I wonder if it is safe to drive from tokyo to the following locations in Nagano :
- From Tokyo to Karuizawa
- From Karuizawa to Happo Bus Station (to go up to Happo Ike)
- From Happo Bus Station to Matsumoto
- From Matsumoto to Sawado Parking (to goto Kamikochi)
Another way to go there that I am also considering is to take Shinkansen. But I am not sure which way is cheaper and more convenience between taking Shinkansen or driving a car. We are a group of 3 people which are 2 adults and a 5 year old boy.
Thank you very much in advance for all your kind input.
Thanks for your question.
It is perfectly safe driving around Japan, so I wouldn’t worry. It is hard to say whether driving or taking the shinkansen will be more expensive, as it depends on your full plan. I recommend checking rental prices on Toyota Rent-a-Car and comparing them with train prices using Hyperdia.
Some other notes regarding your trip:
For visiting Happo Ike, you’ll want to park near the Adam Gondola. The bus terminal is about 12 minutes away on foot, but there are paid parking lots right next to the gondola. I don’t remember the exact price, but it is probably between 200-500 yen. See more information about parking here.
You can find the bus timetable between Sawando and Kamikochi here. You can put the number 0263-93-3355 into your GPS for navigation.
Let me know if you have any other questions.