Hi, I am planning a trip to Nagano for sightseeing, museum visit & hiking around Karuizawa, Komagane (Iida-Tenryu-kyo valley) & Matsumoto area from 11-14 Oct. I’m travelling from Haneda Airport on 11-Oct (touchdown 4pm) and not sure where to go first. Places that I would like to visit as follow: Karuizawa – Karuizawa Town one day tour (Shaw Memorial Chapel, Shiraito Falls etc…) Komagane – Central Alps Senjojiki Cirque Iida – Tenryu-kyu Valley (River Rafting Tour) Matsumoto – Matsumoto City one day tour (Matsumoto City Museum of Art, The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum etc…) Kindly advise most appropriate route & mode of transport as this is my first time to Nagano & there are limited information I found. Is JR East Pass worth purchasing during my trip here? My planned route as follow: 11-Oct: travel from Haneda airport to Karuizawa & stay overnight 12-Oct: Karuizawa one day tour > travel to Komagane & stay overnight 13-Oct: Central Alps Senjojiki Cirque & Tenryu-kyu Valley (River Rafting Tour) > not sure where to stay? Stay at Iida or travel to Matsumoto & stay overnight? 14-Oct: Matsumoto one day tour > travel to Tokyo to meet up with my family for family trip Thanks in advance for your advice!
Your schedule looks pretty full and I think it will be difficult to accomplish all of that in just four days, especially since these areas are quite far apart. I’ve changed your schedule slightly and included transportation details.
-Arrive at Haneda
-Hokuriku Shinkansen to Karuizawa (70 min., 5,910 Yen)
-Day tour in Karuizawa
-Hokuriku Shinkansen to Nagano Station (31 min., 3,330 Yen), Shinonoi line train to Matsumoto (75~90 min., 1,140 Yen)
-Visit museums and Matsumoto Castle
-Shinonoi/Chuo Higashi line train to Okaya Station (29 min.), Iida line train to Komagane (45 min.) (Total fare of 1,140 Yen)
-Visit Senjojiki Cirque (via Komagatake Ropeway bus and Ropeway)
-Either return to Matsumoto or extend journey and head to Tenryu-kyo by Iida line train (155 min., 970 Yen)
-If returning, from Matsumoto Station take the Super Azusa train to Shinjuku (169 min., 6,900 Yen)
(If continuing) Oct. 15th
-Tenryu-kyo rafting tour
-Take the Iida line train to Okaya (207 min.), then the Super Azusa train to Shinjuku (157 min., 6,770 Yen)
The JR East Nagano-Niigata Pass will cover almost all of your journey, excepting the Iida line beyond Okaya Station, so fares between Okaya and Tenryu-kyo won’t be covered. As is, you’ll still make a slight gain by purchasing the pass so I recommend it. Purchase it in advance of your trip for the better price (17,000 Yen instead of 18,000).
I hope this helps you in your planning. Don’t hesitate to ask any other questions.
Hi, since my schedule is too full, is it advisable to make changes as follow?
- Iida: Tenryu-kyo Rhine kudari & Achi village (Star Village Achi night tour & Heaven’s Sonohara Gondola Lift, if possible)
- Komagane: Central Alps Senjojiki Cirque
- Matsumoto: Matsumoto City one day tour (Matsumoto City Museum of Art, The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum etc…)
Please advise. Thanks!
Are you asking which one of the three options I would most likely recommend? In that case I would say Matsumoto City or Komagane.
Matsumoto Castle and its museums are well worth the trip and make for a very cultural experience of Japan. During October you should be able to see beautiful autumn leaves at Senjojiki Cirque. Tenryu-kyo, however, usually has autumn leaves closer to November.
The travel time to Tenryu-kyo and Achi would also be difficult for your somewhat tight schedule.