The Official Tourism Site of Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan

My Time in Matsumoto (Guest's Blog)

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333 2011/9/25 Matsumoto to Takayama
This website is very helpful. However, the link in the timetable and routes section for travelling between Matsumoto to Takayama is not working. Is there a bus that leaves Matsumoto after lunchtime on 11 October? How long does it take? Thanks.

Note of webmaster: Hi there Gerard

Yep the Alpico bus page is down in English.
Another Bus company doing the same route with a clear English web page is here.
There prices appear to be the same as Alpico's below.
A bus from the Matsumoto bus terminal
leaves @ 12:05 arrives in Takayama @ 14:25
leaves @13:05 arrives in Takayama @ 15:25
etc to 17:05.
Fare one way 3100 yen
I will call Alpico to let them know their site is down.

I hope that helps.
One more bit of advice that may free you up to do extensive travelling around the region and even places like Shirakawa-go using a number of buses over a 4 day period is a Bus pass called the Shinshu Hida Wide Free passport. 10,000yen
Click this link for details.
It will allow you to go to a number of really cool places without counting the cost each time you get on the bus.
It may save you a lot of money too.

Happy Traveling!


Called Alpico and they are overhauling their English page. Will be up again next summer!!

332 2011/9/13 Coming back.
My wife and I are coming back to Matsumoto in a few days, to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary (we got married at the Hotel Buena Vista) and to visit her family in Azumino. I love coming to Matsumoto and always check this site for all my information before we fly out. Thanks for maintaining an amazingly useful site.

Note of webmaster: Congratulation on your anniversary.
Matsumoto is now a good season (harvest season, good weather) though it is hot in these few days.
Thank you for checking our site and enjoy your trip in this area!
- Andy

331 2011/9/7 More Info On Apple Plucking Activities
Greg L 

Thanks for all the great info on this site. Very useful for planning my trip to Matsumoto this coming late Oct.

May I know where can I find more information, eg location, timing & charges, on the apple plucking activities listed on your Gourmet page. I'm thinking of bringing my kids to the orchard to do some apple plucking.


Note of webmaster: Hi, Greg
Two farms appearing in page 6 of Azumino Exploring Guide (PDF) in the Suggested Routes & Map page of Azumino City Official Site offer apple picking.
Late Oct is a great season for apple picking and I think your kids will enjoy it!
- Andy

330 2011/9/1 Early Start
I'll be visiting Matsumoto next September and I've already found this site VERY helpful so thank you all so much for making all this information available! And, yes, I do plan way in advance...

329 2011/8/26 Kura
My husband and I ate at Kura the other night. It was the best sashimi we have ever tried. We also ordered seasonal vegetable tempura and Basashi. You must go! They have an English menu and made us feel very welcomed. They even gave us complimentary miso soup, tea, and a quick snack before our sushi arrived. We also received two sketches of the restaurant. SUPER FRIENDLY! We're going back one more time before we depart!

Note of webmaster: Hi, Elizabeth
Thank you for your comment. I copied it into Gourmet Directory - Japanese page.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in Matsumoto,
- Andy

328 2011/8/18 renting tents?
Thank you so much for your blog! It is the most helpful site I've found as I'm planning a trip to this area.

You mention that the campground in Kamikochi rents tents. Is it necessary (or possible) to make a reservation ahead of time to rent a tent? We will be coming the first week in September, so we expect there will be lots of other visitors... and we don't want to be stranded with no tent!

Also, are there ever children in the mountain huts? My husband and I are traveling with our 2 year old. We take him hiking all the time here in the US, and are curious if he would be welcome.

Note of webmaster: Hi, jenn
Thank you for your generous comment.
There are two campgrounds in Kamikochi. One is Konashidaira, only 10 min walk from the bus terminal. The other is Tokusawa, 2 hours walk (hike) from the bus terminal. See this map. The rental tents are not so many, so I recommend you to reserve one. If you send your name, date, time to arrive, which campground you choose, place to stay on the previous day, and phone number (if you have in Japan) to, I can reserve instead of you, because the campground keepers might not understand English. It costs 7000 JPY for one tent for 3-5 people.
Some hikers hike with (carrying) their kids also in Japan, so if you hike WITH SAFE and don't disturb other hikers, I think your kid is welcome. September is not busy season because Japanese summer vacation has ended and fall foliage haven't started yet, so I think mountain huts are not crowed.
- Andy

327 2011/8/12 I Love Matsumoto!
I am staying here in Matsumoto for the Saito Kinen Festival, and I have found it to be a wonderful city with very friendly poeple.

Note of webmaster: Thank you, Jonathan!
Enjoy Matsumoto and the fabulous SKF festival!
- Andy

326 2011/7/25 matsuri

first of all, thanks for this informative and helpful blog.
Wea re planning a visit to nagano/Matsumoto area at the beginning of the October. Could you please tell us how the shrine festival looks like? The thing is - as people interested in Japan we would like to experience typical matsuri. Are there any other local matsuris in October?
Thank you for the answer,


Note of webmaster: Hello there Lucie.

There are at least two Matsuri in October.
See our events calender for details here

There are also two together in late September of interest.
The Toraijin Festival is celebrates if I recall right the coming of new people from Korea I think many centuries ago. The next day is the Ofune Matsuri that is a big and interesting one.

The Yohashira or "four pillar" shrine festival on the 2nd and 3rd could be very convenient as it will be right down town in the heart of the streets that are of great tourist interest...Nawate Dori.
And on the next day the 3rd the Asam Onsen Fire festival...That is a sight to be seen for sure. You should certainly prioritise seeing that!

The next weekend on the 9th is a great event at the castle not a matsuri but a festival of Soba - the cheerished local buckwheat noodles. It will be a bustling event attended by thousands.

That is about all except the next weekend people dressed as Samurai will be firing off antique rifles from the Edo period at the castle.

See the calender but it looks like there will be much to do.

I recommend the Fire festival weekend most of all.


Additional Info (URLs are in Japanese):
- Ofune Matsuri (Milton mentions) at Hotaka Shrine: Sep 26th 8am-, 27th 3pm-
JR Ohito line, Hotaka Station (3 minutes walk from the station)
- Isago Shrine: Sep 26th (Matsuri is held only in every 7 years - year of rabbit and rooster.)
Kamikochi line, Ohniwa Station (7 minutes walk from the station)
- Misha Shrine Fire Festival (Milton mentions): Oct 3rd
ALPICO bus, Asama line
- Yohashira Shrine (Milton mentions): Oct 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Matsumoto downtown
- Rico

-Nice Rico

325 2011/7/10 Is Matsumoto Castle still open to the public?

I hope everyone is fine after the earthquake. I was wondering if the Matsumoto Castle is still open to the public and can be visited?

Thanks in advance!


Note of webmaster: Yes, you can view the inside of the castle as usual. The castle suffered slight cracks on inside walls, but no problem. On July 16 and 17, the castle will hold a special event to apeal it is safe and robust.
- Andy

324 2011/7/4 Some questions about Matsumoto
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

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