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My Time in Matsumoto (Guest's Blog)

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255 2016/4/8 Mr
Felix 
HONG KONG
Thanks Andy for your prompt reply. It is greatly appreciated.

Even though we go hiking hills in Hong Kong every week, we have zero experience in winter mountaineering, especially there is snow and ice along the trail.

We might visit Kamikochi in early September instead to cater for better condition in hiking, latest early October.

For the mountain lodges (yamagoya) you mentioned what kind of facilities they can provide? For example, bed, quilt, food, water, etc. Are they difficult to book in September?

Your advice is greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,

Felix


Note of webmaster: Felix,
September is a good season for hiking.
Yamagoya is a place to provide the minimum facilities and service for climbers, so you can use quilt (futon) (no bed), food, water (no shower). Usually you don't have to book because yamagoya must accept any climber without reservation for climbers' safety (but you should reach yamagoya early in the afternoon (before 3 pm if possible, latest 5 pm)). Refer to "MOUNTAIN LODGES" in this page.

Staying in yamagoya is less comfortable than normal hotels, but it will become interesting experience and good memory.

- Andy



254 2016/4/7 Mr
Felix 
HONG KONG
Dear Matsumoto,

My name is Felix Ng. i am living in Hong Kong. My friends and I are planning to visit Kamikochi in October 2016.

We are planning to stay at Kamikochi for 6-7 days. Besides the usual sightseeing in Kamikochi, we would like to spend 4-5 days hiking around the mountains near Kamikochi. We would like to get some mountain hiking recommendations in Kamikochi. I found in the map that there are many mountain around Kamikochi. For example, Mt Yake, Mt Nishi-Hotaka, Mt Myojin, Mt Mae-Hotaka, etc. Ideally, is that possible to make each trip a day trip so that we can go hiking for at most 9 hour per day? As a result, we can return to the hotel before sunset.

On the other hand, it would be great if we can enjoy onsen after a day of hiking in Kamikochi. Are there any onsen hotels to recommend? Price range can be 8,000 yen - 15,000 yen per person

Your help and advice is greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,

Felix Ng

Visitor from Hong Kong.


Note of webmaster: Hi, Felix

Staying in Kamikochi for 6-7 days would be fantastic experience.

But, in October (especially late-Oct), it is winter season in 2000-3000 meter high mountains. There might be snow and ice, so it is dangerous if you are not expert of winter mountaineering.

Mt Yake is close to Kamikochi and not so high (2393m), so you can go up and come down in 7-9 hours. But other mountain peaks such as Mt Nishi-Hotaka (expert level), Mt Myojin (most expert level), Mt Mae-Hotaka cannot be hiked in one day. Japanese stay in mountain lodges (yamagoya) for climbing such high mountains. Karasawa, very famous for fall foliage in early Oct, and Dakesawa can be climbed in one day each (10 hrs for Karasawa, 5 hrs for Dakesawa) and I recommend them even though they are not mountain peaks. There is a route map including course time in this site (no Mt. Yake included).

There are two onsen hotels in Kamikochi, but even cheaper one, Kamikochi Onsen Hotel, costs at least 16,000 yen (hotels in Kamikochi are expensive). Nishiitoya is the cheapest and good for hikers and foreigners.

- Andy



253 2016/3/25 koboyama
nattapon 
THAILAND
Thank you for the quick reply earlier
i have a couple more questions
i would like to go to koboyama mountain for sakura..
1.can i go there by bus.. does it run often ? When is the last bus go back to matsumoto station? (In case i go to see sakura illumination at night if there is one)
2.is it far to get there by bike? Is there a place i can rent it? About how much?
3.is there an illumination at the castle on 15th of April?
Regards and have a good day


Note of webmaster: Hi again,
1. The bus to there,"Namiyanagidanchi Line", runs every 2 or 3 hours. It departs the Matsumoto Bus Terminal at 7:20 9:05 11:05 14:05 16:05 and 18:55. The last bus departs 'Koboyama Iriguchi' (trailhead) bus stop at 19:21.
2. Rental bikes are free. See here. It takes about 30 mins by bike. Not so far.
3. The special illumination for the cherries will start three days after cherries begin blooming (forecasted 'April 3rd') and continus 10 days. So, it might end around 15th. The lighting of the castle is held 365 days.
- Andy



252 2016/3/25 utsukushigahara
nattapon 
THAILAND
Dear Matsumoto ,
I am visiting Matsumuto next month 15-16April.. i will stay in town and would like to hike in Utsukushigahara heights.. is there a public transportation to get there at that time? Is it possible to do a daytrip??
Thank you in advance..


