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The Daio Wasabi Farm (大王わさび農場, Daiō Wasabi Nōjō) in rural Azumino City near Matsumoto is one of Japan's largest wasabi farms and a popular tourist destination. The farm has multiple large fields with a meticulously maintained network of small streams that constantly provides each wasabi plant with clear, flowing water from the Northern Alps. Only under such pristine conditions is wasabi cultivation possible. From May to October, the fields are protected from the sun by black tarp sheets.

The farm has been attractively developed for tourists with walking trails between the fields. Within the farm stands the Daio Shrine, which enshrines the spirit of an ancient local hero, Hachimen Daio, after which the farm has been named and who is considered the farm's protector. Nearby the shrine is also a small cave related to the local hero's legend.

An idyllic scene of old-fashioned, wooden water wheels alongside the river can also be enjoyed from the walking trails. The water wheels were constructed here for the filming of Kurosawa Akira's "Dreams" in 1989 and have been left standing. From late April to late October the scenery can also be enjoyed from short tours on inflatable boats (about 20 minutes, 1200 yen).

Last but not least, the farm features multiple shops and a restaurant. On sale is a wide variety of wasabi related products, including fresh wasabi, wasabi paste, wasabi flavored pickles and crackers, wasabi soba noodles, wasabi curry, wasabi sausages, wasabi dressing, wasabi beer, wasabi juice, wasabi soft cream and wasabi chocolate.

Getting there and around

Take the JR Oito Line from Matsumoto to Hotaka Station (30 minutes, 330 yen one way, 1-2 trains/hour), from where the wasabi farm can be reached in a ten minute taxi ride (approx. 1400 yen one way). On selected days from late April to early November, there is a loop bus for tourists that connects Hotaka Station with the farm (10 minutes, 600 yen per ride or 1000 yen for a 1-day pass). Outside of winter, rental bicycles are another alternative to consider.

