Matsumoto City (松本市) is probably the most popular travel destination in Nagano Prefecture. Prospered as a castle town of Matsumoto Castle, in addition to traditional and retro architecture, the shopping district is also filled with trendy cafes and boutique stores. Furthermore, Matsumoto is also known as a treasure trove for breathtaking natural scenery, making the city enjoyable for any type of tourist!
Here is a list of attractions that we reckon are worthwhile for you to consider during your first (or few) visits.
- Matsumoto Castle Town Natural Spring Water (まつもと城下町湧水群)
- The Fascinating Museums in Matsumoto’s City Center
- Soba Restaurant Miyota (そばきり みよ田 松本店)
- Confectionary Shop Kaiundō (開運堂 本店)
- Nakamachi Shopping Street (中町商店街)
- Yohashira Shrine (四柱神社) and the Delicious Shops in Nawate Street (繩手通り)
- Matsumoto City Museum of Art (松本市美術館)
- Matsumoto Castle (松本城)
- Former Kaichi School (旧開智学校) and The Memorial Hall of Former Senior High School System (旧制高等学校記念館)
- Jōyama Park (城山公園)
- Asama Onsen (浅間温泉)
- Misuzu Lake (美鈴湖)
- Mt. Kōbō Tomb (弘法山古墳)
- Shinshu Sky Park (信州スカイパーク)
- Kamikōchi (上高地)
- Karasawa Soba Village (唐沢そば集落)
- Norikura Plateau (乗鞍高原)
- Shirahone Onsen (白骨温泉)
Explore Matsumoto City With a Guided Tour
If you prefer a guide to introduce you to the charms of Matsumoto, how about joining one of the below tours?
- Matsumoto Discovery – Half-Day Walking Tour
- Matsumoto Discovery – One-Day Walking Tour
- Ninja & Samurai Armor Experience in Matsumoto
- Matsumoto Castle Tour & Samurai Experience
- Kimono Rental Experience with Professional Styling Service in Nagano
- Matsumoto Castle Tour & Soba Noodle Experience
- Touring Matsumoto by Bicycle
- Matsumoto Castle, Sake, Food & Craft Beer Walking Tour
- Day Tour from Nagano and Matsumoto: Kamikochi & Matsumoto Castle
How to Get to Matsumoto
Accessing Matsumoto is easy. The city is well-connected with other parts of Japan by train or bus.
- From JR Shinjuku Station (新宿駅), take the limited express Azusa (あずさ号)
- From JR Tokyo Station (東京駅), take the bullet train, Hokuriku-Shinkansen (北陸新幹線), and get off at JR Nagano Station (長野駅). From there, change for the limited express Shinano (特急しなの) to get to JR Matsumoto Station (松本駅)
From Osaka and Nagoya
From Osaka and Nagoya, take the limited express Shinano (特急しなの) and get off at JR Matsumoto Station.
Taking Express Bus
Instead of taking JR trains, you can also take the express bus from the major destinations in Japan. For more details and to book your bus ticket, please refer to Alpico’s website HERE.
If you don’t plan to drive, traveling by bus is most recommended and sometimes the only option if you want to visit Japan’s Chūbu region, which is filled with mountains. In this case, you might consider getting a discounted bus pass to save on transportation fees.
For more details about the discount tickets in Nagano and the wider Chūbu region, please refer to HERE.
A List of Transportation Passes Covering Matsumoto
If you plan to explore Matsumoto and the surrounding areas, below is a list of transportation passes covering Matsumoto.
- Shoryudo Highway Bus Pass (3 or 5 Days)
- JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)
- 5-Day JR Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Pass
- Highway Bus Tickets to Matsumoto, Hida-Takayama, Shirakawa-go Area (Shinjuku Departure)
Matsumoto City Loop Bus – Town Sneaker (タウンスニーカー)
If you plan to visit the popular attractions in Matsumoto’s city center, the loop bus Town Sneaker can be a good option to get you from locations A to B.
The loop bus has four routes, all departing from Matsumoto Station. The North, East, and South Course depart from Matsumoto Station’s castle exit (Oshiro-guchi), while the West Course departs from Matsumoto Station’s Alps-guchi exit.
The bus route map HERE will give you a visual idea of the distance of each of the attractions you are interested in.
Town Sneaker One-day Ticket (タウンスニーカー1日乗車券)
The bus ride costs 150 yen (West Course) or 200 yen (North, South, and East Course). So, if you plan on visiting multiple attractions by taking the Town Sneaker, purchase the one-day ticket to save on transportation costs!
