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My Time in Matsumoto (Guest's Blog)

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14 2007/10/25 farm visits around Matsumoto
Hoosun 
SINGAPORE
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!
Hoosun


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 http://www.ogurayama.com, 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" http://www.tirol.gr.jp/.
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.

Milton



13 2007/8/14 Thanks muchly!
Matthew 
UNITED STATES
Thanks to all of those who've worked on this site to provide so much information about Matsumoto. I will be moving to Matsumoto next month to teach English, and I've found more useful and interesting information here than I've been able to find anywhere else, including guidebooks. Keep up the good work!



12 2007/8/4 Guitar shops in Matsumoto
Lee 
SINGAPORE
Hi! Are there any guitar shops in Matsumoto? I dreadfully need it!!! I'll be there for business trip on Sep 07. Please email me if there is. Thanks a lot


Note of webmaster: Lee,

I’ve asked around and apparently Matsumoto has a few good musical instrument shops and a guitar specialty shop as well as a factory. The guitar specialty shop is "Guitar Shop SPECIALS their web site is http://dsd-guitar.com/specials/index.php and the store is a 5 minute walk north of the station. Matsumoto also has the Fujigen Guitar factory which has an online shop http://www.fujigen.co.jp/webshop/default.asp and they may
sell guitars directly in the factory.

There is also an instrument shop on the 5th or 6th floor of Parco (see the shopping section for details). This is a chain store called Shimamura. There is another one near the station. To get there, take Ekimae-dori (see the map) straight east out of the Matsumoto train station. In the second block from the station there is a Tully’s coffee and a fountain and then you will find a specialty foods shop called Treasure Market. The shop is on the second floor above Treasure Market and it is called Oguchi Gakki.

Best of luck and let us know if there is anything else we can do to help with your trip.

Liza



11 2007/7/17 Thanks
Martin 
UNITED KINGDOM
I will be going to Matsumoto next week to teach English. your site has given me a lot of valuable info.

Thanks very much !



10 2007/7/14 Thank You
John Lim 
SINGAPORE
Thank you for your helpful advice. I am sure I will enjoy beautiful Matsumoto.



9 2007/7/8 Visit to Utsukushigahara, Hakuba and Hotaka
John Lim 
SINGAPORE
Hello,
I am from Singapore. I am planning to visit Matsumoto next week with my wife and 3 year old daughter.
We are planning to visit Utsukushigahara Kogen Plateau and Utsukushigahara Open Air Museum. I note that there is a bus which goes to Utsukushigahara Kogen Plateau and another bus that goes to Utsukushigahara Open Air Museum. Is it possible to walk from Utsukushigahara Kogen Plateau to the Utsukushigahara Open Air Museum? Can I visit both Utsukushigahara Kogen Plateau and Utsukushigahara Open Air Museum in one day?
I am also planning to visit Hakuba and the Hotaka Baio Wasabi Farm. Is it possible to visit both places in one day?
Thank you for your advice.
John Lim


Note of webmaster: Hello John, sorry for this late response.
Yes, you can visit both the Plateau and the Museum in one day.
If you visit the Art Museum first by Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum Line bus, you can take a 30-minute hike to Utsukushi-no-tou (a small symbol tower).
If you have time, go to the top of Utsukushigahara Kogen Plateau (Ougatou) by hiking 40 minutes more.
Then, walk down to a parking area (Tengu-no-roji) and you can ride the Utsukushigahara Kogen Heights Line bus to downtown Matsumoto.
Please check the timetables for these buses and make a plan before you go.

I think you can visit both Hakuba and the Hotaka Daio (not 'Baio') Wasabi Farm in one day, if you have a rent-a-car. But, Hakuba is wide and there are some sightseeing spots. Especially, Going up by cableway and hiking on major trekking courses like Happou and Tsugaike take half day trip.

