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Is Kamikochi worth going? 2019/3/10 23:08
This is what I will be doing this coming April.
Takayama, Magome-Tsumago hike, Shinhotaka ropeway, Kanazawa, Noto Peninsula, Alpine route, Masumoto and Nagoya. Given that I will be going to the above places, would it be worth my effort to do a day trip to Kamikochi from Matsumoto. I am concerned that I may be seeing the same kind of scenery that I would have experienced as above
by Tom (guest)  

Re: Is Kamikochi worth going? 2019/3/11 10:14
Hi, if you were going from Matsumoto to Takayama or vice versa, I'd say stop at Kamikochi on the way. In April it is still very cold and it is nice for a walk. But ultimately there isnt much "historic" to see there, it is really more like a nice bushwalk which you will get in the Tsumago-Magome stroll, albeit that the river at Kamikochi is more like the one that runs through Shirakawa-go.

If you were able to stay overnight, I'd recommend it as there is a nice rotenburo at the Onsen Hotel and it is quiet before the buses roll in so the monkeys sometimes come right up to the hotel itself, and they are actually quite interesting in their own habitat. But going there during the day (say after 9AM) isnt much value because there are oodles of people and some of them are particularly noisy and destroy the peace and quiet.

Tea at the IMperial Hotel is very pleasant, and lunch at the place next to the bus terminal is awesome.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is Kamikochi worth going? 2019/3/11 11:05
Lazy Pious, thank you for your advice

My itinerary is actually
Nagoya => Takayama (with day Trip to Magome - Tsumago) => Shinhotaka (with a stay at a rotenburo onsen) => Kanazawa (with day trip to Noto Peninsula) = > Alpine Route (first day of opening and staying overnight) => Matsumoto => Nagoya

In that case, I will skip Kamikochi since it will take total 4 hours travelling time from Matsumoto. Are there any recommended places from Matsumoto worth going and offer something different from my itinerary?
by Tom (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is Kamikochi worth going? 2019/3/11 12:10
Some people love Matsumoto and will have a better idea of day trips from there. Personally if I had an extra day, I'd go to Hikone from Nagoya.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is Kamikochi worth going? 2019/3/11 15:33

I have done both. IMHO, forget the Tsumago-Magome walk and do not miss the Kamokochi, stay a night if possible.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is Kamikochi worth going? 2019/3/11 16:14
Lazy Pious,
I read in another posting that you find Takayama so much better than the underwhelming Tsumago-Magome stroll. Would you advise me how would you spend your time in Takayama? How many days would you spend in Takayama and how to spend it?
by Tom (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is Kamikochi worth going? 2019/3/11 16:26
ahhhh, well I really do like Takayama. The old town/river section is nice for a stroll and I really like the walk/hike to the top of the park, which would take a few hours if you poke around enough. I also like the squirrel forest which is probably only an hour thing and is a bit out of town. Also the trinket shopping there is pretty good, and the beef in the restaurants is top notch. On top of that, we stay at hotel Associa which I think would be the best value of any hotel/resort I've been to in Japan, with great onsens overlooking the town and a few cheap eating options.

Then you can go to Hida Folk Village (curiously enough I've never been there despite vistiing Takayama 3 times) or launch off to Shirakawa-go (worth a visit, wouldnt bust my hump to do it) or one of the other side trips.

I'd visit any time I was in the area and spend maybe 2 nights. Our last trip we stayed 2 in late October early November which was ideal because the autumn leaves were out, I wish we had made it 3 nights. It is touristy, but it is touristy-nice, not touristy-tacky.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is Kamikochi worth going? 2019/3/11 21:26

I'm one of those people who really liked Matsumoto. I regret we didn't spend more time there. I really enjoyed the castle, just walking around the town, and there happened to be a really good art exhibit at the art museum when I was there. It was a huge Kusama Yayoi exhibit that I think has now come to the USA and is nigh near impossible to get tickets for. While in Matsumoto, I just went to the museum and got in without an issue.

I'm also a fan of Nagano. I really liked Zenkoji and all the cute cafes leading up to it. I've also spent some time in Matsushiro, which is not mentioned on this website at all.

I'm ehhh on Takayama and I don't like Shirakawa Go at all. Unlike @Lazy Pious, I've been to the Hida no Sato village and loved it. I think that was my favorite part of Takayama. I've also stayed at the Associa 2x. The two floors of onsen are seriously to die for and the rooms are enormous. Without a rental car it's frustrating to be beholden to the free shuttle service as it's only about once an hour. To be fair, I don't eat meat so there is no allure for Hida Beef for me and I just thought the cafes and shops in Matsumoto, Kanazawa and Nagano were nicer. (I'm also a huge Kanazawa fan.)

I've been to Kamikochi too. It was pouring rain, non-stop for both days I was there. I thought the Azusa river was going to jump its banks and start flooding everything. I did think the scenery was quite pretty though and as I was there in Summer it was much cooler than anywhere else we'd been. It took us a while to actually warm back up after leaving.

I've not done the Magome Tsumago hike. I keep putting it off because I am just not sure how interesting I will find it.

I've been to Hikone. It was pretty. I was there very off season and a decade ago so it was completely empty outside of me.

If you want to do the hike and Magome and Tsumago, it would make sense to do them from Matsumoto on your way to Nagoya vs. from Takayama. You go right past the train stations closest to Magome and Tsumago on your way from Matsumoto to Nagaoya vs. from Takayama you're talking a rather long trip. I saw that there are now bus tours out of Takayama there, but that's still a long bus tour and it would make sense to visit from Matsumoto or just en route to Nagoya.

For other things to do in Takayama, you can day trip to Kamikochi from there as well as Matsumoto. I really liked Hirayu onsen.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Is Kamikochi worth going? 2019/3/11 22:26
Thanks rkold, thanks for your advice. It was very helpful especially with regards to Matsumoto.
I had considered going to Magome after Matsumoto but my restriction was with my travel period 7th April to 20th April and that we definitely want to go to Takayama to view the cherry blossom and yet skip the spring festival and the Alpine route
by Tom (guest) rate this post as useful

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