Late Oct for Autumn Leave

Answered Answered
May Female Singapore 2018/10/01

Hi there

Have 3 days to go outside Tokyo (26, 27, 28 Oct), 28 oct nite need to be back Tokyo, then maybe 29 oct & 30 oct can travel out again (but staying in Tokyo).

Where do you recommend for autumn leave for 26 to 28 Oct? Wish to purchase one of the JR pass to cover the area.

Thanks! Have a good evening!

Answers
Nagano Prefecture Tourism PR character “Arukuma” 2018/10/01

Hi May,

Thank you for your question about visiting Nagano this autumn. I’ve put together a simple itinerary that you could use with the JR East Nagano-Niigata pass to see autumn leaves:

Day 1 (Oct. 26)

Day 2 (Oct. 27)

  • Depart Nagano City for Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal on the Hakuba line bus (one-way: 1,800 yen)
  • Arrive Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal. Walk to Hakuba Happo One Adam Gondola (12 min.). Visit Happo Pond.
  • Return to Happo Bus Terminal. Take the bus (one-way: 180 yen) to Hakuba Station, then take the Oito line local or express train to Matsumoto.
  • Arrive in Matsumoto City. Visit Matsumoto Castle.
  • Spend the night in Matsumoto City

Day 3 (Oct. 28)

  • Take the Limited Express Wide View Shinano train from Matsumoto to Nagano Station. Change to the Hokuriku Shinkansen.
  • Optional: Get off at Ueda Station to see autumn colors at Ueda Castle
  • Get off at Karuizawa Station. Rent bicycles from the station and visit Kumoba Pond and Shiraito Falls.
  • Optional: Enjoy shopping at the Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza or Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza street
  • Return to Tokyo

With this schedule, your train fare would come to about 21,050 yen (using limited express trains and shinkansen, all non-reserved seating). The JR East Nagano-Niigata pass would cover all of the train fare, saving you 4,050 yen. Buses are not covered by the JR pass, so you would have to pay 4,580 yen separately (2,600 + 1,800 + 180).

You can see more information about fall leaves in Togakushi and Karuizawa here.

I hope this helps you in your trip planning. Let me know if you have any other questions.

-Blair

Guest 2018/10/01

Hi Blair

Thanks so much for your reply! 

How about Kamikochi? is it good for autumn leaves in late Oct? am thinking of Kamikochi instead of Togakushi Okusha Shrine. Maybe stay a nite in Kamikochi

Hakuba – we love snow mountain! if we do not ski, what can we do in Hakuba? We enjoyed Gala Yuzawa slide board a lot do they have the same in Hakuba? I read briefly the website didn\’t find.

Been to Matsumoto during cherry blossom season & Zenkoji. 

Will drop by Udea & Karuizawa (been to Karuizawa but last round was touch & go)

Kurobe Gorge is it on the way?

am still trying to get the orientation right 😀

Thanks!

 

Nagano Prefecture Tourism PR character “Arukuma” 2018/10/02

Hi May,

There may be a bit of snow on the tops of the mountains in Hakuba, but ski resorts will not be open then. They usually open in early to mid December. If you’d like to do some outdoor activities in the area, hiking and cycling are popular here. For autumn leaf viewing, I recommend the 90-minute hike to Happo Pond.

You can find other activities around Hakuba through the Evergreen Outdoor Center.

Kamikochi will probably be past its autumn color peak in late October, but it is still a very beautiful park.

Kurobe Gorge is not on the way for this schedule (it’s located in Toyama Prefecture), and would not be covered by the JR East Nagano-Niigata pass. If you were to travel from Nagano to Kurobe Gorge, you would take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kurobe-Unazuki Onsen (55 min.), then walk to Shin-Kurobe Station and take the Toyama Chiho Railway to Unazuki Onsen station (26 min.). The JR pass would cover your travel up to Joetsu Myoko Station, then you would have to pay the remainder at your destination (3,160 yen at Kurobe-Unazuki, then 630 for Shin-Kurobe to Unazuki Onsen).

I hope that helps.

