Hi -I need your advice for my visit to Kamikochi in May 2019
1) I am trying to get on the direct bus from Matsumoto to Kamikochi on 5 May 2019 and understand that there is one bus departing around 10.15am
Is it possible to book the seat in advance online or i can only buy the ticket when i arrive in Matsumoto bus station?
how much is the fare ?
as i would like to compare it with the train +bus option which is at 4550yen return
2) Can you recommend the cheapest accommodation under S$200 within 5-10min walk from the Kappa bridge/Kamikochi bus terminal
i do not want to stay at campsite
3) I will do the easy walk along the river on my own – is it safe to do so
i will alight at Taishoike bus stop and walk along the river past Taisho pond to Kappa bridge and then to Myojin Pond and back to Kappa Bridge – about how long is this walk
is there snow on the walking trek at this time?
1. This year, there is no 10:15 bus from Matsumoto Bus Terminal. Instead, I recommend taking the 10:10 Kamikochi Line train and catching the bus from Shinshimashima Station.
The Kamikochi line bus does not accept reservations, so please purchase a ticket at Matsumoto Station or Matsumoto Bus Terminal on the day of departure. You can purchase a roundtrip ticket for 4,550 yen which covers bus+train and direct bus options.
2. You can see Kamikochi’s accommodations on their official website. Hotel Shirakabaso is in your price range and is located next to the Kappa Bridge.
3. Yes, as long as you stay on the trails it is quite safe. From Taisho Pond to Kappa Bridge takes about an hour, and Kappa Bridge to Myojin Pond is another hour, so the trip would take about three hours total.
There shouldn’t be any snow on the trails in May, but there may be a bit off the trails in the woods.
I hope that answers your question. Let me know if I can help with anything else.
Many Thanks Blair for the information and it has helped me in my planning
1) In your opinion should i skip Norikura if i already am going to visiting Kamikochi (in terms of scenery)
2) Is it easy to find the Clear Glass bottom boat ride at the Daio wasabi farm ?
As i am no good in biking is the path from Hotaka station a good easy gentle path and away from traffic
if not – is walking there a good idea
3) Where else do you recommend if i have 3-4 days with no plans in nagano? I will be based in matsumoto .
(I am not interested into temples, shrines)
Thank you for your time.
You’re welcome. I’m glad I can be of help. I’ve answered your additional questions below:
1. Kamikochi and Norikura are very different areas, so it is up to you whether or not to visit both. During early May, you can see mizubasho flowers and do light trekking around the area. Later in June, Norikura’s snow walls are opened to visitors.
2. Yes, ask about the boat tour at the reception desk when you reach the park. As for transportation, a bus runs between Hotaka Station and the Wasabi Farm about 7 times a day. See more information here.
If you want to walk, you may want to follow the path on this map provided by the Azumino Tourism Association. It takes quieter roads along the Hotaka River. The walk takes about 40-45 minutes.
3. Some places I can recommend include:
- Matsumoto Castle (Matsumoto City)
- The post towns of the Nakasendo (Magome, Tsumago, Narai) (Kiso, Nakatsugawa)
- The Chuo Alps Ropeway/Senjojiki Cirque (Komagane City)
- Hakuba Mountain Harbor (Hakuba)
You can find more information about sightseeing around Matsumoto City at the Visit Matsumoto website.
Thank you Blair all your recommendation is so good!
may i ask further question as I am abit confused about how the bus pass work-if i get the 2 day Alpico bus pass to travel from Matsumoto to Kamikochi (stay 1 night) then travel to Norikura,with the bus pass how does the booking and securing train/bus seat work?
can I buy the 2 day Alpico bus pass 15 days in advance and book bus seat when I get to matsumoto train station on 21 April for my trip to Kamikochi on 6 May 19?
On the day of travel do I just show the bus pass to get on train to Shinshimashima (so need to buy train ticket) and then show the bus pass to get on the bus to Kamikochi (no need to buy bus ticket)?
I will get a queue ticket a day in advance for the bus to depart from Kamikochi to Norikura kogen terminal- do I have to get down at Shin shimashima bus terminal to get on the bus to NorikuraFrom here I read that there is no bus to Norikura summit at the highest point- is it true that it will operate in July.
If there is no bus up to the mountain – I can do my own walking around the area as you mentioned ? so the walk path is a easy one to trek on ?
All of the buses that are included in the Alpico 2-Day Free Passport are non-reserved, so you cannot reserve seats ahead of time. However, you can pick up a numbered ticket up to two days before the departure of your bus from Kamikochi. It won’t reserve a seat, but it does put you in line to board the bus.
The Alpico 2-Day Free Passport can be purchased in advance through Japanican, but you can only pick it up on the passport’s starting date. As I mentioned above, you cannot reserve any of the buses on the pass, so picking it up early wouldn’t offer any benefit.
When using the pass, show it to the bus driver when you get on and off the bus. You do not need to purchase tickets.
Traveling from Kamikochi to Norikura Kogen, you would first take the Kamikochi bus to the Oyaki-daki stop, then change to the Norikura Kogen bus and get off at the Norikura Kogen tourist information center.
If you’ll be traveling in early May, you can take the Haruyama Bus from the Norikura Kogen tourist information center up to Kuraigahara Sanso to see the spring snow. There are also some treks around the base area that you can do, such as the Zengoro Falls/Ushidome Pond Route (See Course E here). You can reach the trail entrance by getting off at the Suzuran Bridge bus stop (between Ski-jo Mae and Kyuka-mura bus stops on the Norikura Line).
I hope that helps!
Many Thanks Blair for helping with the info
i will visit both Kamikochi and Norikura Kogen
During 6 -7 May do i need to bring along winter wear like a heattech jacket
Around Kamikochi, the average temperature in May is about 14°C, but will still be quite chilly during the mornings and evenings. I recommend bringing a jacket and some layers so you can adjust accordingly throughout the day.