Full day outings
If you stay with us for multiple days, we definitely recommend you checking out these options of things to do in the Matsumoto area!
Nagano City and Snow Monkeys (7-9h)
Nagano city has become famous as the city that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics. In the city, the Zenko-Ji temple – dating back to the 7th century – and its surrounding streets form the core historic areas of interest. We recommend you combine a visit to Nagano city with a visit to the snow monkey park. As the weather gets colder, the snow monkeys descend from their mountain habitats to soak in the nearby natural hot springs. A return costs around four-and-a-half-thousand yen – less with a JR pass.
Tsumago – Magome Hike (9-12h)
Tsumago and Magome are oft considered the most picturesque towns along the Nakasendo Trail. During the Edo Period, the trail linked Tokyo to Kyoto and samurai and their retinues would stay the night or stock up on supplies in these towns. Today, the towns remain well-preserved. They are connected by a scenic two-hour walk along the rough-paved remnants of the original samurai road. JR-trains run to these villages and without one the cheapest return is about three-and-a-half thousand yen.
Located on the border between Gifu prefecture and Nagano prefecture, Norikura is an imposing mountain and one of the tallest peaks in the Japanese Alps. It is set amidst the scenic Norikura Kogen highlands, which offer activities year-round – not least in early autumn when the leaves start changing colour. Besides majestic visas, the Norikura area also offers high- end ryokans and onsen where you can experience ultimate relaxation. Cost depends on season and date.