Hi. I am going to Nagano for a day trip on April 30. I will be taking the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo. My places of interest are the Snow Monkey Park, Zenkoji Temple, Matsumoto Castle and Kamikochi. May I know what the best route is for this itinerary? From Nagano Station, do we go to Zenkoji Temple first then to the Snow Monkey Park and so on? I\’d appreciate your help. Thanks,
Thanks for your question.
Doing Zenkoji, the Snow Monkey Park, Matsumoto Castle and Kamikochi in a single day would be nearly impossible.
It is at least 1.5 hours from Nagano City to the Snow Monkey Park, and about 2.5 hours to Kamikochi from Nagano City in the opposite direction. Trying to visit both of those, you would spend 8 hours on transportation alone.
I recommend choosing either: A) Zenkoji Temple and the Snow Monkey Park, or B) Matsumoto Castle and Kamikochi.
A) Zenkoji Temple, Snow Monkeys
(Travel Time: about 5.5 hours)
- Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station (90-100 min.).
- Take the Nagano Dentetsu train line from Nagano Dentetsu Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station (Exp.: 45 min., Local: 70 min.), then change to the Kanbayashi line bus and get off at Kanbayashi Onsen (15 min.). OR: Take the Nagano-Shigakogen line bus from Nagano Station and get off at the Snow Monkey Park stop (42 min.).
- Walk to the Snow Monkey Park (35 min.).
- Visit the Snow Monkey Park.
- Return to Nagano (42 to 85 min.)
- Visit Zenkoji
- Return to Tokyo (100 min.)
B) Matsumoto Castle, Kamikochi
(Travel Time: about 8 hours)
- Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station (90-100 min.). Then, take the Shinonoi line train from Nagano Station to Matsumoto Station (Exp.: 50 min., Local: 80 min.). OR: Take the Ltd. Exp. Super Azusa from Shinjuku Station to Matsumoto Station (157 min.).
- Take the Kamikochi line train from Matsumoto Station to Shinshimashima Station (30 min.). Change to the Kamikochi line bus and get off at Kamikochi (60 min.).
- Visit Kamikochi
- Return to Matsumoto City (90 min.)
- Visit Matsumoto Castle
- Return to Tokyo (150-180 min.)
I hope that helps answer your question. Let me know if I can help with anything else.