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

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The guestbook has 642 messages     

42 2007/11/3 Utsukushigahara, getting there in winter?
Andrew Reisz 
Hello, i'll like to enquire if there are any form of public transport (except taxi) during winter to get to Utsukushigahara Plateau? i do not possess a driver's license so renting a car is out of the question.

All help is greatly appreciated!

Note of webmaster: As you can see in the bus timetable, there is no public transport service in winter (November through late-April). If you stay in Utsukushigahara Ohgatou Hotel or Yamamoto Goya (cheaper than Ohgatou Hotel), they have a shuttle bus service from Matsumoto Station
Enjoy your stay in the beautiful winter season!
- Andy

41 2007/10/31 working in matsumoto
where can I find out about work in matsumoto? I'm English, have a working visa, little Japanese. I'll do anything apart from teaching. Thanks

Note of webmaster: Hi Herbert I really am not too sure about much outside the teaching industry for us foreigners.
All I can recommend is the Govt 'Hello Work' service.
It has English assistance in Matsumoto and through out the country. See there site for links and contact details here. Otherwise of course there are sites like Gaijinpot etc which you probably know well about. They can be found easily on Google looking for Jobs and Japan. But many of these jobs are English related.

To employ a gaijin it takes some trust and confidence, as unless they are well integrated into Japan they will be more difficult to deal with in the routine issues of work understanding and administrating them.
So for Non English Jobs a specific Skill, a good relationship or word of mouth is critical. I think for Gaijin. that is how most can move into non English related work. We can't here think of any other easy options or contacts. Do you have any relationships here you could leverage ?


40 2007/10/30 Thanks! Plan advice neede :)
Hi Milton,

Thanks for the reply.

We will be in Matsumoto for a day only, will we have enough time to do the following:
12nn - Reach Matsumoto, get to hotel etc
1pm - Matsumoto Castle & Kaichi School
3pm - Visit Wasabi Farm & Yamabe Grape Farm

Thanks & cheers!

Note of webmaster: Hi Again Junie
You may be pushing it to get to all these places easily in an afternoon and a mere bike would make it almost impossible. If you can get to
Matsumoto a few hours earlier it would help, Or you could put off visiting the castle until when you leave in the morning.
I have been reccommended that you try to go to the Wasabi Farm first, which closes at 4:30pm, then rush into Yamabe Winery, which usually closes at 6:00pm. That is because the Wasabi Farm is in a diffrent direction from Yamabe Winery.

To get to the Wasabi Farm, take train to Hotaka station from Matsumoto, then, take taxi (10 minutes) or rent-a-cycle.
From Matsumoto to Hotaka station, it takes 30 minutes by train. So, it is difficult to go both.

To Yamabe Winery, take taxi (20 minutes) or take bus Iriyamabe-line (very local line)
and get off at Iriyamabe-shuccchousho (入山辺出張所前).
If funds are no issue do it all in a taxi.

I hope this helps.


39 2007/10/30 Grape Picking in Yamabe

Read your write-up about Yamabe Grapes & picking. How do we go there?

Also heard about the wasabi farm, is it nearby?

Thanks & cheers!

Note of webmaster: You can get close by bus from down town, Or you can loan a bike from the city office.


38 2007/10/25 Re:
Linda Yeung 
Dear Milton,
Thank you for sharing your adventurous life from New Zealand to Japan and your very kind reminders.
God bless you and your family in every way!

37 2007/10/25 farm visits around Matsumoto
Small group of us from Singapore are planning a visit to Japanese Alps including maybe 3 nights in Matsumoto at end July 2008. We will have JR rail passes, no kids, like walks in nature but not climbing mountains.
One of the things we would like is visits to the local farms. We understand there is a public bus to the DAIO wasabi farm but learned that there is no public transport to the other farms in the area.
Are there local tours we can join for farm visits? English speaking? Appreciate any advice for visiting these farms?
Thanks much!

Note of webmaster: Hoosun
Sorry about the slow response.
KamiKochi is a must for you if you are into Mountains and walkiing of a relaxed level. But a bus is the only practical way to get there. There are plenty of Buses to Kamikochi from Dowtown.
On the farm visits front, other than the Wasabi farm Transport would require Baike Taxi or Cars.
One farm that speaks English is is, a member of WWOOF. I will try to get more info on this.
How many in your party? There are not really any established tours to farms though.
You mentioned that you have no kids with you. But were you hoping to see and be in contact with farm animals. If so there is a place focused on younger people that still may be of interest.
You can have contact with animals at. "Tyrolean woods"
Also you should visit Utsukushigahara Kogen Plateau. There you can visit a wide open highland farm area with cows. You can get there by bus from down town also.
I will try to update this entry again soon.
Do add any details you can about your groups nature and purpose.


36 2007/10/23 Thank you
Dear Milton,

Thank you so much for your information! As advised by you, we will go to Kamikouchi when we head back to Tokyo after going to Shirahone. I hope I can see its last best secenic view with red leaves or even leaf falls on the ground.

We can also visit the Castle on 12 Nov.
A pity that I can't make it earlier and see it peak. It doesn't matter. This just gives me another excuse to come to Matsumoto again. Actually, I am a frequent visitor to Japan. This is my forth trip to Japan since May 2006.

You're working for the government or a voluntary job? Are you a local or an expatriate? Just being curious.

Anyway, great work!