The ticket is only 500 yen (250 yen for children). It will also give you discounts at major attractions where the bus stops (the national treasure Matsumoto Castle, for example).
If you don’t speak Japanese, the easiest way to purchase a ticket is from Matsumoto Bus Terminal (松本バスターミナル). There should be English-speaking staff around.
You can also purchase a ticket from the Town Sneaker’s driver, who may or may not understand English. If that is the case, utilize the phrase below (or simply show the Japanese to the bus driver).
Town Sneaker Ichinichi Jyōshaken wo Kudasai (タウンスニーカー1日乗車券をください。)
Getting to Matsumoto Castle by Hello Cycling
You can also utilize Hello Cycling, a rental bicycle service across Japan that allows you to rent and return a bicycle from and to any Hello Cycling ports/stations 24/7. All you need to do is download the Hello Cycling app to your phone and register an account.
- One account can borrow up to 4 bicycles.
- The app should automatically change to English when you open it. In case it doesn’t, click on the menu icon and tap on “言語設定”.
- Currently, for Matsumoto City, it is 100 yen per 15 minutes and is capped at 1,800 yen for every 12 hours.
Matsumoto Castle Town Natural Spring Water (まつもと城下町湧水群)
Matsumoto is a city surrounded by high mountain ranges that receives heavy snow during the winter. But what does this mean for the daily life of the locals living in the city center?
Delicious spring water from visible water sources and wells!
HERE is the official map with the well-known water sources and wells marked. Not only can tourists conveniently refill their water bottles when they stroll around the city, but many locals also draw water from these locations regularly. Because cafes and sake brewers would proudly make their beverages and sake from one of these natural springs, there is no doubt about the deliciousness of the natural water in Matsumoto!
Furthermore, there are smaller and/or lesser-known spring sources in the city on top of those shown on the map. If you see a spring source with a scoop placed around it, that is a good indication that someone has been drawing water from it (^_-)-☆.
Important: If you have a weak gastrointestinal tract, you might want to boil the water before drinking. Although it may look good and clean, it is still raw water.
The Fascinating Museums in Matsumoto’s City Center
Matsumoto’s most valuable and perhaps most popular historical attraction is the national treasure, Matsumoto Castle. But if that is the only historical attraction on your itinerary, you might be missing out!
Within 5 km of the castle, there are a couple more museums with different themes that you might want to check out when you visit Matsumoto. The Matsumoto Timepiece Museum in the photo is one of them.
To find out more information about these museums, please refer to our article on The Fascinating Museums in Matsumoto’s City Center!
Soba Restaurant Miyota (そばきり みよ田 松本店)
While soba restaurants can be found in Japan almost just at every other corner in big cities, only a few of them serves a dish called Tōji Soba (とうじそば).
Tōji Soba is a local specialty in Matsumoto. What is unique about this dish is that it is served in Shabu-shabu style. Instead of stirring sliced vegetables, you will stir cold buckwheat noodles in the hot pot with mushrooms and vegetables!
Once you finish the cold soba noodles, the staff will use leftover soup to cook you a bowl of buckwheat porridge. And at the end of the course meal, enjoy a small serving of cold soba noodles with the restaurant’s dipping sauce!
Important: Please note that the broth/sauce used in the restaurant contains seafood extract. If you are strict with your vegetarian diet, you can order Soba Oyaki (そばおやき), which is a pickled vegetable bun with its skin made from buckwheat flour.
Soba Restaurant Miyota’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Soba Restaurant Miyota is open
- From 11:30 am to 3 pm for lunch
- From 5 pm to 8:30 pm for dinner
- On Sundays, it opens from 11:30 am to 3 pm.
- The last order is taken 30 minutes before closing time.
- The restaurant is around a 5-minute walk from JR Matsumoto Station (松本駅)
Confectionary Shop Kaiundō (開運堂 本店)
If you are looking for some confectionary as souvenirs, check out Kaiundō, which has a variety of popular and well-received products by locals and customers around the country!
Kaiundō transformed from a kimono shop to a Japanese confectionary maker in 1884. Due to its major success, it started to branch into Western confectionary in the 1950s.
Another secret to the deliciousness of their products is the water used. The water that the shop uses is pumped from 200 meters underground, sourced from the Japanese Alps close by.
