Hi, We will be in Nagano mid December and planning to make a 1/2 day trip to Hakuba (around the train station and Olympic Ski jump arena) and stopover at Matsumoto (Would like to visit the Castle). Can we use our JR pass for the trains from Nagano to Matsumoto and Hakuba? How frequent is the train as we hope to visit these 2 places in a day. Hope that you can advice me a possible itinerary as if we were to leave Nagano station at 7:00 am and return to Nagano by 8:00 pm Thanks and regards, Peter
If you are using the nationwide Japan Rail Pass or the JR East Nagano-Niigata Pass, then train lines between Nagano, Matsumoto and Hakuba will be covered. Trains travel between Nagano and Matsumoto about three times an hour, and between Matsumoto and Hakuba about once an hour.
Local line travel between Matsumoto and Nagano takes about 80 minutes, and express travel is 50 minutes. Between Matsumoto and Hakuba, local line travel is 100 minutes, and express is 60 minutes.
Your schedule may look like this:
- 6:55 AM> Take the Rapid train to Matsumoto from Nagano Station
- 8:02 AM> Arrive in Matsumoto, visit Matsumoto Castle, Nawate-Dori and Nakamachi streets
- 10:27 AM> Take the Limited Express Azusa No. 3 from Matsumoto Station to Hakuba Station
- 11:27 AM> Arrive at Hakuba Station, have lunch nearby
- 12:30 PM> Take a taxi to the Hakuba Ski Jumping facility. Walk through the Happo area and enjoy the scenery.
- 3:49 PM> Take the train from Hakuba Station to Matsumoto Station.
- 5:29 PM> Arrive in Matsumoto. Change to the 5:34PM Shinonoi line train bound for Nagano.
- 6:53 PM> Arrive in Nagano City.
How does that sound?
If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.