1,200 unless you have a hotel meal voucher.

Credit cards accepted, non-smoking

Location


Vie de France

Located on the first floor of the Matsumoto Station building, right next to the escalators on the Castle (Oshiro) Exit side. A variety of freshly bake bread with optional side items such as hard-boiled eggs and yogurt. The morning coffee blend is discounted slightly.

Breakfast available: 7:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Price: Starting at ¥330 for a set meal

Credit cards accepted, non-smoking

Location


Matsuya

A cheap, fast food restaurant specializing in gyudon (beef bowl) that is open 24 hours and located just across the street from the station. Here you’ll find only traditional Japanese breakfasts that include salmon, rice, miso soup, sausage, eggs, and more. Coffee is not on the menu, but you’ll be served some hot tea instead.

Breakfast available: 5:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Price: Starting at ¥360 for a set meal

Cash/Suica cards only, non-smoking, English menu

Location


McDonald’s

Also located just across the street from the station with fairly standard McDonald’s breakfast food. Open 24 hours.

Credit cards accepted

Location


Starbucks

Located on the third floor of the Matsumoto Station building.

Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Credit cards accepted

Location


Tully’s

Just a few blocks from the station, morning sets include toast, sandwiches, and more.

Breakfast available: Weekdays: 7:30 to 11:30 a.m./ Weekends: 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Credit cards accepted, smoking room available, outdoor seating available

Location

Exciting January Events in Matsumoto (2018)

It might be cold in January, but Matsumoto has several events you don’t want to miss in the first month of the New Year!

New Year’s Celebration at Matsumoto Castle

People awaiting the opening of the castle gates

People awaiting the opening of the castle gates

Celebrate the New Year opening at Matsumoto Castle! Taiko drumming accompanies the opening of the Kuromon Gate, and once inside, you can enjoy hot amazake (a non-alcoholic, sweet drink made with rice koji), the souvenir shop, traditional Japanese games like “hanetsuki” shuttlecock and spinning “koma” tops, traditional kites, Alpenhorn performances, and more! Also the first 1,000 people in the gate will receive a wooden sake cup inscribed with castle family emblems.

Date: Wednesday, January 3 (holiday)
Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Matsumoto Castle’s Honmaru Garden, Kuromon Gate
Admission: Free

Ameichi Candy Festival

Carrying a mikoshi around the streets

Carrying a mikoshi around the streets

A big, lively festival taking place in downtown Matsumoto where portable shrines called “mikoshi” are carried around the streets by the different neighborhood groups of Matsumoto. Enjoy the spectacles, food, stalls selling candy and “daruma” dolls. See our event page for more information.

Date: Weekend of January 13 and 14
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Outside in the streets of downtown Matsumoto

Ice Sculpture Festival

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Watch artists work with the ice and see the work that goes into producing these intricately carved sculptures. There will also be food stalls open from mid-morning to mid-afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. For kids, don’t miss the big slide carved out of ice! See our event page for more information.

Date: Friday, January 19 (evening) to Sunday, January 21
Location: Matsumoto Castle’s Honmaru Garden and surrounding park
Admission: Free

Schedule (tentative):
Jan 19 (Fri)
Carving from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight
Jan 20 (Sat)
Display from 12 midnight (0:00) to 2 p.m. on January 21
Carving from 5:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. of the following day
Jan 21 (Sun)
Display from 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Firefighter training demo for Cultural Property Fire Safety Day

Watch firefighters practices their skills and techniques (including training on huge fire truck ladders!) at Matsumoto Castle. See more info on the Matsumoto Castle website here.

Date: Friday, January 26
Time: 9:00 to 9:55 a.m. (subject to change)
Location: Matsumoto Castle – Castle tower and Honmaru Garden
Admission: ¥610 for adults, ¥300 for children (includes entrance into the castle)

Ski Resort Access From Matsumoto 2017-2018 Season

Matsumoto–>Mt. Norikura Snow Resort

Located to the west of central Matsumoto, the resort offers over 20 trails that cater to all levels as well as kid’s park and terrain park areas. Both ski and snow schools are available. Day-trip onsen bathing is also available at Yukemurikan!