How to get to and around Matsumoto

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Hotels around Matsumoto

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    • cafe&stay CASTANA
      Mid-range
      Located in Matsumoto, 6 km from The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, cafe&stay CASTANA provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking. The property is situated 3.8 km from Matsumoto Castle, 42 km from Mt.Norikura Ski Resort and 2.1 km from Matsumoto City Museum of Art. The inn features family rooms. The inn will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a kettle, a microwave, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At cafe&stay CASTANA each room comes with bed linen and towels. Fukashi Shrine is 2.4 km from the accommodation, while Agatonomori Park is 2.8 km away. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 10 km from cafe&stay CASTANA.
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    • Guesthouse Raicho
      Budget-friendly
      Guest House Raicho offers accommodation in Norikura Kogen in Chubu Sangaku National Park. Mt. Norikura Ski Resort is a 3-minute drive away, and pick-up service to and from the resort is provided every morning. Free WiFi and free parking is available on site. Guests can also enjoy bathing in the sulfur hot-spring, which makes use of pure spring water. Towels and toothbrush are provided at a fee. Kamikochi Sawando Car Park is a 20-minute drive away from the property. Kamikochi Bus Terminal is a 30-minute bus ride from Kamikochi Sawando Car Park, and a 60-minute direct bus ride from Norikura Kogen. Guests can have breakfast at an extra cost upon request. Guests can make their own meals at the shared kitchen on site. Activities available around the area include out-of-area skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing near a waterfall, hiking, cycling and fishing. Guests can also visit the Northern Alps or Matsumoto City, both tourist destinations that can be accessed from the property.
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    • 古民家一棟貸しの宿 Thank you Hippo INN
      Budget-friendly
      Only a few steps from Matsumoto Castle, 古民家一棟貸しの宿 Thank you Hippo INN features free Wi-Fi, Japanese-style dorm rooms overlooking the castle or garden and a free-use kitchen. It has a common lounge, a garden and drinks vending machines. The common lounge at 古民家一棟貸しの宿 Thank you Hippo INN has a table with benches, as well as a Japanese-style area where guests can relax on seating cushions on the tatami (woven-straw) floor. The kitchen comes with a microwave and an induction stove. Guests sleep in traditional futon bedding, on a tatami floor. The authentic Japanese-style dorm rooms feature shoji paper screens and antique furniture. Shower rooms and toilets are shared, and amenities are available at a charge. 古民家一棟貸しの宿 Thank you Hippo INN is a 5-minute walk from the Kita-Matsumoto Train Station, and a 10-minute walk from Matsumoto Station on the Shinanoi Line. No meals are served, but shops and restaurants are within a 5-minute walk.
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    • Onyado Nono Matsumoto Natural Hot Spring
      Luxury
      Located in Matsumoto, 2.8 km from The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, Onyado Nono Matsumoto Natural Hot Spring provides accommodation with a restaurant, private parking, a shared lounge and a spa and wellness centre. Each guest at the 4-star property can enjoy mountain views from the rooms, and has access to a sauna. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage for guests. All units in the hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. Guest rooms at Onyado Nono Matsumoto Natural Hot Spring include air conditioning and a desk. A buffet breakfast is available daily at the accommodation. Popular points of interest near Onyado Nono Matsumoto Natural Hot Spring include Matsumoto Castle, Fukashi Shrine and Yohashira Shrine. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 8 km from the hotel.
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    • Kamikochi Nishi-itoya Mountain lodge
      Mid-range
      Featuring a restaurant, shared lounge, garden and free WiFi, Kamikochi Nishi-itoya Mountain lodge is located in Matsumoto, 47 km from The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum and a few steps from Kappa Bridge. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. Each room has a balcony. At the ryokan, each room comes with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV, a shared bathroom, bed linen and towels. All rooms come with a safety deposit box and certain rooms include river views. Kamikochi Nishi-itoya Mountain lodge offers a ? la carte or Asian breakfast. Guests at the accommodation will be able to enjoy activities in and around Matsumoto, like hiking. Kamikochi is 3 km from Kamikochi Nishi-itoya Mountain lodge, while Mt.Norikura Ski Resort is 26 km away. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 51 km from the ryokan.
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    • L-BASE
      Mid-range
      Set in Matsumoto, 5 km south from Matsumoto Station,L-BASE features free private parking. Kishinoyu Onsen and Utsukushigahara Onsen are a 20-minute drive from the property. The property offers 3 different types of guestrooms. Every room comes with a flat-screen TV. You will find a kettle in the room. For your comfort, you will find slippers and a hair dryer. Free WiFi access is available in some rooms. The holiday home also offers bicycle rentals. Matsumoto Castle is a 20-minute drive away.
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    • Tabino Hotel lit Matsumoto
      Mid-range
      Tabino Hotel lit Matsumoto is set in Matsumoto, 2.8 km from The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum and 30 km from Kamikochi. Featuring a restaurant, this 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage for guests. All guest rooms at the hotel come with a seating area and a flat-screen TV. Rooms have a kettle, while selected rooms also feature a kitchenette with a microwave. At Tabino Hotel lit Matsumoto the rooms come with bed linen and towels. A buffet breakfast is available every morning at the accommodation. Popular points of interest near Tabino Hotel lit Matsumoto include Matsumoto Castle, Fukashi Shrine and Yohashira Shrine. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 8 km from the hotel.
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    • Hotel Tamanoyu
      Luxury
      Hotel Tamanoyu features spacious public hot spring baths, as well as private ones. For further relaxation, it offers massages, Japanese cuisine and small classical concerts. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property, and facilities are wheelchair-friendly. Tamanoyu offers comfortable rooms with a Japanese or Western decor, all fitted with an LCD TV, a mini-fridge and an electric kettle. Free green tea is provided, and guests are free to roam the hotel in Japanese samue casual wear. Guests can unwind in public spring baths or reserve an outdoor hot spring bath for private use free of charge. Tamanoyu Hotel houses a souvenir shop and drinks vending machines. A Japanese breakfast and traditional multi-course dinner are served at the dining room. Local beers and Japanese sake can be enjoyed at the salon, which often features live classical and fork music. Hotel Tamanoyu is a 10-minute drive from Matsumoto-jo Castle and shopping street Nakamachi-dori, featuring classic Japanese architecture. It's also a 10-minute drive from the historical Former Kaichi School (Kyu Kaichi Gakko).
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    • Ryokan Seifuso
      Budget-friendly
      Just a 5-minute drive from Matsumoto Castle, Ryokan Seifuso offers a Japanese cultural experience with traditional accommodation, hot public baths and tea ceremony and kimono classes. Free-use bicycles are provided. Located in the Shinshu area of Nagano just 35 km from the natural beauty of Kamikochi, the hotel is about a 10-minute drive from the Matsumoto Ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock print) Museum. JR Matsumoto Train Station is a 15-minute drive away. The air-conditioned rooms include a refrigerator, flat-screen satellite TV and free in-room WiFi. Bathing facilities and toilets are shared with other guests. Seifuso Ryokan is entirely non-smoking. A DVD player and a computer with free internet access are provided in the common area. Fax/photocopying services are available and free parking is offered. Ryokan Seifuso serves fresh, seasonal Japanese cuisine for breakfast. A Western-style breakfast is available on request. Vegetarian diets can also be accommodated.
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    • Minka House
      Budget-friendly
      Minka House features a restaurant, free bikes, a bar and garden in Matsumoto. The property is located 3.7 km from The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, 40 km from Mt.Norikura Ski Resort and 50 km from Kamikochi. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen and free WiFi throughout the property. Rooms include a shared bathroom with a shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries. At the guest house, each room comes with air conditioning and a safety deposit box. Popular points of interest near Minka House include Matsumoto Castle, Fukashi Shrine and Matsumoto City Museum of Art. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 11 km from the accommodation.
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