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My Time in Matsumoto (Guest's Blog)

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343 2017/7/26 From Matsumoto to Takayama
Laura 
SPAIN
I hope you can help me. We are going to travel with our child in August. He is 1 year old and we would like to find the most direct way to go from Matsumoto to Takayama. Is there any direct bus or train?
On the other hand, do you have any recommendation of a hotel in kamikochi? Thank you in advance for your help!


Note of webmaster: Hi Laura!

Thanks for your message. Yes, there is a direct bus from Matsumoto to Takayama. Here is the bus timetable in English.

As for hotels in Kamikochi, it really depends on your budget and how much "luxury" you're looking for. Here is a list of the hotels in Kamikochi that should give you a good place to start:
http://welcome.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp/contents09+index.id+6.htm

A good mid-grade hotel is the http://www.m-kamikouchi.jp/en/alpenhotel/. http://www.nishiitoya.com/en/ which is especially geared toward mountain climbers may also be a good option.

However, you need to be careful traveling in mid-August because it is the Obon summer holiday in Japan, and many places will be full or more expensive than usual.

Enjoy your trip!

- Felice



342 2017/5/29 Transport to Utsukushi ga hara open air museum
Lisa 
AUSTRALIA
Hello. I'm going to be in Matsumoto 25th-28th June and would like to visit the Utsukushi ga hara open air museum. It appears there is a bus that runs there but only in August? Can anyone let me know if I can get there on public transport in June, or do I need to hire a car?
Thanks


Note of webmaster: Hi. The bus to the Open Air Museum operates only in August. But, there is another bus to Utsukushigahara Nature Preservation Center (you have to walk 100 min to the Open Air Museum, but it might be a good hike on the highlands) which starts operation from June 17. It operates only weekend until July 17 so you can ride 27th June (28th is Tour de Utsukushigahara cycling race, so the bus operates only in the afternoon).
It departs Matsumoto Sta West (Alps) Exit 8:15 and arrive at Utsukushigahara 9:30. For return, it departs Utsukushigahara 16:30 and arrive at Matsumoto Sta 17:45.
I hope 27th June will be fine and have a wonderful hike and art viewing.
- Andy



341 2017/5/18 Filipino Community
Jona 
PHILIPPINES
Hi,

I wonder if someone can help me connect with Filipino community in Matsumoto? I was trying to look in FB but was not successful. Thank you for the help.

Regards,

Jona


Note of webmaster: Hi,
I only know some Filipinos go to Catholic Matsumoto Church near the Castle. See their official website (in Japanese) and an unofficial Facebook page.
- Andy



340 2017/5/8 Kamikochi to Matsumoto
TOETY 
SINGAPORE
hi,

is there a direct bus from Kamikochi to Matsumoto? where can I get it?

and how often are the buses back to Tokyo from Matsumoto?

Thanks ahead :)


Note of webmaster: Hi there,

There is a direct bus from Kamikochi to Matsumoto twice a day. One departs at 16:00 and the other 16:45. See the bus schedule here.

Also, there are buses from Matsumoto to Tokyo about once every hour (sometimes twice in an hour). You can check the bus schedule here.



339 2017/4/11 Any coin locker?
Gloria 
SINGAPORE
I would like to do a day trip to matsumoto and would like to find out if there is luggage storage at the tourist information centre at JR matsumato station. thank you.


Note of webmaster: Hi, Gloria
There are coin lockers at some places in the Station. See this page about the location, size, price and number. You can ask the Tourist Information Centre in the station when you can't find the place or a vacant locker.
Good luck,
- Andy



338 2017/3/28 Is Kamikochi accessible before opening ceremony?
Eline 
NETHERLANDS
Hi!

We are planning to visit Matsumoto in april (probably from april 19th) and we were wondering of Kamikochi park is accessible and nice to walk before the official opening ceremony. Can we go there for one or two daytrips and do some (short) hikes? Will there be lots of snow? And will there be any open facilities (restaurant/toilet) or is everything still closed?

Thank you so much for your reply.
Kind regards from Holland,
Eline


Note of webmaster: Hi Eline-san,
I think the bus & taxis will start operation and some facilities (some hotels, too) will open (or start preparing) April 17th this year. You can hike in mid-April but some snow remains on and along the trails. It is great because it is not busy (Japanese are few, but some foreigners including Asian tour travelers are there).
Take care and good luck,
- Andy



337 2017/3/16 Kamikochi round trip ticket
Vi 
THAILAND
Hello,

I will go to Kamikochi on 29/05/2017 in early morning but I will arrive Matsumoto on 28/05/2017 in the afternoon. I have some questions.
1. Where can I buy Matsumoto~Kamikochi(round trip)ticket in advance?
2. Or I can by ticket in the morning I don't know
what time ticket counter open.

