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Travelling to Northern Japan Alps region 2018/5/8 23:11
Hey,
we are going to visit Japan our first time at End of Oct./Begin of November this year. As a part of our travels we also want to visit the Northern Japan Alp region. Here are the destinations we intend to visit:

- Kamikochi
- Takayama
- Kiso-Valley

I thought it would be best to base ourselves in Matsumoto for 3 full days and making day-trips, can anyone comment on this?

Or can some of the mentioned destinations also be done as a half-day trip?
Can you recommend something else to visit in this region during Autumn?

Sincerely

by alpri  

Re: Travelling to Northern Japan Alps region 2018/5/9 10:35
Hi. All are nice places but there would be a lot of backtracking doing them as day trips and all of the places would be nicer overnight. Personally what I would do is a loop - stay a night at Matsumoto then go from there to Kiso Valley and stay the night (say Tsumago), then from there go to Nagoya and take the wideview Hida up to Takayama and stay the night there, then bus it to Kamikouchi (really like staying overnight there as it is ruined during the day with busloads of daytrippers) then bus/train back to Matsumoto.

You could do that in reverse too. We have stayed at all of those towns, so if you want accom suggestions we like Buena Vista or Richmond hotels at Matsumoto, Onsen Hotel at Kamikouchi, Hotel Associa is really nice at Takayama. We stayed at Kisoji Resort at Tsumago which is nice as an onsen resort but I'd have rathered stay in one of the ryokans in town.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling to Northern Japan Alps region 2018/5/10 01:06
Actually spending a night at those destinations came first into my mind, but i skipped it because I thought it would be quite a hassle checking in and out at at the differentt accomodations.

Sincerely
by alpri rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling to Northern Japan Alps region 2018/5/10 04:58
Oh that usually only takes 5 minutes or so, 10 max. It is much more fun staying overnight especially if you like to poke around early in the morning.

It did occur to me though, you probably dont have to start from Matsumoto, you can probably got Tokyo to Tsumago and on from there...
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling to Northern Japan Alps region 2018/5/10 14:22
Lazy's suggestion is a good one. As many of these towns are small, it takes much less time than in a city like Tokyo or Osaka. Another option is to use a luggage locker. This should be available at most locations. Also Tsumago does look nicer at night than Magome. The Fujioto is a reasonable Ryokan there if you have the budget. Do buy any drinks or snacks you want before you reach the Kiso Valley or Kamikochi as there is no/few convenience stores in these towns. Takayama is another story....
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling to Northern Japan Alps region 2018/5/10 17:23
Thank you for suggesting the Fujito ryokan, it looks marvelous! What do you mean exactly by "Takayama" is another story?

Can you recommend a nice ryokan -maybe with onsen- in Kamikochi area, too?

Sincerely
by alpri rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling to Northern Japan Alps region 2018/5/10 19:33
Hi. I think the poster meant that Takayama has heaps of places to get snacks, which is true. But we are hooked on the beef sushi there, we have eaten a tonne of it.

at Kamikouchi I'd really recommend the Onsen (spa) Hotel. The staff are nice and speak english really well (as a lot work at Hakuba over the ski season) and the food is spectacular. we had a river view room which was quite big, and the rotenburo is great - sometimes the monkeys come and have a look from the trees nearby.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling to Northern Japan Alps region 2018/5/11 02:56
Did you have the room category S01-S06 or S07?

I could spare up to 5 nights for those three destinations in total. The question is how to distribute them in the best way.
by alpri rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling to Northern Japan Alps region 2018/5/11 04:40
I cant recall, but we were in one of the end rooms on the left as you face the hotel so we had views to the river and out to the side into the forest. Apparently sometimes the monkeys would get onto the little balconys.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling to Northern Japan Alps region 2018/5/12 04:38
Thanks...
Remaining question is: How long to stay at each of the destinations?

Sincerely
by alpri rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling to Northern Japan Alps region 2018/5/12 05:33
Hi. I dont want to dominate the thread but it among my favorite parts of Japan. In fact we are going back this year, and my plan is Tokyo, Lake Kawaguchiko, Matsumoto, Kamikouchi, Takayama, Hikone, Nara over two weeks.

If you like early morning walks, all of the places are nicer overnight and you get them more to yourself in the morning. Even Matsumoto, as it is fun to see people doing their tai chi (or whatever) near the castle moat in the morning, though I'm not sure if that is every day.

I've stayed days at each because we like generally to stay anywhere at least two nights. But for most people I'd say :
Matsumoto - really the big draw is the castle. You could see that in maybe 2 - 3 hours. If you were short of time I would drop that from the overnight list;
Kamikouchi - if you got in at 3 in the afternoon and left by 11 in the morning, you would have all of the stuff in easy walking distance comfortably and had a good relax;
Takayama - probably similar though I really like that town and like to get out to the squirrel park just out of town, and up to the top of the park in town. I like a few days, a lot of people are done in a few hours;
Tsumago - there isnt much to do in town especially during the week when it is quiet. I'd look to get in mid-afternoon and do the walk in the morning. I think if you left for the walk at say 8AM, you'd be well and truly done at Magome by 11 and probably looking for the bus back.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

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