FREE Alpico Shuttle Bus (Saturdays/Sundays: Jan 13, 20, 27, and 28; Feb 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 24, and 25; Mar 3, 4, 10, and 17)

*Reservations Required*

Reservations can only be made through Alpico Highland Bus at +81-263-24-1300 Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed Dec 28-Jan 4) until noon of the Friday before. The bus has 45 seats. You cannot reserve or change/cancel your reservation at the Matsumoto Bus Terminal or Shin-Shimashima Station.

Depart Bus Stop Return
7:50 Matsumoto Bus Terminal Boarding Point #9 5:20 p.m.
8:10 Matsumoto Godochosha (Pref. Govt. Office) 5:00 p.m.
8:30 Shin-Shimashima Sta. 4:40 p.m.
8:35 Matsumoto City Hall’s Azumi Branch Office 4:35 p.m.
9:25 Yukemurikan (Onsen) 3:45 p.m.
9:30 Mt. Norikura Skow Resort No. 3 Parking Lot 3:40 p.m.

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Regular Alpico Bus Shirahone Line

Take the Matsumoto Dentetsu Line from Matsumoto to Shin-Shimashima (30 minutes), then board a bus bound for Kyukamura or Shirahone Onsen and get off at Ski Resort(Ski-Jo Mae) (50 minutes from Shin-Shimashima). There is also one direct bus from the Matsumoto bus terminal. The English timetable is here.

 Matsumoto–>Hakuba

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Alpico Bus (until Mar 18, 2018)

Fares

One Way

Adult: ¥1,800
Child: ¥900

Round Trip

Adult: ¥2,800
Child: ¥1,400

Timetable

Reservations (not necessary) & Where to Buy

Oito Line Train

The train runs from Matsumoto Station to Hakuba Station.

Bamboo Craft Workshop Viewing in Nakamachi

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The first project for beginners

Matsumoto City boasts a number of crafts including bambooworking. Come see how these intricate pieces are woven together! Although there is currently a waiting list to get into Instructor Masaaki IIJIMA’s classes, he allows people to observe his classes. If you are near Nakamachi Shopping Street, feel free to come and watch him and his students at work in the Kurassic-kan building!

Although classes are conducted in Japanese, Mr. Iijima welcomes foreign visitors. Please ask before taking photographs of students and/or their works.

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Just a few of the things that can be made

Advanced students trim their own strips of bamboo while beginners start with already prepared pieces.

Advanced students trim their own strips of bamboo while beginners start with already prepared pieces.

[Dates]

The following Wednesdays:
2017
Dec 20

2018
Jan 17
Feb 07
Feb 21
Mar 07

[Times & Lesson Content]

AM Class: 9:30-12:30

Students are taught how to make the same item.

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PM Class: 1:30-4:30

Students work on their own individual projects with guidance from the instructor.

 

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[Location]

Nakamachi Shopping Streets Kurassic-kan 2F

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Head around to the left side.

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Side entrance

The class is held on the 2nd floor of Kurassic-kan. You can enter from the side or stop by the front desk if you need someone to show you where to go.

Once you enter through the side door, head to the left and through a set of closed double-doors. The classroom is up the stairs. Please be sure to remove your shoes and don’t hesitate to use the slippers!

 

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Other Places to Find Bamboo Crafts

Uehara Zenbei Store: Located on Yamabe Street, this shop offers baskets, strainers, and other bamboo goods for sale. However, the store is not open regularly, so you may want to call ahead at 0263-32-0144.

