1-DAY NAGANO TO MATSUMOTO: CASTLES & CULINARY EXPLORATIONS
- See some of Nagano prefecture’s cultural heritage sites and try samples of Nagano’s most famous foods and drinks
- Easy transportation between attractions of Matsumoto and Nagano by a sit-in-coach bus
- See Matsumoto Castle, one of the few remaining original castles in Japan
- Visit and wander around the Japan’s biggest wasabi farm and learn how the plant is grown
- Enjoy a local lunch
- Try Nagano’s soul foods like miso, sake, and wasabi and challenge your expectations
- Learn about sake at one of Matsumoto’s breweries
*This tour is limited to groups of 2 people and more.
Meet your guide at JR Nagano Station at 8:45 (your guide will be there at 8:30). He/she will take you to your vehicle which will ride through Japan’s countryside to the castle of Matsumoto.
Having arrived to the city, your guide will show you the castle and gardens of Matsumoto. The castle is one of the 4 last original castles and has been named a National Treasure of Japan. The castle was built 400 years ago and is still impressive, with black and white walls, giving it the nickname the “crow castle”. The interior is well maintained, and has steep stairs leading all the way to the top floor from where you can see all over the city. You’ll have free time to explore all of the castle or to stroll around the gardens. Matsumoto Castle is a must-visit when in Nagano Prefecture.
After two hours of exploring the castle and its surroundings, your guide will take you back on your vehicle and take you to a local miso factory where you will learn about the fermented soy beans. Nagano prefecture produces almost 50% of all the miso in Japan. The miso factory you’ll see is one of the rare remaining miso factories that still makes the fermented soy bean paste according to traditional method. A miso worker will be waiting for you and will show you some of the factory. After learning about miso, get comfortable and enjoy a lunch at the miso factory.
Get back in your vehicle and make your way to a local sake brewery. Nagano has the second largest number of sake breweries in Japan, owing to its clear water and clean rice production. In order to make good sake you need these two ingredients to be of good quality and Nagano prefecture has that down. The sake brewery has a history of over 150 years and produces various kinds of the ricewine. Here you can sample some some of their sake while your guide will explain all about how to recognize good sake.
From the sake brewery your driver takes you the Wasabi Farm of Daio. The Daio Wasabi Farm which was founded in 1915 and has grown into the biggest wasabi farm of Japan. Due to the fresh water that springs from underground it is possible to grow wasabi here all year round. While at the farm it is recommended to try fresh wasabi grated straight from the root. Even those not good with wasabi will be surprised by its fresh flavors. Not only can you try fresh wasabi, but also one of the many wasabi flavored foods and drinks, such as a fresh wasabi soft serve or a wasabi beer.
At 16:00 your guide and driver will take you back to the bus and head to Nagano Station.
|08:45||Meet with your guide at the Information Board of JR Nagano station directly across from the Shinkansen gates. Get aboard your chartered vehicle and make your way to your first stop; the castle of Matsumoto.|
|10:15||Arrival to the castle of Matsumoto. Get inside the impressive structure and learn all about the history. After 2 hours of enjoying the castle and surroundings, make your way to the local miso factory.|
|12:15||Enter the miso factory for a tour around parts of the factory and a miso soup sampling.|
|12:40||Your guide will take you the restaurant at the miso factory for a Japanese lunch.|
|13:30||Make your way to one of the city's oldest sake breweries for some sampling of Japanese rice wine.|
|13:50||Arrival at sake brewery. Enjoy the history and samples of the local brewery.|
|14:30||Once you've learned all about Japan's most famous drink, get back in your vehicle and start heading to the Wasabi Farm of Daio.|
|15:00||Wander around Daio Wasabi Farm and enjoy the countryside surroundings and wasabi-flavoured goods.|
|16:00||Leave the Wasabi Farm and go to Nagano Station.|
|17:30||Approximate arrival at JR Nagano Station. Continue with your travels through Japan after your guide says his/her goodbyes to you.|
- Transportation from Nagano Station to Matsumoto Castle, other attractions, and back to Nagano Station
- English-speaking guide
- Matsumoto Castle entrance
- Bullet train tickets
- Infants (0-5) are free of charge (lunch is not included for infants. Please order directly to the restaurant according to your needs).
- Confirmation email of your reservation will be sent to you within 48 hours after booking.
- Please wear suitable shoes for walking.
- The itinerary is based on the traffic conditions being optimal. We will adjust the schedule according to traffic conditions and pace of the group on the day of the tour.
MEETING PLACEGoogle Map
JR Nagano Station Information Board
Kurita, Nagano-shi, Nagano, 380-0921, Japan
What time of the bullet train should I ride to arrive in Nagano on time? What time does the bullet train depart back to Tokyo after the tour?
The start and finish of the tour are arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. See below for specific timetables on the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station.
Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagano Station:
Tokyo: 06:28 – Nagano: 08:06 – Hakutaka
Tokyo: 06:52 – Nagano: 08:40 – Asama
Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) *
*You can still take 07:20 – 08:43 train since JR Nagano Station isn’t big at all and there is only one Shinkansen ticket exit. The tour meet-up is just after the Shinkansen ticket exit so please come straight up to there.
Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station:
Nagano: 19:08 – Tokyo: 20:52 – Asama
Nagano: 19:38 – Tokyo: 21:16 – Hakutaka
What is the payment procedure after I submit a booking request?
Once your booking request is confirmed on our end, we will send an electric invoice to the email address you submit in the reservation form. Once you have received the email, please click on the inserted link and complete payment either via credit card or Paypal.
Every Fri. - May to Oct.
8:45 - 17:30
JR Nagano Station Information Board