Nowadays, what attracts many children to the shop isn’t the mouthwatering-looking confectionary but the “robot” made soft-serve cone. Although the shop called it a robot, it is just a fully automated soft-serve machine. But it isn’t hard to understand why children would enjoy inserting the special coin (purchased from the shop) and its overall experience. After all, it is a rare concept in Japan and probably in the world.
Confectionary Shop Kaiundō’s Business Hours and Access Information
- The shop is open from 9 am to 6 pm daily except for the New Year’s Day.
- From JR Matsumoto Station (松本駅), it is around a 7-minute walk.
Nakamachi Shopping Street (中町商店街)
Not too far from Matsumoto Castle, there is a street lined with traditional houses with a rather unique appearance.
Nakamachi Shopping Street is the main street of the old Matsumoto. The houses on this street all look more or less like traditional warehouses. The reason? Fire hazard prevention.
Nowadays, the street remains one of the best places to shop for handicrafts and local specialties. Needless to say, you can also enjoy a delicious afternoon tea there from one of the cake or confectionery shops.
For more information, please refer to our Nakamachi Shopping Street article.
Yohashira Shrine (四柱神社) and the Delicious Shops in Nawate Street (繩手通り)
If you are walking towards Matsumoto Castle from Matsumoto Station, you might walk past one of Matsumoto’s most revered shrines, the Yohashira Shrine. But before you reach the shrine, you will first see some frog monuments on Nawate Street (´▽｀*).
The frog statues are placed at the beginning of the shopping street so that the spirits of the frog colony that used to call the street ‘home’ continue to “live” on. As you walk down the street, you might find yourself lost in the souvenir shops selling interesting items you may want to bring home. Furthermore, your stomach might start growling in response to the pleasant smell of street food stalls and cafes!
For more information, please refer to our article on Yohashira Shrine and Nawate Street (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
Matsumoto City Museum of Art (松本市美術館)
Apart from the Matsumoto Castle, the Matsumoto City Museum of Art is another primary landmark of the city.
The museum dedicated to artists related to Nagano Prefecture is the best place in the world to experience the world of Yayoi Kusama, one of the world’s favorite contemporary artists, born in Matsumoto. Before you even enter the museum, the permanent outdoor sculpture, The Visionary Flowers (幻の華), will already give you a deep impression (albeit they might look like giant insect trapping plants (´▽｀*)).
Stepping into the exhibition room of Yayoi Kusama’s artworks is like walking into her world. Suffering from both visual and auditory hallucinations, Yayoi creates various sculptures and paintings, which is her way to heal herself and achieve inner peace. The museum is like a paradise for Yayoi Kusama’s fans. You will find many works she created throughout her life inside that exhibition room.
Other Artworks at the Matsumoto City Museum of Art
Besides the paintings in the exhibit, the museum has something else that would attract visitors’ attention. Whether it is vending machines, garbage bins, and even toilets, the Matsumoto City Museum of Art is decorated with red polka dots, Yayoi’s synonymous. One of the vending machines even contains her autograph!
In addition to Yayoi’s work, you can also examine works from other artists, such as Kamijō Shinzan’s (上條信山) calligraphy and Tamura Kazuo’s (田村一男) landscape paintings.
The museum also holds special exhibitions four times a year. For more information on what is on, please refer to the official website HERE.
An Aware Winning Architecture: Matsumoto City Museum of Art
If you are interested in architecture, the Matsumoto City Museum of Art is definitely a masterpiece. The building was designed by Miyamoto Tadanaga (宮本忠長) with the concept of a forest museum to add green space to the historical city of Matsumoto, which has been urbanized.
Surrounded by greeneries, the museum may seem pretty contemporary at first glance, but it does contain some traditional Japanese elements. The lobby at the ground level is only divided by Japanese sliding doors and folding screens on the north and the south. This creates a transparent space that extends the museum space visually.
So when you are sipping a cup of coffee at the museum’s cafe, you can adore the garden in the atrium and Yayoi’s Visionary Flowers at the front.
Buses Inspired by Yayoi Kusama
If you are lucky, this red-dotted bus may drive by right in front of you!
The bus, named Boisterous Polka Dot (Mizutama Ranbu-gō, 水玉乱舞号), is one of the Town Sneakers buses running in the city. As there is only one Mizutama Ranbu-gō, some waiting is required if you are keen to see it.