4-5-5 Ote, Matsumoto

Matsumoto Misuzuzaiku: This guild displays and sells their goods at various locations throughout the city such as the Matsumoto Folkcraft Museum, although these locations change every so often. This year they held demonstrations at Rekishi no Sato and are planning on holding demonstrations and the occasional work shop there from spring of next year (2018).

Workshop 1-5-14 Tsukama, Matsumoto

Winter Light Displays

Christmas Candle Night at the Matsumoto City Museum of Art

Yayoi Kusama's gigantic flower sculpture lit up in candlelight

Yayoi Kusama’s gigantic flower sculpture lit up in candlelight


Enjoy listening to music while strolling around the art museum garden lit up in numerous soft candle lights.

Date: Saturday, December 9
Time: 4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Location: Matsumoto Museum of Art
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lights Pageant in Daimyocho and on the Chitose Bridge

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Nearly 80,000 lights decorate the trees lining Daimyocho, the road leading up to Matsumoto Castle. After viewing the lit-up trees, you can see the lit-up Matsumoto Castle just down the road.
The lights are up from early December until February 28 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (on until later Dec. 20 through Jan. 3)20171204_194838

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JR Matsumoto Station

The front of Matsumoto Station is lit up with a festive images on the side of the station building.

Matsumoto Station Illumination

Asama Onsen

Look forward to the warm glow of decorative lights when you visit Asama Onsen’s Hot Plaza. Hot Plaza offers day-trip bathing and a hot spring foot bath, while overnight stays are available at a number of traditional Japanese inns in the area. Find out more about the area here.

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Foot Hot Spring

Forest of Lights Pageant in Azumino

Twin Illlumination
The Alps Azumino National Government Park is holding an illumination event from Nov. 11, 2017 (Sat) to Jan. 8, 2018 (Mon/holiday). The displays tell the story of “The Secret of the Seven Jewels”.

The illumination will be on display in two separate areas: the Horigane-Hotaka area and the Omachi-Matsugawa area. Please see below for access information.

In addition to the light displays, various other activities will be taking place. A single ticket allows you to enter both areas on the same day. Visit the official website here (Japanese only).

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Admission

Hours: 4:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
* Park hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but you may remain in the park to view the lights.

Prices

Adult: 410 yen

Elementary/Junior High School Student: 80 yen

Senior (65+): 210 yen

Preschool: Free

 

Fireworks (Horigane-Hotaka Area)

A 5-minute fireworks show will take place every Saturday between Nov. 11, 2017 (Sat) and Jan. 6, 2018 (Sat) and also on Christmas Eve from 8 p.m. to 8:05 p.m.

The show will be cancelled in the event of rain or bad weather.

Food Tasting (Omachi-Matsukawa Area)

Grilled mochi, mochi in a sweet bean sauce, and baked apples!

100 yen *Limited to the first 100 people.

Live Performances (Omachi-Matsukawa Area)

Christmas Stage: Various performances (dates and times)

Magic Show: Jan. 6 (Sat)-8 (Mon/holiday) 4:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m., and from 7:30 p.m. FREE

Crafts (Both Areas)

Horigane-Hotaka Area

Omachi-Matsugawa Area

Miniature Aquariums Display (Horigane-Hotaka Area)

Tropical Christmas

Access

Free Shuttle Bus

JR Matsumoto Station –> Toyoshina Station –> Horigane-Hotaka Area: Dec. 23 (Sat/holiday)-24(Sun) 4:00 p.m.-9:15 p.m.

View in Google Maps

JR Matsumoto Station –> Shinano Omachi Station –> Omachi-Matsukawa Area: Dec. 23 (Sat/holiday)-24(Sun) 3:45 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

View in Google Maps

By Taxi

(JR Oita Line) Matsumoto Station –> Toyoshina Station + taxi

(JR Oita Line) Matsumoto Station –> Shinano Omachi Station + taxi

Inquiries (Japanese)

Horigane-Hotaka Area: 0263-71-5511

Omachi-Matsukawa Area: 0261-21-1212

 

Natural Springs and Historic Wells

Genchi Well

Thanks to Matsumoto City’s supply of ground water, fresh spring water wells up abundantly even within the inner city area. You can enjoy a number of different walking routes leading you to streams and fountains that you can even drink from, including the fountain in front of Kurassic-kan.

