Hi, I will be based in Matsumoto from April 17th to 19th, 2019 and plan to visit Kamikochi, the snow walls at Norikura Highlands and Shinhotaka Ropeway.
Am I too early to visit the snow walls? I noticed the Haruyama Bus to the snow walls is planned to run from April 27th.
If I am not able to see the snow walls, what other places can I visit at Norikura?
Will the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway be open? How should I get there from Kamikochi?
If the snow walls and Shin-Hotaka Ropeway are closed during the period that I am there, should I do a day trip from Matsumoto to Takayama and Shirakawa-go instead?
Thank you for your advice.
Kamikochi and the Shinhotaka Ropeway will be open during your visit, but the Norikura Snow Walls will not.
There is still lingering snow around Norikura’s base area during mid-April, so you can still enjoy snowshoeing then. A popular trek is to Zengoro Falls and Ushidome Pond from the Norikura Tourist Information Center. You can rent snowshoes for 1,000 yen.
To travel between Kamikochi and the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway, take the Nohi Kamikochi bus to Hirayu Onsen and change to the Nohi Shin-Hotaka bus. It takes about an hour and ten minutes and costs 2,250 from Kamikochi to the ropeway.
Let me know if you have any other questions.