Note of webmaster: Hi Linda
I am from New Zealand and have lived here with my wife and daughter for three and a half years.
I teach English at a private English school.
I actually have a Japanese student who was raised in Hong Kong and has a lovely English accent. I am probably polluting that. I worked in the finance and legal regulatory departments of a challenger Telco when in NZ.
I enjoy the work hours to after tax income ratio here, the peaceful and safe lifestyle and respectful culture. But I guess living up in the mountains here is one of the best spots in Japan?
Too bad you really likely will have missed the best of the Autumn colour.
I expect it will be quite cool when you come so do bring a Jacket etc. We can get even an odd bit of snow fall in November.

I hope you enjoy your 4th visit to Japan.

Best wishes Milton

35 2007/10/19 stay
Dear Sir/ Madam,

I will stay in Matsumoto at 11/11-12/11.


Note of webmaster: Hi again Linda

I was keen to see when you were here as they have forcasts over here for viewing the colour change of leaves. It seems you will be at the very end of the ideal period when you come.
I would have recommended you stop in at the Beautiful Kamikochi highlands on your way to Shirahone if you were here very soon. It is peaking there right now . Some very up to date photos can be seen here; with Kamikouchi photos at the bottom. But I am sure it will be past it's best when you come. So I suggest that the areas around Matsumoto Castle Joyama Koen and Agatanomori Park may be most convenient to you. Matsumoto Castle is a must visit being one of a few genuine castles left in Japan. Entry also includes entry to the co located Museum that at the moment features an exhibition of exhibits from China's Imperial court.
Other than that the Kiso valley just south of Matsumoto is framed with bush and is likely to still be looking good in terms of Autumn colour and it has a range of interesting historic sites to see (I recommend Naraijuku there).
But it would take half or most of your day. If traveling independently you could go via Kiso to Shirahone. There is a route from Kiso through to the road from which you trun off to go to Shirahone Onsen.

Do discuss further with me. What other priorities do you have in Matsumoto area? You may see some good suggestions also further down this blog.


34 2007/10/14 red leaves and 1 day stay
Hello! I enjoy reading this website very much. Thank you very much for all the useful information.

I'll go to Matsumoto for only 1 night and heading on to the Shirohone hotspring. We'll have 1 evening and morning spending in the city. Any suggestions what we shall see?

Will we be able to watch the red leaves at that period in or around Matsumoto?

All the best, Linda

Note of webmaster: When will you be in town Linda?

33 2007/10/6 Matsumoto city: Marumo and Seifuso, which one??
I couldn't decide between Marumo Ryokan and Roykan Seifuso in Matsumoto. Anyone has any suggestions?

Ryokan Seifuso has a good website and looked very English speaking friendly. However it is not exactly downtown. As we're planning to drop off our luggage first thing in the morning when we arrive, (before we go visit the castle) Marumo Ryokan is only 15 mins walking distance from the Matsumoto JR station. Besides, Marumo looked like a place with more character. But I'm not sure if they have a nice accomodation because there is no picture. I don't know if they have a bath or a shower??
For distance and character , I would pick Rarumo. But I don't know enough about it to know if it is a good place to stay. For comfort and English friendliness, I would pick Seifuso even though it's further away.

Anyone can give me more information about these two ryokans( especially Marumo) would be greatly appreciated!

1) Do either of them allow luggage drop off before check in time?
2) Which one has a better bath area?
3) Which one is cleaner?
4) Which one has better food?
5) Do you know if they serve good breakfast??

I also heard there is curfew. If anyone know what time is the curfew for both roykan that would be awesome!


Note of webmaster: Comment 2 From another editor.
We reccommend Seifuso overall for the following reasons
-They allow early luggage drop off. (Both do).
-You should survive OK with English there.
-There is a traditional Japanese style joint bathing area a must if haven't already been to Japan. Marumo does too but it seems to be a little cramped. Eticate for onsen applies.
-Marumo would seem to be definately a lot more classic it dates back to 1868. Link here to web page
- Private shower booths are also available.
- Toilets are in some but not all rooms mention this if required when booking.
-They speak moderate English but prefer e-mail reservation requests.
-Toilets are all western style at both ryokans.
-Seifuso provides dinner, Marumo doesn't.
-Beakfast is at additional cost at both Ryokans. Marumo is a typical Japanese grilled fish and side dish type breakfast. Seifuso have both Japanese and western style that comes with drinks juice coffee etc included.
Marumo doesn't take credit cards. Seifuso does.
No curfew at Seifuso. Marumo's curfew is 11:00pm (if you call and ask before, it can be later)
Seifuso can pick up guests from the Railway staion between 3-5 PM and 7-8 PM.
Perhaps you could put your luggage in a Railway statiopn locker for the day until you get picked up in the afternoon or evening.

Next step I suggest is an e-mail your chosen Ryokan I suggest Seifuso for an easy stay for a foreigner. But Marumo is very convenient to downtown and a very genuine old Japanese style ryokan.

The Choice is yours Charmaine!
Milton n Maki
Comment 1
I don't know the answers to all of your questions, but I think that the most important thing to keep in mind is the different location and thus atmosphere of the two inns. Roykan Seifuso is a very homey place a little way out of the city center next to the river. While Marumo Ryokan is right downtown and a bit smaller. I think that you would be happy with both it just depends what you are looking for. I know Seifuso well and highly recommend it. I have never seen the rooms or bathrooms at Marumo but the cafe is wonderful and one of my favorites in town.
Hope this helps,

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