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Sakura-Cherry Blossom forcast for Matsumoto and District 2013

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Saito Kinen Festival; Seiji Ozawa Makes a Comeback!

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2013/02/20/entertainment-news/ozawa-to-make-comeback-at-nagano-festival/#.US7P9jXkAng

Seiji Ozawa

Seiji Ozawa

Matsumoto Ice Sculpture Festival:January 26th & 27th

Ice Sculpture Festival  at Matsumoto Castle

■ Date  January 26th Saturday & 27th Sunday  from 10:00 to 16:00

■ Venue  Matsumoto Castle Garden

■ Schedule
【26th】
10:00~ Brass Band performance by the students from Shimizu Elementary School in Matsumoto.
10:30~ The actual presentation of Ice Sculpture making in Matsumoto Castle Garden
12:30~ Dance performance by a dance circle, “Ash”
13:00~  “Paper, stone and scissors “game with mascot characters
13:30~ The actual presentation of Ice Sculpture making in Matsumoto Castle Garden
14:00~ Dance performance by “Dancing Star”
18:00~ All Japan Ice Sculpture Competition (’till 27th 6:00 a.m.)
18:30~ Serving free soup dish (for 500 visitors)
19:00~ Jazz & Brass Band performances
“LazyKhan” (Jazz live performance), “selena” (Brass Band performance)
You can also see the actual “Ice Sculpture presentation” in front of INOUE Department Store in downtown Matsumoto.

【27日】
6:00~ Display the works for ”Ice Sculptures Competition” (’till 16:00)
10:00~ Serving free soup dish (for 200 visitors)
11:00~ Kids heroes “Go Busters” performance
12:00~ Dance performance by “Dance Laboratory”
13:00~ Serving free soup dish (for 200 visitors)
13:00~ Dance performance by “Mibuki with tutu &beat’s”
14:00~ Kids heroes “Go Busters” performance
14:30~ ”Paper, stone and scissors “game with mascot characters

【26th &27th】 10:00~16:00 (Matsumoto Castle Garden)
☆Gigantic Slide
☆Stamp Rally
☆Food Booths & Kids Play Zone

Serving “Sunki miso soup” for FREE!!

“Sunki” is a name of special pickled vegetables originated in Kiso area.  Since “Sunki” is processed through fermentation, it is full of savoriness with a tinge of sourness.

Every Saturday from December 1st to 22nd, “Sunki soup (miso soup with Sunki)” will be served to the visitors of “Michi-no-Eki (roadside stations)” in Kiso Area.


“Sunki” is made from Sunki turnips, go through fermentation and pickeled for several days.

Venue: Kiso Fukushima roadside station,   Mitake roadside station,   Shinkai (Furusato Taikenkan Kiso-Fukushima) roadstation,   Kaida Kogen roadside station and   Hiyoshi Kisokoma Kogen roadside station.

Date: December 1st,  8th, 15th,  22nd
(Every Saturday in December except Dec 29th)

Time: 10:00 a.m. ~
(50 to 100 servings will be prepared at each roadside stations.)

Charge: FREE!

If you have a chance to drive through Kiso area on the way to Matsumoto, it will be a good opportunity to taste local speciality at these roadside service stations during this period.





“Mochitsuki” – Making Mochi (Rice cake) Dec 9th

“Mochi” is a traditional food made from steamed rice pounding into sticky rice cake, it also signifies auspicious sign often used at happy events in Japan.

“Mochitsuki” (Pounding Mochi) event is coming on December 9th Sunday at Yamabe Winery in Matsumoto.

Venue: Yamabe Winery (ALPICO Bus Iriyamabe line”入山辺線, off at “Iriyamabe-kyoku-mae 入山辺局前下車)

Date:   December 9th Sunday,  11:00~  &  13:00~

Charge: Free (Everybody can join!)

After making, warm and delicious mochi will be served for the participants.

Participate in our traditional event at Yamabe Winery!  It will be so much fun and interesting!


KAMIAKARI 神竹灯 in Hotaka Dec7th ~ 9th


Kamiakari” festival is going to be held in Hotaka from December 7th till 9th.

Venue: Hotaka Shrine

Date:   Dec 7th ~ 9th  (from 16:00 ~ 21:00)

* The event will be canceled due to rain or snow.

An invitation has arrived from Hotaka Shrine in Azumino.

There you can eyewitness the enchanting scenes of 2,400 bamboo lanterns all over the precincts of Hotaka Shrine.

How to get: JR Matsumoto Station, take Ooito Line off at Hotaka Station.
Takes 30 minutes by Ooito line train from Matsumoto Station.

Weekday’s Schedule,  Weekends’ schedule to Hotaka (←Click to see the schedules)

Kaida Kogen Ski Resort

Kaida Kogen (heights) is located in Kiso region, less than 80 km from JR Matsumoto station.  The foothill of Mt. Ontake (3,067m),  there are several good ski resorts as well as nice hot springs in Kaida Kogen area.

Access: Take route19, make a turn toward west (follow route 361) at “Kiso Ohashi” bridge traffic light. Pass the Kiso Fukushima Ski Resort,  about 2 km away you are in Kaida kogen.

In this season, a Day Pass ticket for Kaida Kogen MIA Ski Resort is only 1,000 yen on weekdays except holidays.  Check this out!

The opening will be December 7th Friday! There are good restaurants which serve delicious local  foods and the kids park is well prepared.


And of course, hot springs (onsen) make you refresh and relax!  Yamayuri so is a public facility with nice Onsens.

Have a fun time in Kaida Kogen Resort!

The final “Free Market (Flea Market)” for 2012!

2012’s last free market will be on the 9th of December at “Flower Clock Park” in front of PARCO.

Venue: Flower Clock Park in front of PARCO in Matsumoto (5 minutes walk from JR Matsumoto Station)

Date:   December 9th Sunday  11:00 ~ 15:00

2012 Ski season has already started from TODAY!

Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba 47, Hakuba Happone and  Shigakogen Kumanoyu, has opened from Today, the 17th of November.

About snow conditions and prices, check the following website → Ski in Nagano

White Porcelain Exhibition in Matsumoto Oct 20th ~ 28th

White Porcelain is called “Hakuji 白磁” in Japanese, first  imported from Korea around the end of 16th century became very popular among the aristocracy and connoisseurs.

From October 20th (Saturday) to 28th (Sunday) 11:00~ 16:00, you can eyewitness Japanese contemporary ceramic craftsmen’s porcelain wares at “tadokorogaro” in Matsumoto.

Free admission for this exhibition

“tadokorogaro” is operated by an illustrator Mariko Tadokoro who’s quite popular among crafts devotees.
The gallery is  connected to a restaurant “onjaku” which is operated by her husband who cooks very delicate Japanese neo-traditional  cuisine.
2 days advance reservation is needed for “Onjaku” restaurant. call 0263-36-0985

How to get there:  Very complicated place, so better to call them first for guidance.

TakeNorth bound eastern route line 北市内線東まわり(kita-shinaisen-higashi-mawari) bus from Matsumoto bus terminal, off at “Shimizu-nakaku” stop. About 5 minutes walk from the stop.


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