Hello, I have a few questions:
1. If I want to go to 美ヶ原高原 by bus, I saw that there are only 4 summer-season buses running every day. I can only make it to the one at 13:15 but not the 8:15 one. In that case, I can only stay in 美ヶ原高原 for 2 hours in order to catch the last bus back to matsumoto station. I would like to know is it possible to see 王頭，王鼻 and the art museum in within the 2 hours? How long will the whole hiking take?
2. For the Nagano びんずる Festival, where exactly will it take place and till how late at night will it last?
3. For the Sora Terrace, so I have to book the shuttle bus or do I just wait at the station? Is there anyway to check whether there will be cloud sea before going there?
4. Is there any live camera on 美ヶ原高原 for me to check the weather and visibility before going there?
5. Other than the post office of 善光寺, are there other post offices which have special chop? Do I have to tell the staff if I want the special chop or will they automatically use the special chop if I send postcard from that post office?
Thank you so much for your help.
Hi B Chan,
Thanks for your questions about Nagano. I’ve answered them below:
1. It would not be possible to see the open-air art museum, Mt.Ougatou (王ヶ頭), and Mt.Ougahana (王ヶ鼻) in just two hours. It takes about 1.5 hours to travel between them all one-way, so it would take at least three hours with no breaks.
If you happen to be traveling to Utsukushigahara between September 3rd and 18th, there is another bus that travels to the Utsukushigahara Open-Air Art Museum. You can take the 10:35 bus from Matsumoto Bus Terminal and arrive at the museum at 12:13. You can walk from the museum to Mt. Ougatou, Mt. Ougahana, and finally the Utsukushigahara Shizen Hogo Center (美ヶ原自然保護センター) in about 2.5 hours. The last bus then leaves from the Shizen Hogo Center at 16:30, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the sights.
See this page for a simple map of the hiking route.
2. The Binzuru Dancing Festival will take place on Saturday, August 3rd from 18:00 to 21:20, mainly along the Chuo-dori road which travels from Nagano Station to Zenkoji Temple.
4. You can see a live camera feed of Utsukushigahara Kogen here.
5. The Zenkoji Post Office, Gondo Post Office, and Sakurae Post Office all have special postmarks. They won’t use the special postmark unless you ask, so say, “fuukei-in wo oshite kudasai (風景印を押してください)” when you hand them your postcard.
I hope that helps you in your trip planning!