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Kurassic-kan Well


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Please note that the water is naturally sourced and is not treated.

A natural waterfall formed from Nawate's rejuvenating waters.

A natural waterfall formed from Nawate’s rejuvenating waters springs forth in front of Yohashira Shrine.

Nawate Rejuvenating Waters

Nawate Rejuvenating Waters

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Streams such as the Hebi Stream weave their ways through the city.

Spring water is used regularly by locals. In addition to serving as drinking water, the water is also used in soba noodle making and sake brewing. The Kametaya Brewery uses the water from the spring right in front of their building to brew their sake!

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the more well known spots include the Genchi Well also pictured above and Iori Reisui Well. Well and spring locations are indicated on Matsumoto City maps. Keep an eye out for the Matsumoto Spring Water Excursion Map that will be published at the beginning of 2018!

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Genchi Well

Iori Resui Well: Located in front of the grave of the samurai Iori Suzuki.

Iori Resui Well: Located in front of the grave of the samurai Iori Suzuki.

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Free Martial Arts’ Demonstrations and Instruction

jukendo

Traditional forms of combat are alive and well in this castle town! The 11th Matsumoto Amateur Sports Association is hosting their Martial Arts Festival on Sunday, December 10, 2017. This interactive event exhibits 12 martial art styles including less seen forms of combat such as bayonet fencing and spear fighting. In addition to seeing demonstrations of all 12 styles, participatory classes will allow you to learn some of the techniques.

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The following 12 forms of martial arts will be offered: Kendo (Japanese fencing, Judo, Kyudo (Japanese archery), Karate, Aikido, Jukendo (bayonet fencing), Sumo, Naginata (polearm fighting), Shorinji Kempo (Shaolin Kung fu), Nippon Kempo, Taekwondo, and Kobudo (traditional Japanese weaponry)

Date & Time: Dec. 10, 2017 (Sun), 9:00–16:00

Location: Matsumoto City Sogo Taiikukan (5–1 Misuzu, Matsumoto City 390-0801)

Access Via Public Transportation: The nearest bus stop is Sogo Taiikukan Mae.
Take the 120 bus–Yokoda Shindai Loop Line, the 130 bus–Shindai Yokoda Loop Line, or the 32 bus–Asama Line (via Shinshu University).

Program: Public exhibition and participatory classes for each style

9:30–11:50  Open Practice & Participatory Classes

13:00–16:00  Public Exhibition

(Times are subject to change.)

*You can also bookmark the event on our Facebook events page.

Road Trip!! Special Passes for Tourists

Convenient access to some of Japan’s more remote regions with the following ETC (tolls) discount passes.

Central Nippon Expressway Pass (CEP)

Explore the central area of Japan’s largest island.

Requires:
– Non-Japanese passport if you are a visitor/proof of permanent residence in another country if you are Japanese
– Driver’s license that is valid in Japan  (or International Driving Permit)

Rates
The pass can be purchased for a period of as little as 2 days (5,000 yen) and up to 14 days (16,000 yen). Other optional areas can also be added.

For more information on rates, participating rental companies, routes, and more please visit the Central Nippon Expressway Company website.

*NEW* Japan Expressway Pass (JEP)

The new, expanded special discount ETC pass allows tourists to explore Japan from top to bottom (Hokkaido pass sold separately).

Requires:
– Non-Japanese passport if you are a visitor/proof of permanent residence in another country if you are Japanese
– Driver’s license that is valid in Japan (or International Driving Permit)

Rates
7-day pass: 20,000 yen
14-day pass: 34,000 yen

For more information on participating rental companies, routes, driving tips, and more please visit the national expressway information site DoRaPuRa (E-NEXCO Drive Plaza) website.