If you don't have a car, you can visit Hotaka Wasabi Farm by taking a 10-minute ride with a rent-a-bike (or taxi). From Hotaka to Hakuba, it takes a 45-minute express train ride, but there aren't many trains in a day. So, it might be a hard schedule.

Enjoy your trip from Singapore!

Akira Matsuo



8 2007/6/5 Coming back
Steven Segers 
Visit Website BELGIUM
Hi everybody!

First of all, it's great to read your mails. Matsumoto is one of my favorite places since '99. Miss it...
I was back in 2006, but had a typical belgian problem, limited visa, & no support or doorway through Belgium.
Apparantly diplomacy is not very hot between the two countries.
It's sad because I worked as a sportsteacher,lifeguard in Tokyo, & got more offers but they couldn't provide me the visa, so eventualy, I had to leave.
After sending my cv, outdoorsports japan offered me a job, but couldn't provide the visa.
Any good advice to offer? Are they looking for teachers in Matsumoto?
Any good sites for Nagano prefecture?
I'm a teacher in physcal education, study jujutsu, taught kids & adults in ski-& watersports(surf, rafting, kayak) & have a life guard degree, a first aid degree from tokyo fire department.
I speak dutch, french, english, german & shoto japanese. I know the culture & the history already well...

Thx in advance,
Greetings from Belgium, Ghentp


Note of webmaster: Steven,

Thanks for your posting - the visa question is an oldie but a goodie.
The best explanation about the ins & outs of the visa labyrinth can be found here:
http://www.jobsinjapan.com/book/visa.html

Yes, it's a bit long-winded, but certainly covers most bases. In your particular situation, sponsorship for an English teaching position would be impossible - no matter how good your qualifications are, you're not a native speaker - this is a black & white issue which Immigration doesn't show any flexibility about whatsoever.

Since the Olympics, there's precious little demand for language lessons other than English.

You do have the necessary skills for other kinds of employment, which various outdoors/adventure outfits in places like Hakuba might find useful & be able to sponsor for...suggest you try that avenue & think laterally!

And let us know how you get on - I'm sure there'll be other bloggonauts out there wanting to know how you get on.

All the best,
Jim



7 2007/6/5 Cool
Bill Compton 
Visit Website RWANDA
Hi Jim. Photos i received. Thanks



6 2007/5/20 NagaKnow NagaYes!
allan c. cadano 
JAPAN
Congratulations! Thanks to Japan Time for publishing about this new Japan-English Magazine. How I wish to have a copy of your print mag. I am from Nagano shi, an English curriculum developer here and wish to share too in your webstie or mag if you welcome it. It is now my 2nd year in stay here with my family and have visited Matsumoto. I really like the sceneries in there and hope to have more time to be there again.
I just notice this when I visit about editors:
Liza Springmeyer
I have been in Matsumoto since August 2007, and have been keeping very busy. I bike everywhere snow or shine.

That can never be since we are still May of 2007. A little miss perhaps of a finger.

Thanks and again Cheers for this nice web.
allan desu


Note of webmaster: Alan,
Thanks for the heads up. Ooops.
I'm glad you like our site. We are actually not the same group as the one that makes NagaKnow, but the publisher is also one of our members. I think he is getting you a copy now.
Thanks again and I hope we hear more from you soon.
Liza



5 2007/3/26 Matsumoto - home away from home
Dan Lonigro 
UNITED STATES
No comparison between this website and the govt one. Very user friendly and I like the menu items. The "wikipedia" link on the Hot Springs section was a great idea. First time onsen can be a little intimidating. This makes it less so. After having lived in well over a dozen cities in Japan, there is no place I would rather spend time than good ole Matsumoto!


Note of webmaster: If anyone out there in blogland would like to see a picture of Dan in an onsen, please send a plain brown envelope and a fiver! He's absolutely right though - you've got to get into the whole onsen gig to push your travelling experiences into another dimension. Rub a dub dub y'all!



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