Hi, I’m planning to do a day trip to Kamikochi and stay a night in Matsumoto following that.
I’ll be staying in Karuizawa the night before and intend to travel to Kamikōchi the following morning. Would you be able to advise on the best way to get to Kamikoichi from Karuizawa?
Also as we will have luggage in tow, would there be any storage facility between Matsumoto and kamikoichi for us to stow our luggages so we can avoid a detour to the hotel to drop off our luggages?
Thanks for your question.
The best way to travel from Karuizawa to Matsumoto is by train. You can take either the Hokuriku Shinkansen (30 min., 3,160 yen) or Shinano Railway local train (~90 min., 1,640 yen) from Karuizawa to Nagano Station, then change to the Ltd. Exp. Shinano (~50 min., 2,320 yen) or Shinonoi line local train (75 min., 1,140 yen) for Matsumoto.
From Matsumoto, you take the Kamikochi line train to Shinshimashima Station and change to the Kamikochi line bus, which drops you off at the Kamikochi Bus Terminal. Together, the bus and train together take about 95 minutes. You can purchase a discount round-trip ticket for 4,550 yen.
As you can see, at the least it will take about 3 hours to travel from Karuizawa to Kamikochi. If possible, I recommend taking the fastest options.
For storing luggage, Matsumoto Station has many coin lockers available (beside the escalator at the station’s castle-side exit). There are also some coin lockers in the Matsumoto Bus Terminal building as well (across from the station on the castle-side exit). If you can’t store your luggage at Matsumoto, the Kamikochi Bus Terminal also offers storage for luggage for a small fee.
I hope that helps answer your question.