Reservations
Reservation must be made through participating rental companies listed on the above websites.

*WINTER DRIVING*

Please note that areas within Nagano Prefecture require winter tires or tires with chains. Your car will be inspected before you are allowed to drive on certain roads. Fortunately, rent-a-car locations in the area typically offer their rentals with winter tires or chains at no extra cost.

In addition, certain mountain passes are also closed during winter months as a result of heavy snowfall.

Matsumoto Soba Festival

The 14th Matsumoto Soba Festival was held at Matsumoto Castle this past three-day weekend October 7 – 9 (Sat – Mon), 2017. Soba, which means buckwheat, is also used to refer to buckwheat noodles. Due to the high altitudes and harsh winters of Nagano Prefecture, soba has long been cultivated as it is a robust crop that can withstand the elements.

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Since the festival was held on the outer edge of Matsumoto Castle, you could also enjoy the view of the historic wooden structure while browsing the various stalls. While the castle is walking distance from JR Matsumoto Station, temporary bicycle and scooter parking was also available at businesses around the castle.
 

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20171008_143011With nearly 20 soba vendors from all over the country, there was a variety of tasty noodles and broths to try. Soba is served both hot and cold.  While Nagano Prefecture is especially famous for its soba, other vendors representing prefectures such as Hokkaido, Fukui, and Fukushima allowed visitors opportunities to savor their spins on the dish.

 

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Soba noodles served cold in a tsuyu broth and topped with grated radish, chopped onions, and bonito flakes.

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Rows of food stalls offered freshly made soba and also dried soba to take home. Local fruits, vegetables, crafts, and more were also being sold, including apples, another Nagano specialty that is now in season. Other food trucks and stalls offered tacos, grilled meats, crepes, and more.

If you missed the festival, fear not, you can still find many local restaurants offering great soba year round!

Peak Autumn Colors in the Mountains of Matsumoto!

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Despite a sudden return to warm weather, autumn leaves have reached their peak in the following areas!

Kamikochi (open until Nov. 15)

View from Taisho Pond (Photo credit: Kamikochi.org)

View from Taisho Pond (Photo credit: Kamikochi.org)


Differing from the typical multi-color autumn foliage, the central area of Kamikochi turns a brilliant gold thanks to the large number of birch trees.

Karasawa area of Kamikochi

Karasawa area of Kamikochi (Photo credit: kamikochi.org)

Karasawa area of Kamikochi (Photo credit: kamikochi.org)


Karasawa is perhaps one of the most famous spots for seeing the fall colors in Nagano. Here the mountains are said to be “on fire” in the autumn. It requires a long hike from central kamikochi and an overnight stay at the Karasawa Hut, but it will be worth ever step. The leaves will fade soon, so now is the time to go! Check out this post on the Kamikochi site for more info and photos.

Norikura Highlands and Mt. Norikuradake

Fall leaves on Mt. Norikuradake (Photo credit: Norikura Highlands tourism website -  norikurakogen.info)

Fall leaves on Mt. Norikuradake (Photo credit: Norikura Highlands tourism website –
norikurakogen.info)


Another famous spot for seeing fall leaves in Nagano! The highlands are easy to access by bus from Matsumoto and there are several laid-back trails to walk. From there you can take another bus up to the summit of Mt. Norikuradake (though, the colors are starting to fade here). See more info on our Norikura page here. Also, see autumn photos of Norikura Highlands and Mt. Norikuradake on the Japanese Norikura tourism website.

Tengu no Taki (Waterfall)

Located in the Nagawa area of Matsumoto, off the beaten path, and a beautiful sight with the waterfall among the colorful leaves! Unfortunately, you need a car (or taxi) to get there. (See map)

Other areas currently good to see now (mid-Oct.)

Will start changing colors soon (end of Oct)

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