Nagoya Alpine Tour, Tateyama Day 2

On hindsight perhaps not include breakfast as we were trying to catch the 0740 train and their breakfast only starts at 0700hrs.

If you like Japanese breakfast, it has pretty decent spread with curry rice and miso soup. But it was quite a rush for us as we needed to get to the station by 0730hrs.

If you have more time, visit the morning market which opens at 6am.

Our journey to the Snow Wall
1) 0740hrs train from Takayama Station to Toyama Station. We took two connecting trains instead of JR. It was quite easy. Just hop off and cross over. 2 hr 30min


2) Arrived at Toyama station at 1005hrs. Get out and go next door to Dentetsu-Toyama Station.


Toyama is a much bigger city than Takayama and has a shopping centre. At the station, we chilled for coffee for 20 mins. This is a good place to load on your picnic bento for Murodo so you dont waste time queuing for food.

3) Showed my JR Alpine pass and got a Alpine route entry ticket for the Tateyama Cable car/ trolley.
Take the 1056hrs Chitetsu Line to Tateyama station.


4) Arrived at 1159hrs at Tateyama station, go to level 2 for the 1220hrs Cable Car (Tateyama Station to Bijodaira Station).


If you got the 5 days JR Alpine Pass, there is no need to buy or exchange tickets. Just show your pass to the station master.


5) At Bijodaira we took the bus to Murodo ( mid-April to late-June) to experience the snow wall @130pm. I could not get a room at Hotel Tateyama at Murodo, the highest point which was a blessing on hindsight because its quite crowded. Tateyama Highland Bus / 30 mins. There is a restaurant, cafe at Bijodaira 美人平. We brought our own bento and snacks with hot chocolate so did not buy anything.


Option 2 is to take another bus to Midagahara. In summer, you can probably take a stroll through the wetlands. But now in May, everything is covered in snow.


6) Left Murodo @ 3pm to take Tateyama Highland Bus 2 to Midahahara. The wait was quite long but the journey short. Press the overhead buzzer to inform the driver you are getting off.

The snow wall closes at 3pm while the last bus leaves Murodo at 5pm. So if there is a normal queue you may make it back to Toyama or even Matsumoto for the night.

But I cant bear the thought of travelling another 2hrs.

So its off to the onsen and nap before dinner at 6pm.

Initially I thought there were many activities such as trekking and star gazing at Midagahara. But in reality, for the non Japanese speaker, there is none. Even the slideshow at 815pm by nature enthusiasts. Although we dont understand Japanese, the talk was interesting as we could understand a few things about Mt Tateyama. It is one of 3 holy mountains in Japan. It has a hell valley of volcanic activity. There are mountain worshippers or climbers. It is beautiful in autumn, leaves of red, orange and gold with alpine wild flowers and little pools of water forming, gitaka.

Unfortunately it was raining when we were there, so no star gazing. I may return to Hotel Migadara in autumn one day. Cant believe all that snow will melt into this beautiful grassland on the website.



Alpine tour, Tateyama to Matsumoto Day 3

Early in the morning the fog covered the mountain in front of our hotel. What did it mean? Our sight seeing ruined?

After breakfast at 7am, we took the 930am bus to Murodo to continue our descent down to Ogizawa and Shinano Omachi.

I was glad we spent the night in the mountains as we were in high spirits to appreciate the mountain view. The fog had cleared.

Surprisingly no queue despite golden week.


While it looks complicated, the signages are clearly marked. If you have the 5 day JR Alpine pass, just wave it when you join the queue. You do not need to exchange for any ticket.

We took the Tateyama Tunnel Trolley Bus (10 mins) to Daikanbo (the observation deck atop the station). Majestic.

Tateyama Ropeway / 7 mins to Kurobedaira. We took 3 times.

Kurobe Cable Car / 5 mins through the mountain.


Kurobeko 15 mins on foot to Kurobe Dam Station.


Largest hydro dam in Japan. A movie starring famous actors were in it and it has star status like the Hoover Dam. Come in June to see water gushing out.

Kanden Tunnel Trolley Bus / 16 mins to Ogizawa Sta and bus to Shinano Omachi station to catch the JR to Matsumoto.

At Shinano Omachi train station we saw bags being dropped by TQBin, the luggage delivery but we had arranged for ours to be sent to our ryokan in Matsumoto, which coincidentally had a TQBin right in front too.

So you can arrange to pick up your luggage and board the train at 1413hrs. The train left the station only at 1423hrs and arrived later at 1518hrs which would be a problem for the connecting train.

As our pick up was only at 1730hrs we walked Matsumoto town which is small and quaint. So go to Nawate Street.

These flags are near Nawate shopping street. The fish flags are flown to celebrate “boys day”.

Spent night of Day 3 in Matsumoto where international artist Kusama was born

Review of accomodation
Fukushiso inn provides shuttle pick up from the JR Matsumoto station. About 10 min drive or 40 min walk away.

Will I ever stay? I didnt realise how far it was. If I were driving through and rates were low enough, I would, with expectation that it is a 2 star accommodation in terms of facilities but 5 star in service.

A mismatch in price I paid and the facilities. But the service level was good.
I attribute much of the miscomm to Agoda site with no information on website or email.

I would book direct from Fukushiso website in future. When I contacted them through Agoda website, no response and didnt realise that there was free shuttle.

Only when I found the ryokan’s site (through search engine), and their email on actual day, I emailed and got a prompt response on the free shuttle from Matsumoto Station (West side) at 3.30pm or 5.30pm.

Staff spoke decent English and food was good, not as luxurious as what the photos show.



Breakfast was surprisingly good if you like Japanese style breakfast. There was curry rice and decent coffee with yogurt, juice etc. Rooms are tiny with futon mats and no attached bathrooms.

Excellent 5 star hospitality from staff, very attentive. Real flowers all over the house. Its like a nice motel not a typical ryokan with tiny gardens and good onsen. Although it uses natural spring water.

10 min walk away there is a supermarket if you want to take a walk after dinner. Or choose to eat at the various food places including MOS Burger at surburban outlet.


Catch the morning shuttle to Matsumoto station at 9am.

Inn Fukashiso
2-11-21, Namiyanagi, Matsumoto city, Nagano 390-0825, Japan, Matsumoto, Matsumoto, Japan 390-0825
民芸旅館 深志荘

Nagoya Alpine, Takayama old town Day 1

Take note that most shops in the old town are closed by sunset although some restaurants are still open till 9pm.


Little Kyoto they call Tateyama. But the buildings look rebuilt to me.

Maybe they stay open longer in summer. Some close by 5pm or when they reach target for the day as I read in the fine print of a city travel guide.


Go early.


I didnt quite like the glutinous rice balls dipped in soya sauce. But well, its a local specialty. The green tea ice cream is so-so compared to Lavender ice cream of Hokkaido and the Okinawa salted ice cream, probably because of the creamy rich milk of those places.

Definitely try this:


Hida beef Toro sushi rice
Wasabi soy sauce and gray hair onions
Two pieces for 1,000 yen
Kamiyano Town Takayama City Gifu Prefecture 34
10am to 5pm (Closed on Fridays)


“Goma Sesame Takayama shop”
2-61 Honcho, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture 506-0011
Try their rice crackers and sesame oil.

I walked in because they were so friendly in giving out samples and bought something. Regret not buying more.

Tateyama is also famous for their sake. Try the 永室,¥2,700 for a good bottle. There is a shop opposite the JR Station.

We had dinner at Ateya which served good A5 Hida beef, see previous post.

Enjoy the scenery pulled by rickshaw like old days.