Hi I am trying to plan 14 days in Nagano this October. Out of 10 days, I intend to allocate 3 days for Karasawa & Kamikochi hike. Understand that for the best autumn sights in Karasawa I have to be there between 1st to 10th October, but on ground, most place of interests only reach peak colour in end of Oct? How do I not miss that much of autumn colour? Thank you
You won’t be able to see peak autumn colors both at the top of Karasawa and Kamikochi at the same time, so it depends on what time is convenient for you. You may be able to see more autumn colors in mid-October rather than early October. Also, if possible, avoid visiting Kamikochi on the weekend as the autumn season can be very busy.
I hope that answers your question!
Thank you for your quick response.
What if I fly to Tokyo on 10-Oct, 11~13-Oct [Wed~Fri] hike Kamikochi & Karasawa with 12th overnight at Karasawa, will it be too late to see the great autumn color on the Cirque?
From 14~24 Oct, I will continue to explore other areas of Nagano. Some thoughts in mind are:
1) Kurobe Alpine Route (2D 1N)
3) Komagane & Senjojiki Cirque (2D 1N)
6) Day trip to Kamikochi (24-Oct ~ peak colors?)
Are all these workable within the balance 11 days? Will I be able to see more autumn colors during this period?
Thanks & Regards
Based on past autumn seasons, it looks like Karasawa Cirque generally peaks in late September and the leaves all fall before Oct. 10th. You may be able to see colors at the cirque on the 12th but it will probably be too late. At that time, Kamikochi’s valley should begin to change colors.
Tsumago (autumn colors from early to mid-Nov.) and Narai (late Oct. to early Nov.) probably won’t have autumn leaves during your trip are However, they are both very beautiful areas and I would recommend visiting them anyway for their Edo period townscapes.
Other areas such as Senjojiki, Hakuba, the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route, Matsumoto, and Kamikochi’s valley should have beautiful colors during your visit. 11 days are enough to visit them all (including Tsumago and Narai).
If you are able to drive, I would recommend renting a car as it makes access easier and allows you to visit other beautiful autumn locations such as the Venus Line. And while Narai, Tsumago, and Komagane are relatively close by car (using Rtes 256 or 361), travel between them via train will take several hours.
I hope that helps answer your question.