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Getting to Kamikochi from Kyoto 2018/3/8 03:14
Hi!

So originally I was planning to take a bus from Kyoto to Matsumoto and take the bus because it is the most economical, but I am just not convinced I want to spend that much time on a bus, even to save money. I am not doing a night bus as I am traveling with a grade schooler and she can not stay up to even catch a night bus.

So... assuming I take trains, does it make more sense to do Kyoto to Nagoya to Matsumoto and take the train/bus to Kamikochi. (We will be going back through Matsumoto for 2 nights later, the plus of this is I have never taken the train from Nagoya to Matsumoto.) Or does it make more sense to take the train Kyoto to Nagoya to Takayama and then bus it to Hirayu onsen and transfer there. We went to Takayama last trip and I went to Hirayu onsen previously. From what I am seeing both routes will get us to Kamikochi at about the same time 16:30... assuming I make the connections I want. (Because coming into Matsumoto, I just don't think I can make the 4 minute transfer from the 14:03 Shinano to the 14:07 to Shinshimashima, and I am not sure I can make the 10:18 Nozomi because I will be coming from picking up lunch at the 10:00 opening of Tokyo Soup Stock. I know there is one in Nagoya, but unsure they carry the same things as Kyoto, where they had two vegetarian soups last trip, so unless we can find awesome take out on Sunday for Monday, I sort of want to do the soup. I guess I could see if Takayama/Matsumoto have anything interesting for lunch, but last trip every place we tried in Takayama was closed which stunk ~.~.)

We'll be paying out of pocket because even with the shinkansen it's about ~9180 yen and we have a later trip that is ~16,000 yen round trip which I can't fold into 1 week, and the ~9180 yen doesn't tip us over into 2 week pass territory.

Thanks in advance!
by rkold  

Re: Getting to Kamikochi from Kyoto 2018/3/8 11:33
Hi. If you've already done the train trip from Nagoya to Takayama (pretty much my favorite) then it might be more fun to do the trip from Nagoya to Matsumoto through the Kiso Valley (not as pretty, but not bad). The trip from Matsumoto to Shinshimashima is fun too.

If you havent done the wideview Hida from Nagoya to Matsumoto, then I'd go that way because it is a really spectacular journey, winding along the river.

Best lunch at Takayama is the beef place near the red bridge, from memory. The place which has black walls and chalk dragons on the walls.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Getting to Kamikochi from Kyoto 2018/3/8 12:09
@Lazy Pious, we did the whole route from Nagoya up to Toyama last trip, with a stopover in Takayama, but Matsumoto is one of those places I've just not made it to before, so it might be nice to go there from Nagoya through the mountains.

We don't eat any meat, which is why I say we are picky eaters. I've noticed in the past people posting on Japan-Guide can be a little rude about people being vegetarian. (I'm not saying you were, I don't remember the usernames of the people who were but it was rather off putting.) It gets old, so I generally just say we are picky eaters. It's one reason I decided renting a cabin in Kamikochi might be a good idea. A few of the places in Kamikochi say they might be able to handle our restrictions, but I would prefer not to risk it and I enjoy cooking.

I've looked up places and I guess if my daughter was OK without the soup, we could take an early train and catch the 11:00 up to Matsumoto. We could then take the 14:07 and have time to get lunch in Matsumoto for 1 hour. And since we're paying out of pocket I could finally just book a Nozomi and not after to wait for when a Hikari is running!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Getting to Kamikochi from Kyoto 2018/3/8 12:35
Sounds like a plan. Really if you've been to Takayama before and you arent into beef, I'd go on to Matsumoto through the Kiso Valley too. Not sure if you eat fish but if you do I'd recommend the Onsen Hotel at Kamikouchi. The food there is amazing with a heap of wild veggies. But if you dont eat fish either I dont think you'd find much to your taste.

Have you had the tofu set menus near Kiyomizudera? Awesome, just awesome. I think we went to this one http://tousuiro.com/en-home

by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Getting to Kamikochi from Kyoto 2018/3/8 14:09
Hi,

I am not sure whether this is what you are looking for, but if you want to go cheap using train, direct Hida Express might be the answer.

http://www.hyperdia.com/en/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=KYOTO&arv_node=...

Route 3, 7650 yen (if you take non-reserved seat, it would be 7130 yen.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Getting to Kamikochi from Kyoto 2018/3/9 00:21
@Lazy Pious, nope we eat no seafood as well, which is one of the things that pushed me to really think about renting a cabin. I do think I'm going to pay money as a day tripper to use the baths at the Onsen Hotel. My daughter is also fascinated by camping and I figure a cabin is like Glamping and a first step for someone who has never camped before.

I just can't decide if we should get to Kamikochi closer to 16:30 and get lunch in Kyoto, or plan to get to Kamikochi earlier and try to find something in Nagoya or Matsumoto. We'll have 2 nights in Kamikochi so plenty of time for hiking.

I have done tofu in Kyoto, but a lot of the Kyoto tofu places actually are not vegetarian. There are some amazing vegan places in Kyoto though. Sometimes I end up eating in Osaka though because I have friends who live there.

