We will visit the Japanese alps 12-14 April.Where should we go? Where are the hiking trails open?
Thank you for your question about hiking in Nagano.
Unfortunately, most trails will be covered in snow in April, so unless you have crampons, ice picks, and other winter gear hiking will be difficult. Hiking season generally begins in June when more of the snow has melted.
Buses will begin running to Kamikochi on April 17th, 2017. While facilities won’t be open, you can enjoy the trails that run along the valley floor. See the Official Kamikochi website for more information.
Another place that you may try is Norikura Kogen, not far from Kamikochi and Matsumoto. It is open year round and has many hiking trails and snowshoeing as well. Take a look at this pamphlet or posts from our blog for more information. It can be reached from Matsumoto using the Shirahone line bus (get off at Kyuka-mura).
I hope that helps answer your question.
(This post was edited on March 23rd, 2017 to reflect a change in the starting date of the Kamikochi line bus.)