Hi, I am planning a trip in December 2017 with 2 adults and 2 kids (9 and 13) starting from Tokyo to Nagano and back. Day 1-3 Tokyo Disney Land and Sea (stay at tokyo bay) Day 4 (No plans yet) Day 5-6 Matsumoto Day 7-10 KitaShiga Highlands (Near Nagano) Day 11-12 Karuizawa Day 13-14 Tokyo City (stay near Ueno) Any recommendation on Day 4? Lake Suwa? I am planning to rent a car from Day 3 , may i know where would be a good place to rent a car that will be away from the hassle of Tokyo traffic? If we want to try smelt fishing in lake suwa, where and how to book it? Thanks.
Thanks for your question.
On your 4th Day, I would recommend Lake Suwa, Ina, or the Kiso Valley. At Lake Suwa, you can enjoy smelt fishing (see below for more information), see Suwa Taisha, and visit the five “gokura” sake breweries. In Ina, you can take the Chuo Alps ropeway to Senjojiki Cirque (which should be covered in snow in December). Or, you can visit the post towns of the Nakasendo in the Kiso Valley that preserve the atmosphere of Edo period Japan.
Regarding smelt fishing, the boat tours depart from the Suwa Kanko Kisen docks near Kami-Suwa Station (see in Google Maps here). You can either ride for the full day, two hours or one hour (see below for prices). The boat runs from 8:00 to 15:00 and you can sign up for the experience at the docks on the same day.
PlanFor AdultsFor Children (JHS and below)
Full-Day (Rentals separate)3,400 Yen2,800 Yen
2 Hours (Rentals Included)3,900 Yen2,900 Yen
1 Hour (Rentals Included)2,000 Yen1,000 Yen
Regarding car rentals, I can’t give recommendations for Tokyo as I don’t know the area very well. I would personally recommend taking a shinkansen or express train to Nagano City or Matsumoto and renting a vehicle from there if you’re worried about traffic in the metropolitan area. There are several car rental services outside of Nagano and Matsumoto Stations.
I hope that answers your question. Let me know if I can help you with anything else.