i am a disabled traveller and i want to take a day trip to Nagano on April 2, 2019. We will be staying at Kitakaruizawa, Nagohara-Machi, Gunma. Nagano is just 1hr. 30mins. from our hotel. We are in a group of 6 persons.
Can we visit Nagano Zenkoji, Matsumo Castle and strawberry and explore Nagano City in 1 day? what is the cheapest mode of transportation and estimated cost for us to do these tours? thank you!
It is possible to visit both Zenkoji and Matsumoto Castle in the same day, but you probably won’t have time to do anything else.
Traveling by bus train is probably the cheapest:
Kita-Karuizawa to Karuizawa Station:
Karuizawa Kusatsu Bus (1,190 yen, 39 min.)
- This bus will be difficult to ride for someone who is completely wheelchair bound, but is manageable for someone who can walk a few steps to their seat
Karuizawa Station to Nagano Station:
Hokuriku Shinkansen (3,160 yen, 30 min.)
Shinano Railway (1,640 yen, 70 min.)
Nagano Station to Zenkoji Temple:
Zenkoji bus #11, 16, 17 (150 yen, 10 min.)
- Get off at Zenkoji Daimon bus stop, or Zenkoji Kita bus stop if you don’t want to walk uphill
Nagano Station to Matsumoto Station:
Ltd. Exp. Shinano Wide View (2,320 yen, 49 min.)
Local Shinonoi line (1,140 yen, 78 min.)
Matsumoto Station to Matsumoto Castle:
Matsumoto Town Sneaker bus (200 yen, 8 min.)
If you choose the cheapest options above, your roundtrip fare per person will come to 8,640 yen and it will take about 6.5 hours to travel around. If you choose the most expensive trains, then it will cost 14,040 and take about 4.5 hours. You can check train timetables on the Hyperdia website.
Another option would be to charter a taxi to take you around Nagano and Matsumoto. Because you’ll be traveling with 6 people, it may be cheaper than paying for trains and will be more comfortable overall. See the Chuo Taxi English website for details and contact them directly about pricing.
Lastly, strawberry-picking is also available at a greenhouse in Karuizawa. You may want to visit their farm on another day while you’re here. See their English website for details.
I hope that helps answer your question!