Dear Go Nagano Team, We plan to visit Japan during Oct 29 – Nov 4, 2017. From my online search, it seems like Nagano and the nearby prefectures would have fall foliage during that period. Could you please suggest itinerary? We prefer public transport but can rent a car if it provide significant more convenience.
Nagano’s mountains are covered in autumn colors during October and early November. High-altitude areas, such as Shiga Kogen, Tsugaike Kogen, and Senjojiki Cirque, tend to have earlier seasons, and areas to the south, such as the Kiso Valley, tend to have slightly later seasons. You can see a selection of beautiful autumn spots here.
Based on the link above, your itinerary may look like this:
Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano
Take the Togakushi line bus to Kagami-ike pond
Walk from the pond to the Okusha Shrine, have lunch at the Okusha Naosuke soba shop
Take the Togakushi bus from the Okusha Shrine to Nagano
Visit Zenko-ji temple
Stay in Nagano
Take the Shinonoi line train from Nagano Station to Matsumoto Station
Visit Matsumoto Castle and the Nawate-dori and Nakamachi streets
Take the Chuo line train from Matsumoto to Narai
Walk the street of Narai-juku and enjoy its traditional atmosphere
Take the Chuo line to Agematsu Station, then get a taxi to Nezame-no-Toko
Walk down to Nezame-no-toko and enjoy autumn scenery.
Take the Chuo line to Kiso-Fukushima and stay there for the night.
Take the Akasawa line bus from Kiso-Fukushima Station to the Akasawa Recreation Forest Park
Walk through autumn forest trails and ride the logging railroad train.
Return to Kiso-Fukushima and take the Chuo line train to Nagiso. Change to bus for Tsumago-juku.
Enjoy Tsumago-juku’s traditional architecture and eat lunch there.
Take the Chuo line to either Nakatsugawa or Matsumoto.
Return to Tokyo or continue journey elsewhere.
If you have any questions about the itinerary above, please let me know. I hope that answers your question!