Not only is the bus decorated with Yayoi’s red polka dot, but the car plate number also contains dots. What is printed on the number plate is “・841” as the dot motif and the name Yayoi (how 841 can be pronounced in Japanese)!
Another Yayoi Kusama-themed bus is the express bus operating between Shinjuku and Matsumoto, Kusama-gō Mamoroshi no Hana (草間号 幻の花). On top of the red polka dot, the Visionary Flowers is also painted over it.
Matsumoto Museum of Art’s Opening Hours, Admission Fee, and Access Information
- The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily except Mondays.
- The last admission is at 4:30 pm.
- If Monday is a public holiday, it will close the next business day.
- The museum is also closed from the 29th of December to the 3rd of January.
- The admission fee is
- 410 yen for adults
- 200 yen for university and senior high school students
- The museum is a 12-minute walk from JR Matsumoto Station (松本駅).
Tip: Keep your admission ticket for multiple entries to the museum on the same day.
Matsumoto Castle (松本城)
When you travel to Matsumoto, the city’s symbol, Matsumoto Castle, is a must-visit tourist spot.
It is one of the twelve castles in Japan that has a castle keep from the Edo period (1603 – 1867). The national treasure is also one of Japan’s only two castles with a five-story castle keep!
For more information about what to pay attention to when you get there, please refer to our article on Matsumoto Castle!
Former Kaichi School (旧開智学校) and The Memorial Hall of Former Senior High School System (旧制高等学校記念館)
Although it no longer exists, Matsumoto City once belonged to Chikuma Prefecture (筑摩県) between 1871 and 1876. While the prefecture lasted less than five years, Chikuma Prefecture is known for its passion for education.
In a short period of time, many schools were established with high enrolment rates. Even after Chikuma Prefecture was consolidated into Nagano and Gifu Prefecture in mid-1876, especially in Matsumoto, citizens still dedicated much of their resources to educating their offspring. And the below two attractions are the best examples of their effort!
- Former Kaichi School (旧開智学校)
- The Memorial Hall of Former Senior High School System (旧制高等学校記念館)
For more information about the above schools, please refer to our article on Explore the Old Schools in Matsumoto, the Education Prefecture of Japan!
Jōyama Park (城山公園)
If you visit Matsumoto in spring, apart from Matsumoto Castle, Jōyama Park is another place to go for cherry blossom hunting. We reckon it is probably a better place than around the castle if you are after panoramic scenery.
If you want to overlook Matsumoto City, the park is the place to be. In fact, you can see as far as Azumino City from the observatory!
At the park, many cherry trees were planted around the spacious lawn. Because it is located on high grounds, if you miss the cherry blossom season in Matsumoto’s city center, you still have a great chance to admire the flowers in their full bloom state in Jōyama Park.
On the other hand, the drawback feature of this park is that you will need to walk up the steep slope if you don’t have access to a car.
If you can read some Japanese, you might wonder why the place is called Jōyama Park because “Jō” means castle. And Matsumoto Castle isn’t close to the park.
Apparently, during the Nanbokuchō period (1336 – 1392), a castle named Inukai Castle (犬甘城) was situated at the top of the hill where the park is located today. So Jōyama refers to the Inukai Castle on this mountain rather than Matsumoto Castle on the flat ground afar.
On the park’s west, there is a small hill where you can find traces of the mountain castle. The castle is considered a branch of Matsumoto Castle to uncover attacks from the west.
The history of the park started in 1843 when the lord of Matsumoto Castle, Toda Mitsutsune (戸田光庸), planted thousands of cherry and maple trees at the Inukai Castle Ruins and then opened the site to his citizens. Why was he so generous? It was to show his appreciation in response to the celebration and tributes received from the citizens for the celebration of 100 years anniversary of the Tokugawa shogunate.
The Cherry Blossom and Fall Foliage Season at Jōyama Park
The cherry blossom season at Jōyama Park usually peaks from early to mid-April.
In 2023, Matsumoto Cherry Blossom Festival was held from the 1st to the 16th of April, with nighttime illumination events from 6 pm to 9 pm.
The fall foliage season at Jōyama Park usually starts in late October and peaks from early to mid-November.
How to Get to Jōyama Park
- The park is a 20-minute walk from JR Kita-Matsumoto Station (北松本駅).
- If you are coming from Matsumoto Castle, it will be around a 30-minute walk.
- You can also take a North City West Bound Line (北市内線西回り) from JR Matsumoto Station’s (松本駅) Oshiro-guchi exit (松本駅お城口) and get off at Jōyama-guchi (城山公園口).