-Blair

Guest 2018/10/04

Hi Blair

Thanks for your reply. Am looking at below if possible & whichever way is better we could adjust or change itinerary if need to:

as we not been to Niigata thot to include this time but we can skip this & replace something else n I will go on my own on 29/10 or 30/10 from Tokyo 

26/10 Tokyo to Niigata – visit YahIko Shrine and YahIko Park Maple Valley, travel from Niigata to Nagano, take bus to Hakuba, stay a nite, any hotel recommendation? Or maybe stay in Nagano?

27/10 hike to Happo pond, travel to Matsumoto, either stay in Matsumoto or take bus to Kamikochi n stay a nite,any recommendation?

28/10 explore Kamikochi, travel back to Tokyo, we have accommodation in Tokyo 

Question

1. Where to find weather for Hakuba hopefully is clear n fine day for the hike 

2. Bus time table from Nagano to Hakuba n return, where to buy bus ticket?

3. Bus time table from Matsumoto to Kamikochi n return, where to buy bus ticket ?

Thanks! 

 

Nagano Prefecture Tourism PR character “Arukuma” 2018/10/05

Hi May,

I usually use Yahoo Weather for forecasts in Japan and find it to be pretty accurate—at least as accurate as weather forecasts can be. You can see their Hakuba forecast here.

For the Nagano-Hakuba bus, you can see the bus timetable as the link below. You can purchase your ticket at the Shinanoki Higashiguchi shop at Nagano Station’s East Exit (next to the elevators, just a few meters from the bus boarding area).

Nagano-Hakuba bus timetable

For the Matsumoto-Kamikochi bus, see the following link for the timetable. There are only two buses that leave from Matsumoto bus terminal, so most people take the Kamikochi line train to Shinshimashima Station and board the bus to Kamikochi from there. You can purchase a round-trip ticket that includes bus and train fare from Matsumoto Station (4,550 yen). The ticket machine is located by the JR ticket gates.

Matsumoto-Kamikochi bus/train timetable

It’s hard for me to give recommendations for accommodations as we only have a select few listed on our website. You can check hotels around Matsumoto and Hakuba here, or around Nagano City and Northern Nagano here. You may have more luck visiting TripAdvisor or Booking.com for hotel information.

I hope that helps!

-Blair

Nagano Prefecture Tourism PR character “Arukuma” 2018/10/05

Hi May,

I usually use Yahoo Weather for forecasts in Japan and find it to be pretty accurate—at least as accurate as weather forecasts can be. You can see their Hakuba forecast here.

For the Nagano-Hakuba bus, you can see the bus timetable as the link below. You can purchase your ticket at the Shinanoki Higashiguchi shop at Nagano Station’s East Exit (next to the elevators, just a few meters from the bus boarding area).

Nagano-Hakuba bus timetable

For the Matsumoto-Kamikochi bus, see the following link for the timetable. There are only two buses that leave from Matsumoto bus terminal, so most people take the Kamikochi line train to Shinshimashima Station and board the bus to Kamikochi from there. You can purchase a round-trip ticket that includes bus and train fare from Matsumoto Station (4,550 yen). The ticket machine is located by the JR ticket gates.

Matsumoto-Kamikochi bus/train timetable

It’s hard for me to give recommendations for accommodations as we only have a select few listed on our website. You can check hotels around Matsumoto and Hakuba here, or around Nagano City and Northern Nagano here. You may have more luck visiting TripAdvisor or Booking.com for hotel information.

I hope that helps!

-Blair

Nagano Prefecture Tourism PR character “Arukuma” 2018/10/05

Hi May,

I usually use Yahoo Weather for forecasts in Japan and find it to be pretty accurate—at least as accurate as weather forecasts can be. You can see their Hakuba forecast here.

For the Nagano-Hakuba bus, you can see the bus timetable as the link below. You can purchase your ticket at the Shinanoki Higashiguchi shop at Nagano Station’s East Exit (next to the elevators, just a few meters from the bus boarding area).

Nagano-Hakuba bus timetable

For the Matsumoto-Kamikochi bus, see the following link for the timetable. There are only two buses that leave from Matsumoto bus terminal, so most people take the Kamikochi line train to Shinshimashima Station and board the bus to Kamikochi from there. You can purchase a round-trip ticket that includes bus and train fare from Matsumoto Station (4,550 yen). The ticket machine is located by the JR ticket gates.

