Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page > Travelling Tokyo-Matsumoto-Takayama in one day

Travelling Tokyo-Matsumoto-Takayama in one day

Reply

Feb 12th, 2013, 02:06 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,725
Travelling Tokyo-Matsumoto-Takayama in one day

I'd like to see Matsumoto Castle and nothing else in Matsumoto, so I do not want to spend the night there. Is 1 hour enough time ,to visit the castle, because that is all the time I would have if I left Shinjuku station at 7:56, arrived in Matsumoto at 10:36 and then made a 2:05 Nohi bus to Takayama which gets in at 4:25. Also, is the bus ride over very windy roads. DH does not do well on those kinds of roads. If we skip Matsumoto we we would travel directly to Takayama from Tokyo. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
shelleyk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2013, 03:00 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
The neighborhood around Matsumoto-jo alone is worth an hour or so of wandering in as some of the establishments go back to the castle's original neighborhood....I can still smell the fresh baked bread....

Of course you can take a taxi from the station to the castle and put in an hour but not nearly enough time to do it justice imho. And if you only have an hour you will literally be on the run.

The pictures will be fabulous but the memories will be a rushed blur. Skip it and save yourself for Takayama.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2013, 03:13 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
Wait, I just reread your times and if you arrive at 10:36 and leave at 2:05 then why would you only have an hour to see the castle. I see leaving the station and in a taxi by 10:45. Arrive at the castle 10:55-11:00. Two to two and a half hours at the castle then taxi back to the station or where ever the Nohi bus stop is....10 minutes. Where is the Nohi bus stop? I am assuming near Matsumoto station?

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2013, 03:29 PM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,725
You are correct. I would probably have closer to two hours. I read it is a 15 minute walk from the station to the castle. I figured by the time I got out of the station, got to the castle and bought a ticket, it would be 11:30. And I would want to be back to the bus station by 1:30 -1:45, so i guess I'd leave the castle at 1:30. So does two hours at the castle make any sense, or is it still too rushed?
shelleyk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2013, 05:48 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
With a couple of hours I would do it, since your in town anyways. If you walk you to the castle imo you will waste precious time because you will not be sure of where it is you are heading and are unfamiliar with the town which will slow you down. You don't know where the tickets are sold, so on and so forth. Say "Matsumoto-jo kudasai" and the taxi will drop you at the right place. The drop fare, I forget but its probably in the area of ¥610 and will get you to the ticket office of the castle and right in to start walking(cause there is a lot of walking in Japanese castles and lots of stairs to climb)to the top of the castle keep. There is also a bus from the station to the castle but times are long between buses(maybe thirty minutes).

I can't recall your time of year there but if in the cherry blossom season or fall koyo season, be sure to walk the surrounding gardens. There is also a very interesting display in the gardens of pictures of all the castles in Japan and their lineage and statistics. There is also a show stage IIRC which shows plays and local shows throughout the year.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2013, 06:58 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,034
It is a bus on a road through the mountains: up and down and winding around. As I mentioned on your other thread, I saw the Shinjuku bus at a point between Matsumoto and Takayama, so you do get a comfort break, at least, but I don't know how long. If you could work out a stop at Kamikochi for an hour or two, it would be worthwhile.

JR from Matsumoto is about 5 hours to Takayama, so quite a bit longer than the bus. It is about the same amount of time from Tokyo to Takayama. 8AM from Shinjuku to Takayama at 1PM gives you some time for sightseeing in the afternoon.