- As the number of services is limited, please refer HERE and click “時刻表” for the timetable.
Asama Onsen (浅間温泉)
If you love to indulge in hot springs, stay at one of the ryokans in Asama Onsen, which is just around a 20 to 30-minute bus ride away!
The onsen town has more than 1,000 years of history. Because the spring source’s temperature maintains around 50 degrees, cool water is generally not required in hotels and ryokans at Asama Onsen. That means your skin will be moisturized with an abundance of natural minerals!
Because Asama Onsen is located so close to Matsumoto Castle, back in the Edo period, it is where the feudal lords would escape from their hectic daily lives.
From late June to early July when little bugs dance with their butts glowing around the river, the Firefly Festival (蛍祭) is held. When the foliage starts turning red in October and November, it is time to enjoy soba noodles from freshly harvested buckwheat seeds at Asama Onsen’s restaurants!
How to Get to Asawa Onsen
From Matsumoto Station’s Oshiro exit (松本駅お城口), take the Asama Line (浅間線) or New Asama Line (新浅間線) and get off at Asama Onsen (浅間温泉).
Misuzu Lake (美鈴湖)
From mid-October to mid-November, Misuzu Lake is a stunning place for fall foilage hunting. The artificial lake located in a gorge at an altitude of 1,000 meters isn’t just the local mecca for crucian carp fishing. When the weather starts to get colder, the nature surrounding the lake will be dyed from golden to bright red color (the season usually peaks from the end of October to mid-November)!
When you get there, take a walk on the promenade around the lake to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. After that, you can drive up to Utsukushigahara Plateau (美ヶ原高原) for some spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
In the early morning, you might also be able to see the mysterious view of the sea of clouds from the Plateau (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
If you would like to spend a night there, you can reserve a camping site with Misuzuko Morinokuni Auto Campground (美鈴湖もりの国 オートキャンプ場). By utilizing their equipment rental service, all you need to bring is your dinner and breakfast ingredients!
For more information, please refer to their official website HERE and translate the web page with Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar.
How to Get to Misuzu Lake
- It is best if you can drive to Misuzu Lake. However, if that isn’t an option for you, usually from mid-July to August, bus services will depart from JR Matsumoto Station’s west (alps) exit.
- From June to September, there will also be bus services available on weekends and public holidays.
- HERE is the timetable.
- The service operates daily from mid-July to August and on weekends and public holidays from the beginning of June to September.
Mt. Kōbō Tomb (弘法山古墳)
If you are looking for a hidden gem in the cherry blossom scenery, Mt. Kōbō Tomb on a mountain is the destination that you will want to check out.
Back then, although it was known that there was a tomb in the mountain, it was believed that the tumulus was already destroyed. In 1974, the small mountain was bought by a private-funded school. An archaeological excavation was undertaken before formal construction work started. Taking many by surprise, the tomb was found to be well-preserved and a large amount of earthenware was excavated from the stone chamber.
Back then, it was the only mound consisting of two connecting rectangular spaces in the prefecture. Determined to be a tomb from the third century, it was also the oldest tumulus of such kind in eastern Japan.
In 1976, the Mt. Kōbō Tomb was designated as a National Historic Site. The excavated items are now part of the collections of Matsumoto City Archaeological Museum (松本市立考古博物館).
However, nowadays, the tomb isn’t why people visit Mt. Kōbō in spring. From early to mid-April, more than 4,000 cherry trees will be blooming across the summit!
Furthermore, the snow-capped Northern Alps at the far back make the scenery even more astonishing!
How to Get to Mt. Kōbō
From Matsumoto Bus Terminal (松本バスターミナル) in front of JR Matsumoto Station (松本駅), take the Nami Yanagi-danchi Line (並柳団地線) and get off at Kōbōsan-iriguchi (弘法山入口).
- Refer HERE and click “時刻表” for the timetable.
Matsumoto City Archaeological Museum’s Opening Hours, Admission Fee, and Access Information
- The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, except Mondays from March to November.
- The last admission is at 4:30 pm.
- If Monday is a public holiday, it will close on the next business day.
- From December to February, the museum is closed on weekdays and from the 29th of December to the 3rd of January.
- The admission fee is
- 200 yen for senior high school students and above
- Free otherwise
- You will need access to a car to get to the museum.
