FAQ

Sightseeing

What are the best places and times to see cherry blossoms?

The most famous place for cherry blossoms in Nagano is the Takato Castle Site Park.
Matsumoto Castle, Ueda Castle Remains Park, Mt. Hikarujo (Azumino), and Southern Nagano’s “Singular Cherry Trees” are also popular. Besides those locations, there are other spots at parks, river banks, schools and temples around the prefecture.
Bloom times vary every year, but typically the trees blossom from early April to early May. Southern Nagano is earlier than Northern, and lower elevations are earlier than higher ones.
Besides cherry blossoms, the apricot blossoms of Apricot Village in Chikuma City are also popular. They bloom in early to mid April.

Outdoor Activities

Do the Japanese Alps have snow in May?

Yarigatake and other 3000-meter peaks have snow into the middle of June. Mountain climbers are advised to be prepared for bad weather at all times and to always check mountain conditions.

Is it possible to go to Kamikochi in the winter?

The road to Kamikochi is closed in the winter (from mid November to late April) so the area can only be reached on foot (snow shoes recommended, 6-8 hours round-trip). For winter-time mountain climbers, avalanches and sudden changes in the weather can make conditions dangerous, so it is imperative that proper precautions are taken and that mountain conditions be checked beforehand. Nearby Norikura Highlands are accessible by car in winter.

Onsen

Are there any mixed-bathing outdoor baths?

You can find some in Shirahone Onsen and the Takayama Onsen district.

Accommodation

Are there any youth hostels in Nagano?

There are youth hostels in Nagano City, Ueda, Hakuba, Obuse and Azumino(Hotaka), among other places. There aren’t any hostels in downtown Matsumoto, but there are backpacker’s lodgings.

Baggage

Is there any Baggage Storage available at train stations?

Several train stations have coin lockers. See under Useful Trip Info.

Is there any parcel delivery service?

Parcel Delivery service is provided by Yamato Transport and Sagawa Express. Both have English websites. It is possible to arrange delivery by a specific day to your desired destination (hotel, etc.)

I’m planning on travelling along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route to Toyama. Is it possible to send my baggage from Nagano to Toyama?

Luggage is accepted at Omachi Onsen hotels and ryokans until 8:30 am and at the Alps Roman-kan next to JR Shinano Omachi Station from 8:00 am until 11:10 am for delivery to Toyama City hotels by 4:00 pm the same day.
*FYI: Baggage Delivery Service website.

Are there coin lockers at Kamikochi?

There aren’t any coin lockers, but the Kamikochi Bus Terminal provides baggage storage.

Others

Are there any ATM’s that provide cashing services for overseas credit cards?

Certain cards can be used at ATMs in post offices and 7-Eleven convenience stores.

Where can I see GEISHA?

Togura Kamiyamada Onsen has an active GEISHA guild.