@Frog1954, thank you! I just need to figure out what my time is worth. That is what got me thinking, that and making sure there was food for my child.

Does anyone know how long the transfer in Matsumoto Station takes? I can do transfers pretty fast, I made an earlier train than Hyperdia predicted for Miyajima last Summer but I just don't know how Matsumoto works and if I need to buy a ticket for the train or can just use my Suica to cover the private line until I get to the bus to Kamikochi from Shin-Shimashima

I just started thinking what is my time worth. If I go via Nozomi to Shinano the trip in like 3 hours and costs 4000 yen more vs 6 hours on a bus. I also like the flexibility of being able to leave Kyoto later.

Anyone know if the Nagoya Tokyo Soup Stock carries vegetarian soups like Kyoto?
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Getting to Kamikochi from Kyoto 2018/3/9 01:18
Does anyone know how long the transfer in Matsumoto Station takes?

According to the company's website

https://www.alpico.co.jp/access/rail/#information

you don't need to buy ticket or go through the ticket gate, just go to No. 7 platform and get on the train. At Shin-shimashima show your JR ticket and buy the through ticket from Matsumoto to Kamikochi including the bus. At Matsumoto you will behave like getting another JR train, that is. Four min of transfer time will enough for you I think.

I just started thinking what is my time worth. If I go via Nozomi to Shinano the trip in like 3 hours and costs 4000 yen more vs 6 hours on a bus. I also like the flexibility of being able to leave Kyoto later.

Well, honestly I would take the JR route. Long bus ride is not so easy especially for child.

Anyone know if the Nagoya Tokyo Soup Stock carries vegetarian soups like Kyoto?

They change menu weekly, and as I checked this week's menu in Kyoto and Nagoya, the only soup which might be vegetarian is the Margherita soup. Are you OK with cheese?

by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Getting to Kamikochi from Kyoto 2018/3/9 02:24
Hi @Frog1954, yes, we eat dairy, honey and eggs. We just don't eat meat/birds/seafood. Last trip we got lucky and there were two vegetarian options in Kyoto. I am not sure if it was just luck or because Kyoto gets so many foreign tourists.

There are a few places with food in Matsumoto if we take a later transfer to Kamikochi or take an earlier transfer from Kyoto. I suspect getting a non-reserved seat shouldn't be so hard.

Hmmm it sounds like the transfer is pretty easy. We won't have a lot of luggage, just a small carry-on size wheelie and a carry on sized backpack. My large bag I am sending onwards to Tokyo. I can handle both bag on stairs/escalators should I need to.

Yeah, I thought long and hard about the bus and I am just not convinced it is worth the savings. I was looking at a post where someone recommended a Platt Kodama over taking the Nozomi or Hikari between Tokyo and Kyoto and thought why would you want to spend an hour+ longer on travel to save 3000 yen and then realized I was doing the same thing!

It would be nice to be able to take a Nozomi since they run so much more frequently than Hikaris.

Thank you! :)
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Getting to Kamikochi from Kyoto 2018/3/9 12:07
It would be nice to be able to take a Nozomi since they run so much more frequently than Hikaris.


I am not sure how long does it take to buy soup, but the Soup Stock Tokyo seems to be outside of the station (13th floor of JR Central Towers) so at least you might better secure 30 min.

As for vegetarian meal in Kyoto, yes many of Japanese restaurants use fish broth. However when it comes to "Shojin Ryori", they do not use it and you can enjoy pure vegetarian (or even vegan) meal. These are traditionary made by buddhist monks which are quite many in Kyoto. If you are interested, search Shojin and Daitokuji/Oubaku.

by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Getting to Kamikochi from Kyoto 2018/3/10 00:30
Yeah, I am not sure how long it will take either. I am just debating whether it just makes more sense to eat lunch in Matsumoto.

If I do a 9:18 from Kyoto, I can catch the 10:00 from Nagoya and be in Matsumoto by noon and have over an hour to get lunch and take a 13:28 train/bus to Kamikochi and get there at 15:20.

Chances are high my daughter will still be jetlagged on Monday so catching the 9:18 should be doable. We're currently staying near Fushimi Inari, though I might move us closer to the station for that 1 night.

Do you think it makes more sense to get lunch in Kyoto, try to plan to eat lunch in Nagoya or just eat in Matsumoto.

Hmmmmmm
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Getting to Kamikochi from Kyoto 2018/3/10 11:42
Matsumoto is very nice town which most Japanese would love. However, as for vegetarian lunch there are not so many options. The most common is Indian/Nepali restaurants, which is almost everywhere in Japan. The next is macrobiotic restaurants which are not so many but there are some in Matsumoto. Matsumoto's (or Nagano's) famous food is Soba (buckwheat noodle) and Oyaki (Nagano-style dumpling). Unfortunately Soba is not vegetarian for the most case since it is eaten with broth made from fish. Oyaki can be vegetarian depending the filling.

If you are OK with Oyaki, then you can buy some (the price should be around 200 yen per piece). There are several Oyaki Kiosk around Matsumoto station.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

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