Shinshu Sky Park (信州スカイパーク)
In the south of Matsumoto, Matsumoto Airport is known for being the airport located at the highest altitude in Japan. Surrounding the airport is Nagano Prefecture’s largest urban park. If you love to see airplanes and private charter jets fly by whilst standing in stunning greeneries, it is certainly one of the best places in Japan to do so.
Shinshu Sky Park is divided into seven areas: the children’s playgrounds, football pitches, BBQ facilities, and walking and running paths. This is why the park is considered to be a primary destination for locals from various age groups, as well as families.
If you want to go around the park, it will take around an hour. Renting a bicycle from the park’s office center will be a better option for time-conscious people.
One thing to note is that there aren’t any restaurants or convenience stores nearby. Please remember to bring along a picnic basket if you plan to spend a couple of hours there!
How to Get to Shinshu Skypark
From Matsumoto Bus Terminal (松本バスターミナル), take the Airport/Asahi Line (空港・朝日線) and get off at Kambayashi (神林), Yamabiko Dome-mae (やまびこドーム前), or Shinshū Skypark Taiiku Center (信州スカイパーク体育センター).
- Refer HERE and click “時刻表” for the timetable.
- “平日時刻表” means weekday timetable, and “土休日時刻表” means timetable for weekends and public holidays.
Amongst nature lovers, Matsumoto’s most iconic destination would be Kamikōchi. The beautiful scenery certainly lives up to its name. Not a single day where Kamikōchi looks exactly the same as the seasons pass.
For more information about the hiking trails and attractions in this mountainous area with unreal scenery, please refer to our article on Kamikōchi!
Karasawa Soba Village (唐沢そば集落)
A hidden gem you can visit for lunch after your visit to Kamikōchi or arriving at Matsumoto Airport is Karasawa Soba Village.
As you gradually climb up the hills amongst the idyllic rural scenery, the view will slowly open up with the cityscape of the Matsumoto Basin in the distance. At the top of the hill, you will find seven soba restaurants lined up in just 500 meters!
From the Edo to the mid-Showa period (20th century), the villagers in the Karasawa area would engage in rice and buckwheat milling businesses. Utilizing the buckwheat flours freshly ground, soba restaurants started to open one after another due to its growing popularity.
The restaurants are what the Japanese would describe the atmosphere to be like at a grandmother’s house in the countryside. Maintaining the traditional dining style, many restaurants at Karasawa Soba Village have a tatami mat room as their dining area.
As each restaurant has its taste and style, you can either dine at the restaurant that looks favorable to you or spend a short time at each place to compare their noodles.
Important: If you prefer to consume dipping sauce that does not contain seafood extract, please bring your own.
Tip: Most of the restaurants there open at 11 am. However, there might be a bit of a queue in front of popular restaurants such as Susha (水舎) during the weekends and public holidays. We recommend that you arrive early if you can’t go on a weekday.
How to Get to Karasawa Soba Village
- It is best if you can drive your way to the village; or
- It is around a 40 to 50-minute walk from either Hata Station (波田駅) or Endō Station (渕東駅). Both stations are on Matsumoto Dentetsu’s Kamikōchi Line.
- There are also community buses available between Hata Station and the village. Albeit the number of services is limited, it is something you can utilize for one leg of the trip.
- Refer to HERE and click “時刻表” underneath either “梓川・波田線 (Azusagawa Hata Line)” or “村井・山形線 (Murai Yamagata Line)” for the service’s timetable.
Norikura Highland (乗鞍高原)
Apart from the famous Kamikōchi filled with tourists almost throughout the year, a relatively off-the-beaten-path natural attraction is Norikura Highland or Norikura Kōgen in Japanese.
What sets it apart from Kamikōchi is the well-maintained trail for mountain bike cyclists and the hot spring facilities close to the tourist center.
Moreover, unlike Kamikōchi, which has traffic restrictions, you can drive up to the highland. So if you aren’t an outdoor person but still want to enjoy some magnificent scenery, come to Norikura Kōgen!
For more information, please refer to our article on Norikura Kōgen.
Shirahone Onsen (白骨温泉)
Surrounded by mountains, Matsumoto City has a wealth of hot spring sources. Amongst them, Shirahone Onsen (白骨温泉) tops the list with its picturesque natural scenery and cultural elements.
Putting its somewhat scary name aside, you will surely be enchanted by the onsen town’s charm!
For more information, please refer to our Shirahone Onsen article.