Traveling east, I was dropped on a street corner in Matsumoto just down from the train station, so I didn't see the bus station.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2013, 07:07 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,034
This map shows the bus terminal at approximately where I was dropped off, close to the station:
http://welcome.city.matsumoto.nagano...ad/engtown.pdf
mrwunrfl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2013, 10:17 AM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,725
Thank you both for the information. Although we have time to fit this into our itinerary, the winding road through the mountains to Takayama may be a deal breaker for my DH.
shelleyk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2013, 10:37 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,081
shelleyk, I did not access Matsumoto via Takayama so can't speak on that winding road. However, I believe your earlier itinerary included Nikko - so fyi, if you go to Lake Chuzenji there is an extremely winding road called Irohazaka - see the map and info here toward the bottom of the page:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3806.html
But it is wonderful to be at the Lake - I took an hour's boat ride...beautiful scenery.
Mara is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2013, 11:00 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,924
squeezing things in rarely ever works perfectly... and you will be a wreck the whole time... why bother..
rhkkmk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2013, 11:39 AM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,725
Mara, I was going to do Nikko as a day trip using my JR pass. I did not plan on going up to the lake because of time constraints. I wonder if you could give me some advice based on your visit to Nikko. The Yomeimon gate at Toshogu will probably be under scaffolding in Nov. Since viewing this gate was one of my primary reasons for visiting Nikko, do you think it would still be worth the trip for me, considering the trip will consume 1 full day of my 4 days in Tokyo.
shelleyk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2013, 12:22 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,081
shelleyk, I spent two nights in Nikko, in between Kyoto and Tokyo. So I had time to visit most of the famous places and go up to the Lake, although no further than that. To me, all of it was worth seeing but if you really wanted to see the Yomeimon gate, then maybe you should put off your Nikko trip a few years. Of course there are many other famous carvings such as the 3 monkeys and sleeping cat amd the various structures are quite ornate. Additionally I was particularly interested in the historical aspect as I had recently watched the NHK Taiga, Gou, which covered the era of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
With only four days in Tokyo I think I would pass on Nikko this trip....
Mara is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2013, 12:56 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,610
shelly, I'm reading all of your posts as we consider where to visit. You are so far ahead of us in planning! But we will be working on our planning in March while we are in Kauai.
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2013, 01:44 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,725
Kathie-You are observing the behavior of a true type A personality. lol Have a wonderful time in Kauai.

Mara-Thanks for your input. I try to get as much information as I can before finalizing an itinerary. I think I will give Kamakura another look. Or maybe I will just spend the 4 days in Tokyo. Or maybe I will revisit going to Nikko even though the gate will be covered. So many decisions to make and only 8 months to obsess over them. lol
shelleyk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2013, 04:04 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,081
lol, shelleyk - I seem to have lost the thread with your original itinerary - I didn't realize your trip is 8 months away...maybe you should start taking some deep breaths... ;-)

I leave six weeks from today and my flight - ff miles - reservation was made in October...I did my hotel reservations not long after although I am still finessing them as I tend to make more than one....I have my main itinerary long since done but have to work on the details over the next few weeks...

Try not to get too crazy....I am thinking this is your first trip to Japan then? There is a lot to see in Tokyo for sure. I'm sure you and DH will enjoy.
Mara is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2013, 05:21 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
Yes there is a lot to see and do close at hand within and around Tokyo. No need for day trips. Are you just fleshing out ideas for now? We can always inundate you with more ideas, ha ha.

Things will take a little longer to accomplish for a first timer in Japan no matter who though I do understand your A+ persona. The best way is to pick 2 or 3 things....nah maybe 2 things to do a day then let all the rest in between take up the slack. After this trip you'll be ready to go full throttle next time and you can see by the amazing array of venues that there probably will be a next time,lol.

To tell you the truth with all the Japan itineraries floating around right now plus making one for ourselves I get a little confused when answering some of these threads thinking at times of others' plans.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2013, 09:50 PM
  #17
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,921
I also thought there was a great deal to see in Nikko that was well worth visiting and different than what can be seen in Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa, Takayama, or Tokyo. And there's a small museum there with a collection of exquisite screens that almost never gets mentioned.

And just in case you reconsider (or in case anyone else is monitoring this thread), although the road to Chuzenji has many curves, the road is reasonably wide, well-banked, and one-way only. NOT a typical twisting turning mountain road!
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2013, 10:12 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 262
To me a stay in Nikko has to include the Kanaya Hotel which is a destination in itself, albeit a little tattered and torn, reading tripadvisor gives the across the board reviews of this historic hotel. But stil its a shortl a walk away from the major sights, but only if you have a full 36 hours of check in and late check out.
A bus to Lake Chuzenji in the AM with a walk along the lake and wetlands nature trail is a good extra if you have the time
kalihiwai2 is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:26 AM.