Matsumoto-Kamikochi bus/train timetable

It’s hard for me to give recommendations for accommodations as we only have a select few listed on our website. You can check hotels around Matsumoto and Hakuba here, or around Nagano City and Northern Nagano here. You may have more luck visiting TripAdvisor or Booking.com for hotel information.

I hope that helps!

-Blair

Guest 2018/10/07

Hi Blair Thanks for reply!

Below train is it cover under JR Nagano Niigata Pass?

13:03 MATSUMOTO [59 Min] LTD. EXP AZUSA 55
14:02 HAKUBA

From Hakuba station – take bus to Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal – Walk to Hakuba Happo One Adam Gondola (12 min.). Visit Happo Pond

So about 240pm start walk to Happo Pond, hope it\\\’s not too late? About what time sunset in Hakuba?

Next day if possible wish to travel up to Niigata, may I know from Hakuba station, which is the easiest way or convenient way to go Niigata & is it cover by JR Nanago Niigata pass?

26/10 Tokyo – Matsumoto – Shinshimashima station, bus to Kamikochi, stay a nite

27/10 Kamikochi – Matsumoto – Hakuba, Happo Pond

28/10 If possible Hakuba – Niigatta, if not still thinking 😀 …

Thanks for time reading this & your help is much appreciated! 

Nagano Prefecture Tourism PR character “Arukuma” 2018/10/11

Hi again!

Here are my answers to your questions:

1. Yes, the JR Nagano-Niigata pass covers the LTD. EXP. Azusa between Matsumoto and Hakuba station.

2. The closing time for the lifts at Happo One is 16:40 during late October, so you probably won’t have enough time to enjoy Happo Pond if you beginning walking at 14:40. Since it takes about 90 minutes to walk there, 60 minutes to walk back, and 30 minutes or more to enjoy the view, you’ll want about 3 hours total on the mountain. In that case, you should begin walking to the pond at least by 13:40.

If you can’t make time to visit Happo Pond, you may be interested in Iwatake Ski Resort’s Hakuba Mountain Harbor terrace, which is just at the top of Iwatake’s gondola. With your current schedule, there won’t be a bus available from the station, but you can take an 8-min. taxi from Hakuba Station to the Iwatake Gondola station.

3. To travel between Hakuba and Niigata Stations using the JR East Nagano-Niigata pass, I recommend taking the following route: take the Hakuba line bus from Hakuba Station to Nagano Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Nagano to Takasaki Station, then change to the Joetsu Shinkansen and take it to Niigata.

The shinkansen trains are covered by the JR pass, but the Hakuba line bus is not, so you’ll have to pay an extra 1,800 yen per person. If you’d rather save money than time, you can take the Oito line train from Hakuba to Matsumoto, then take the Shinonoi line to Nagano Station and pay nothing extra. Check the Hyperdia Website for train timetables.

-Blair

Nagano Prefecture Tourism PR character “Arukuma” 2018/10/11

Hi again!

Here are my answers to your questions:

1. Yes, the JR Nagano-Niigata pass covers the LTD. EXP. Azusa between Matsumoto and Hakuba station.

2. The closing time for the lifts at Happo One is 16:40 during late October, so you probably won’t have enough time to enjoy Happo Pond if you beginning walking at 14:40. Since it takes about 90 minutes to walk there, 60 minutes to walk back, and 30 minutes or more to enjoy the view, you’ll want about 3 hours total on the mountain. In that case, you should begin walking to the pond at least by 13:40.

If you can’t make time to visit Happo Pond, you may be interested in Iwatake Ski Resort’s Hakuba Mountain Harbor terrace, which is just at the top of Iwatake’s gondola. With your current schedule, there won’t be a bus available from the station, but you can take an 8-min. taxi from Hakuba Station to the Iwatake Gondola station.

3. To travel between Hakuba and Niigata Stations using the JR East Nagano-Niigata pass, I recommend taking the following route: take the Hakuba line bus from Hakuba Station to Nagano Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Nagano to Takasaki Station, then change to the Joetsu Shinkansen and take it to Niigata.

The shinkansen trains are covered by the JR pass, but the Hakuba line bus is not, so you’ll have to pay an extra 1,800 yen per person. If you’d rather save money than time, you can take the Oito line train from Hakuba to Matsumoto, then take the Shinonoi line to Nagano Station and pay nothing extra. Check the Hyperdia Website for train timetables.

-Blair

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