Visit Matsumoto and Nagano in October

Answered Answered
Kai Female Thailand 2018/10/01


I will go to Matsumoto from Oct 18-22, 2018.  Could you advise if my plan is good or need to modify.

Oct 18, take bus from Shinjuku and arrive Matumoto late afternoon (stay at Matsumoto)

Oct 19, visit Kamigochi and Narai (afternoon) , stay at Matsumoto

Oct 20, Should I go to Hapo-One?  Still good time to go there? ,stay at Nagano

Oct 21, Visit Komagatake?stay at Nagano 

Oct 22, Visit Togakushi Shrine and back to Tokyo in the afternoon 

Should I stay all of 4 days in Matsumoto?  I also love onsen too.  As I am solo traveler, most of this trip will use bus and looking for 2-3 days bus pass. 

(Have visit Matsumoto, Takayama, Shirakawago and Kanazawa last 3 years)


Thank you & regards,


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

Hi Kai,

Thanks for your question. I’m glad to hear you’ve enjoyed visiting the Nagano area in the past! I have a few notes about your itinerary:

  • On Oct. 19, you’re planning to visit both Kamikochi and Narai. I think it would be difficult to see both as they’re in completely opposite directions. It takes about 100 minutes to reach Kamikochi from Matsumoto (Kamikochi line train + bus), and about 45 minutes to reach Narai from Matsumoto. Adding these travel times up roundtrip, that’ll be about 5 hours of travel in one day.
  • Komagatake is much closer to Matsumoto than Nagano City, so I recommend staying in Matsumoto that night. You may want to switch your plans for the 20th and 21st so that you can stay in Matsumoto for several straight days, then stay in Nagano City for two.
  • If you are interested in hot springs, there are several onsen areas around Matsumoto City that you could stay in during your visit. Utsukushigahara Onsen and Asama Onsen are both within a half hour of the city center by bus. Near Kamikochi is a secluded hot spring area called Shirahone Onsen with bone-white, healing waters.

You may want to use the 2-Day Matsumoto area bus pass that’s listed on our Useful Transportation Information page.

Let me know if you have any other questions.


Guest 2018/10/01

Hi Blair, 

Thank you so much for your recommendation.

You are right that on Oct 19, it will take a long ride on the bus to visit both Kamikochi and Narai. Also forget that  sun set will be earlier. My plan can be switch, depends on weather (rain)

I will buy 2 days bus pass (6000 Yen) that can be use to visit Kamikochi and Norikura kogen, should I change to visit Norikura than Komagatake?  

For Nagano, my interest are for  Happo ,  Togakushi Shrine and Zenko-Ji temple. 

Hope to see the foliage in Matsumoto and Nagano.


Thanks again for your reply.

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

You’re welcome!

You will save more money if you choose to visit Norikura instead of Komagatake. The fall colors may be past their peak when you arrive, but they should still be very beautiful. While you’re in Norikura, you can also enjoy the outdoors by trekking around its forested trails, or by cycling or mountain biking.

There are also hot springs around Norikura and in nearby Shirahone Onsen as well, if you would like to spend a night in the area.


Guest 2018/10/02

Hi Blair,


Appreciate your advise.  I am foliage hunting!  Will share my trip to you.  I am good luck for cherry blossom but always fail for foliage.


Once again , thank you for your reply and information

Nagano Prefecture Tourism PR character “Arukuma” 2018/10/03

Hi Kai,

Enjoy your trip! I hope you have luck finding autumn colors this time around. You can share photos of your travels with us on instagram using our hashtag #gonagano!


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