Hi planning a trip from Tokyo to Nagano on 21 to 23 Apr. Questions: Would like to stay a nite (temple lodging) in Zenkoji temple, how do I make reservation? May I send email as I am not in Tokyo yet. Where can I see cherry bloosom in Nagano around 21-23 April ? May I know how to travel from Nagano station to Matsumoto Station to visit Matsumoto Castle? Can still see cherry bloosom in Matsumoto castle on 22 April? Thank you!
For temple lodging around Zenko-ji temple, the Fuchinobo lodge regularly accepts foreign guests. See here for more information. You can make reservations by email.
For cherry blossoms, take a look at this article on Nagano’s top cherry blossom spots for our recommendations. At the moment the dates still reflect last year’s forecast, but we will update them shortly. Expect bloom times to be about one week later this year. You can also check our Sakura Bloom Watch page for up-to-date bloom information on all of Nagano’s cherry blossom spots. As for Matsumoto Castle’s cherry blossoms, April 22nd may be too late.
To travel from Nagano Station to Matsumoto Station, take the Shinonoi line or Shinano Wide View train. See the Hyperdia website to check train times for your journey.
I hope that answers your questions. Let me know if I can help with anything else.
I will be travelling by JR East Pass (Nagano/Niigata) to Ueda, Nagano City and Matsomoto on 15 April 2017 for 3 days 2 nights or 4 days 3 nights, if there are more places to visit. Kindly recommend the place of interests and can the JR East pass be used for those places of interest.
What are the places that i can see Cherry Blossom (full Bloom) during these few days as i know the weather is cold and the 2016 Cherry Blossom dates may not be accurate now.
if I want to go to a nearby ski resort which have other activities than skiing and would like to go to an orchard for fruit picking, which one will you recommend? we hope to use the JR east pass to go there.
Hi good evening thanks for your reply to my earlier post.
From Tokyo to Nagano, I know can travel by highway buses from Shinjuku (about 3 hr 40 mins, 3900 yen ) or by Shinkansen (about 1.5 hr, 7680 yen unreserved seat),
- May I know is there other way to travel from Tokyo to Nagano by any other express train which travel time & price is in between the above options?
From Nagano Station to Matsumoto, i know can travel by JR Shinnonoi Line / Wide View Train, is there other way to travel? for example by local train?
In Matsumoto, would like to stay in an Onsen Hotel or Ryokan, do you have any recommendation?
In Matsumoto besides the castle, may I know what other attractions not to be missed?
Thank you for your time. I am still trying to find more details while writing to you.
To the guest who posted on 2017/04/05,
Thank you for your question.
One place I always recommend to visiters of Nagano City is Togakushi. It’s a beautiful forested area with five shrines throughout. Many people walk to the Okusha Shrine along a line of 400-year-old cryptomeria trees, or visit Kagami pond to see the reflection of Mt. Togakushi in the waters. You can also try soba-making at Soba Museum Tonkururin. You can see a list of places for soba-making workshops here. Togakushi can be reached from Nagano Station via the Togakushi line bus.
Another popular destination is Karuizawa. It is home to the Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza with 240 outlet stores and restaurants. It is covered in quiet woods and has many chic cafes. You can rent a bicycle and enjoy seeing the many villas around town or see some of the old churchs built by missionaries who first settled here. Karuizawa Station can be reached via the Hokuriku Shinkansen and is covered by the JR East Nagano-Niigata pass.
As for cherry blossoms, I have updated the blog for the 2017 season so please check it again for suitable cherry blossom spots.
Finally, as for snow activities besides skiing, the season is generally from the beginning of January to late March. While ski resorts are still open they are no longer offering activities such as snowmobiling and tubing.
For fruit-picking, please see our frequently asked questions page.
I hope that helps.
The only other option from Tokyo would be to take the limited Express Azusa from Shinjuku Station to Matsumoto City (2.5 hours, 6,380 yen). Please see our Access Page for more information.
Also, regarding travel between Nagano Station and Matsumoto Station, the JR Shinonoi line is indeed a local train. The Wide View Shinano is express.
For Accommodations, check our Accommodations page.
For other sightseeing spots in Matsumoto, Kamikochi is a very popular area to visit. Buses will be running to Kamikochi from April 17th, 2017, but the facilities won’t begin running until the end of the month when it officially opens. Still, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Northern Japanese Alps and undisturbed nature.
The Matsumoto City Museum of Art and the Ukiyo-e Museum are great places to visit if you’re interested in Japanese traditional and contemporary art. The internationally renowned artist Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto and the city museum features a permanent exhibition of her work.
You can see other sightseeing spots on the Matsumoto City Tourism Website.
Hope that helps.
Kamikochi – what do you mean facilities not begin until end April? What kind of facilities?
Keio bus from shinjuku to Nagano – is there toilet on the bus? Or toilet stop since the journey takes 3 hr 40 min to reach? I can’t find information about this on keio website
Kamikochi buses begin running on April 17th, 2017, but the official opening ceremony isn’t until April 27th. Facilities such as cafeterias, shops and hotels will not be open until the official opening ceremony.
As for the Keio bus, most highway buses have toilets on them. When you reserve a bus that information should be listed (sometimes as an icon that reads “WC”).
I hope that helps.