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Here, we’ve addressed some of the queries we frequently receive from customers, presented in Q & A fashion.
If you have a question not covered below, kindly call us at 0263-95-2221.

Sightseeing Around Kamikochi

Within Matsumoto

What kind of place is Matsumoto City?

Matsumoto City is located in roughly the center of Nagano Prefecture.
The streets of this former castle town, home to national treasure Matsumoto Castle, have the look and feel of history about them. Its natural wonders include Kamikochi, Norikura Highlands, and Utsukushigahara Highlands.
Brimming with charm, this city is also where the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival is held, and there are many chances to enjoy the art museum and crafts, allowing you to experience art and music up close.

Please tell us what places we can visit in Matsumoto City.

Of course, you really must see Matsumoto Castle, a national treasure.
Looking out over the whole city from its castle tower, you get a real sense of Matsumoto’s natural beauty.
If you want to feel what it’s like to stroll the streets of a castle town, we suggest you try Nakamachi Street and Nawate Street.
Former Kaichi School, designated a national treasure in September 2019, is a spot you’ll want to see at least once.

From Kamikochi, how long does it take to get to Matsumoto?

It takes about an hour to go from Kamikochi to Shin-Shimashima Station by local bus.
At Shin-Shimashima Station, switch to a train, which takes about 30 minutes to reach Matsumoto Station.

Please tell us what local dishes you recommend in Matsumoto City.

Nagano is famous for its soba (buckwheat noodles), but we also recommend other dishes including sanzokuyaki fried chicken, horsemeat sashimi, and oyaki dumplings (vegetables or other ingredients wrapped in a flour dough).

Norikura Highlands

What kind of place is the Norikura Highlands?

There are many plants and animals you’ll only see in the highlands.
There are also many hot spring resorts, and we recommend you stop by one and have a bath.

Can we got to the summit of Norikura by car?

On the Norikura Echo Line, the section between Sanbondaki and the summit of Mt. Norikuradake (Tatamidaira) prohibits the use of private vehicles, and the road is also closed for the Winter from November to June.

When does the Mt. Norikuradake Spring Bus run?

It operates from late April to late June.
(Depending on how much snow remains unmelted, it may begin operating later).
From July, a shuttle bus runs to the summit of Mt. Norikura (Tatamidaira).

Where does the Mt. Norikuradake Spring Bus leave from?

It departs from the Norikura Highlands Tourist Center.

What kinds of sightseeing places are nearby?

We recommend Tsuitoshi and Kansuikei, as well as the popular “power spot” Ryujin Falls.

Hida Takayama

What kind of place is Hida Takayama?

At one time under the direct control of the Edo Shogunate, Hida Takayama has been called “the Little Kyoto of Gifu.” With lots of old houses everywhere, Hida Takayama is an enchanting site.
Many cafés make use of these old houses, and we recommend you try sightseeing around Hida Takayama in a kimono.

How long does it take to reach Takayama by car?

From Kamikochi, it takes about 30 minutes to reach the Hirayu Akandana parking lot, and from there to the Takayama Interchange is approximately 45 minutes.

Are there any other ways to go besides by car?

From Kamikochi, it’s about 25 minutes by shuttle bus to the Hirayu bus terminal, and from the bus terminal, the local bus takes about 1 hour to the Takayama Nohi Bus Center.

Hirayu

What kind of place is Hirayu Hot Springs?

Located in just about the center of Japan, Hirayu Hot Springs is said to be the oldest in Okuhida, and the hot spring area is nestled like a little secret between the mountains of Kamikochi and Mt. Norikuradake.

What places can we visit casually?

There’s Hirayu Otaki Park in Chubu Sangaku National Park.
It’s within walking distance of the hot springs resort and the bus terminal.
You can go to the entrance to the park by car, too.
From the entrance to the park, it’s about a 15-minute walk to Hirayu Otaki Falls, where you can see a waterfall selected as one of the 100 best in Japan.

Hakuba

What kind of spots are there to enjoy anything besides skiing?

We recommend visiting the hot spring baths in Hakuba Village.
Water bubbles up from five different sources in the hot springs resort.
And at the Hakuba Ski Jumping Stadium, you can experience the heights from which the competitors start.

Are there any local specialties?

There’s the purple rice grown in the Aoni region of Hakuba Village.
Mix 10% of this into normal white rice or sticky rice and cook, and you’ll have rice with a vivid purple hue.
We also recommend the blueberries and miso there.

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