Thank you.


Note of webmaster: Hi Khun Vi,
Welcome to Matsumoto.
Ticket to Kamikochi is valid only for one day so cannot buy in advance so you will buy ticket on 29 May.
1. There is ticket vending machine in JR Matsumoto station outside of JR ticket counter. Left 2 machines are for Kamikochi Line. Press English button first.
2. There is bus terminal in front of JR station. Building itself is called ARIO and ticket counter can be found at entrance on the first floor. They open 4.40am everyday.
You can get all kinds of info at our Tourist Info Center located just in front of ticket gate at JR Matsumoto station, or one block before Matsumoto Castle when you arrive.
For any further info please email me. yamaishi@matsumoto-tca.or.jp
Khob khun Krab!



336 2016/12/28 follow up - snowshoeing in Kamikochi from Matsumoto
Jane Osborne 
CANADA
Hi Andy,
Jane again. Thank you so much for your message!
By 'independent guide' I just meant someone local who perhaps takes people on multi-day treks in the summer months? Or someone local who loves to get out into the mountains? Thank you for the link to the Little Peaks website. Unfortunately I do not speak Japanese so of course I do not know what the tour entails. I snowshoe and hike often at home so for example, if a lesson is included I do not need that. My plans are now clearer also, so I know that I am hoping to hike on the 14th. I just hoped it might be possible to spend a day in the mountains and it would be safer, easier and more interesting and fun with a guide/local person. Thanks so much for your help. Can you tell me anything more about the tour with Little Peaks?
Thank you so much for your help! - jane


Note of webmaster: Hi, Jane
Little Peaks' Kamikochi tour is not available on 14th and I am afraid they don't have a English guide. Northstar, the owner and some workers of which are English native speakers, might be better. But, as you can see reservation status of the snowshoe tour (maybe in Norikura, not in Kamikochi) on their English website, all days in January incl. 14th are "occupied". You might ask them by their contact page.
If Northstar can't satisfy your need, I will try to find an individual guide, so pls tell me which you prefer hiring a professional nature guide (maybe around 20,000 - 30,000 yen) or you want a volunteer person (no responsible for any accident), where you will stay on 13th and 14th, and which you snowshoe by yourself or number of attendants by info@mtlabs.co.jp.
- Andy



335 2016/12/25 Snowshoeing in Kamikochi from Matsumoto
Jane 
CANADA
Hello!
I will be in Matsumoto around Jan 13-15 and would love to get out into the mountains and do some snowshoeing if possible- perhaps in Kamikochi? I'm having a hard time finding out a lot of information online. Any chance there might an independent guide I could go with? Any help would amazing! Thank you so much!
jane


Note of webmaster: Hi, what does "independent guide" mean? If you can pay around 9,000 yen , you can join a guide tour of winter Kamikochi snowshoeing. According to such a company "Little Peaks"' Japanese website, you can join the tour on Jan 13 (if you can't make a reservation in Japanese, I can do instead).
In winter Kamikochi, there is no facility like shops, managed toilets or emergency offices, so a guide is necessary. Norikura is much easier, because it is ski resort and there are snowshoe courses and rental shops, so you can snowshoe by yourself if you don't like a guided tour.
- Andy



334 2016/12/22 Can I do Kamikochi & Norikura in one day (from Matsumoto return)
Lisa 
AUSTRALIA
Hi there. Your website is a fantastic help for travelers, so thank you . I will be in Matsumoto in June 2017 and I am wondering if it would be possible for me to do the following in one day: Matsumoto to Kamikochi (early bus at 5.30am). Then from Kamikochi to Norikura (via Hirayu Onsen & Norikura Skyline) leaving about midday. Then from Norikura back to Matsumoto. Is this too much for one day? I can't seem to find information on how long the bus takes between Norikura & Matsumoto.
Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. Thank you!


Note of webmaster: Uum.. if you like a busy trip by which you go around many places like our Japanese travelers, it is possible.
For example, leave Kamikochi at 11:00 (see this time table of 2016) and transfer at Hirayu Onsen and leave there at 11:40 and arrive at Mt. Norikura at 12:40 (time table B of this page). Leave their at 15:05 and transfer at Kanko Center (TIC) (time table). Leave there at 16:13 and arrive at Matsumoto Station at 17:52 (the 4th time table of this page).
Good luck,
- Andy



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