Traveling in Nagano Japan in November
August 19, 2010 9:08 PM   Subscribe

We're looking for advice surrounding travel in the Nagano area in Japan during the second week of November. We have an itinerary planned, we just want to know if it's realistic and what we can expect in terms of weather and travel. We're also interested in accommodation and food suggestions.

Our current itinerary is:
  1. Day One --Yamanouchi (Jigokudani Monkey Park)
  2. Day Two --Matsumoto (home base for 3 days)
  3. Day Three -- daytrip to Kamikochi
  4. Day Four -- daytrip to Daioh Wasabi Farm
  5. Day Five -- Magome-Tsumago Trail
Will we be able to do these things in November? Is there somewhere in Tokyo that can help us to book hotels or tickets beforehand? Are either the Kamikochi or Magome-Tsumago hikes strenuous? General info about travel between these locations would be welcome too.
posted by Deathalicious to Travel & Transportation around Nagano, Japan (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How are you traveling -- public transport or automobile? November should be fine in terms of weather -- fairly cold but no serious amounts of snowfall. Matsumoto to Kamikochi is about 2 hours, and Daio Wasabi Farm is only about 30 minutes away from Matsumoto by car or train/taxi.

Magome to Tsumago is best done in that order to minimize the amount of climbing you have to do; it will also be cold, but not too crowded compared to the spring or fall tourist seasons.
posted by armage at 9:25 PM on August 19, 2010

Response by poster: So far we planned on just using public transport. But if there's a compelling argument for renting a car instead, we'd be willing to look into that.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:35 PM on August 19, 2010

We stayed at the Tajimaya Guesthouse in Magome back in 2007. (The guest room pictures are all of the same room, but we stayed in that one.) We loved it - the food was fantastic, the bathing rooms were small but nice, and they had both Eastern and Western toilets. The proprietors were lovely, and spoke enough English for us to get by (my friend spoke a little Japanese, and I didn't speak any), and one evening after a bottle of sake one of the proprietors taught us and a few other guests a simple traditional dance, and then we staggered out into the street and danced.

Tajimaya is also about halfway up the street there, which is open only to foot traffic, and I will warn you that it's pretty steep, so you'll be dragging your luggage up it. :) Magome and Tsumage are aggressively picturesque, and probably a bit twee if you're more familiar with Japanese culture than I am, but we still enjoyed our visit. Tsumago is a lot flatter than Magome, but if you're planning on hiking the steepness of Magome probably won't bother you. We'd originally planned to hike to Tsumago, but were there in August and the weather was so hot and humid that we decided heatstroke was a distinct possibility, and so took the bus to Tsumago instead.
posted by telophase at 10:58 AM on August 20, 2010

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