Note of webmaster: Hi nattapon,
Utsukushigahara Heights is a good place, but access to get there is a week point. Buses operate only in summer. Taxi to there is expensive.
If you manage to go there by car, a day trip is possible. Or, if you stay in one of two hotels there, they have pickup service from the Matsumoto station.
Sorry for inconvenience.
- Andy



251 2016/2/28 Free Shuttle of Mt. Norikura
Zuro 
HONG KONG
Konnichiwa Andy!
I read the poster from the Mt.Norikura ski resort here,which mentions the free shuttle from Matsumoto station to the resort( I cannot add a URL here)
I would like to know is there any way for me to reserve a place. I dont speak Japanese, and hence I cannot communicate with the company.
Thank you!!


Note of webmaster: Hi, Zuro-san
I can reserve your seat instead of you. The bus operates only Wednesday, weekends, and 21th (nat. hol) until 21th. You have to reserve by the noon of Tues if you ride on Weds and Fri if you ride on weekends or 21th. If you decide the date, please tell me (info@mtlabs.co.jp).
- Andy



250 2015/10/11 Beginner Japanese classes
Hanzo 
UNITED STATES
Konichiwa!

Moved to Matsumoto a week ago and been searching for beginner Japanese language lessons. Do you have any recommendations where to look?

Any response will be greatly appreciated.


Note of webmaster: Konnichiwa (not Konichiwa), yokoso (welcome) to Matsumoto!
Could you read this response to a similar question?
- Andy



249 2015/9/18 Mushroom picking and ID'ing course
Dan 
IRELAND
Following on from the previous question, does such a thing exist in Matsumoto or Azumino?
All is Japanese if fine for me.

A few years ago I went on a sanai course in Hakuba. The expert led a group and showed us what was edible. We collected it and took it to a restaurant where they cooked it for us. It was a very enjoyable half day.

Is there such a thing for mushrooms?

Thanks


Note of webmaster: Mushrooms are common in mountains around Matsumoto and Azumino. I think there are some tours (for Japanese), but I don't know where those tours are held. Some mushrooms are very poisonous and much more dangerous than sansai in spring, so you definitely need experts for picking.
- Andy



248 2015/9/18 Matsutake Mushrooms
denn 
UNITED STATES
I heard matsutake mushrooms are in season. Are there any farmer's markets near Matsumoto that sell matsutake mushrooms?
Are they grown near Matsumoto?
Thank you in advance. Denn


Note of webmaster: Hi, denn-san
Yes, matsutake's season has started. Most of farmer's markets in or near Matsumoto (for example, Yamabe Winery and Horigane Bussan Center) except for small markets are selling them. And I think matsutakes sold in farmer's markets are grown near Matsumoto.
You might know, they are very expensive (several thousands yen).
- Andy



247 2015/9/4 Bus times for Matsumoto to Misayama
Peter 
UNITED KINGDOM
Do you know the times for this bus and how much it costs?

Thanks


Note of webmaster: The Japanese timetable is here. The upper area is Matsumoto Bus Terminal to Misayama (Inakura, two of them are to Ichinose), the lower is Misayama to Matsumoto Bus Terminal. The left area is for weekdays, the right area is for weekends. The cost table is here. It costs 720 at the
maximum (Bus Terminal to Ichinose).
- Andy



246 2015/7/26 Meals at Mountain Huts
MC 
SINGAPORE
Hi, I am trekking in the North Alps at the start of Oct 2015. I intend to use the campgrounds of the mountain huts. Do the mountain huts also offer meals to campers or only guests that stay in their huts?


Note of webmaster: Hi, I think mountain huts should support all climbers, so they offer meals to campers, too. For example, Karasawa Hyutte (Hut)'s Japanese FAQ page says, they can offer meals to campers if you order them by 4:00 pm (and also your lunchbox).
- Andy



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