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[5-DAYS ONLY EVENT] TAKATO CASTLE PARK CHERRY BLOSSOM TOUR

[5-DAYS ONLY EVENT] TAKATO CASTLE PARK CHERRY BLOSSOM TOUR

Period

Apr 11 - Apr 15

Time

9:35 - 20:00

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Price

Adult (13+) 17,800 JPY
Child (6-12) 13,300 JPY

Highlights

  • Visit Takato Castle Park – one of Japan’s Top 3 cherry blossom-viewing spots
  • Experience ‘hanami’ (flower viewing) as you wander under a canopy of an estimated 1500 ‘Kohigan’ trees – known as one of the most beautiful blossom varieties in Japan
  • Visit Matsumoto Castle, one of the last remaining original castles in Japan and registered National Treasure
  • Enjoy the castle’s Cherry Blossom Festival including evening illumination and traditional music performances

 

Description

 

Blooming every spring, Japan’s fabled cherry blossoms are stunning to behold and at the top of many international visitor’s must-see lists. Starting from JR Nagano Station, this one-day only tour transports you to Takato Castle Park – heralded as one of the Top 3 blossom-viewing spots in all of Japan! Located on the ruins of Takato Castle, the park was first opened to the public in 1875 and now boasts an estimated 1500 cherry blossom trees – forecast to be in full bloom on the day of the tour. Also including a stop at Matsumoto Castle, a registered National Treasure, this tour is a convenient and fun way to enjoy of one of Japan’s most famous blossom-viewing spots in combination with one of the last remaining Japanese castles.

 

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With pickup from JR Nagano Station at 9:35, first make yourself comfortable in the tour vehicle while you are transported across Nagano Prefecture toward the park. Arriving at approximately 12:00, your guide will take you to lunch at a nearby venue, to enjoy a Japanese meal and energize for the afternoon to come.

 

From lunch, your guide walk you to the Takato Castle Park where your guide will help you familiarize with the area, before arranging a meetup time and place and setting you free to enjoy the estimated 1500 blossom trees in full bloom – one of the most beautiful sights in Japan.

 

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While the original castle no longer stands, the original foundation walls and reconstructed curved bridge and drum tower capture the historic nature of the park and are popular photo spots that hint at the past glories of the former castle. Located on the top of a hill the park affords a beautiful view of the snow-capped Northern Alps and promises to be a highlight of your visit to Japan. With food vendors both inside and outside the park, and nearby restaurants selling meals and seasonal snacks including sakura mochi, yakitori, and ice cream, you can stroll through the park or sit and just soak in the atmosphere.

 

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Around 16:00 your guide will have you board the vehicle and head toward Matsumoto, home of one of the last remaining original castles in Japan. Built approximately 400 years ago, Matsumoto Castle is a registered National Treasure known for its aesthetic beauty and towering 6-story construction. Set against the same backdrop of the Northern Alps, the castle is by itself one of Japan’s most iconic buildings and another of Nagano`s most famous places for blossom-viewing.

 

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Your guide will accompany you into the castle grounds, where you take enjoy the evening illumination of the surrounding trees and traditional music performances that mark the castle’s cherry blossom festival. As one of the last original castles in Japan, it is the perfect place to enhance your appreciation of what once stood in Takato and in doing so, see two of Japan’s most stunning spring-time vistas!

 

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Around 18:30, your guide will collect you and board your vehicle and begin the journey back toward Nagano. Arriving at JR Nagano Station between 19:30 and 20:00*, the tour concludes and your guide will wish you well on your continuing exploration of Japan in the beauty of spring!

 

*Arrival times at Takato Castle Park, Matsumoto Castle and the tour conclusion at JR Nagano Station are estimates and could be delayed by traffic.

 

ITINERARY

09:35 Meetup with your guide at JR Nagano Station. The meeting point is in front of the Information Board, directly opposite the shinkansen ticket gates.
12:00 Arrive at Takato Castle Park and first have lunch at a nearby restaurant.
13:00 Walk into the park where your guide will help you get your bearings and then set you free to explore and enjoy one of Japan's most spectacular blossom-viewing spots.
15:30 Meetup with your guide, board the tour bus, and begin the journey to Matsumoto.
17:00 Arrive in Matsumoto, home to one of the last remaining original castles in Japan and a registered National Treasure. Enjoy the evening festival as the surrounding blossom trees are illuminated in the fading light.
18:30 Board your vehicle and begin your journey back toward Nagano.
19:30-20:00 Arrive at JR Nagano Station where the tour concludes.

NOTES

Included:

  • Transportation from Nagano to and between all listed activities/attractions
  • English-speaking guide
  • Lunch
  • Entrance to Takato Castle Park
  • Entrance to Matsumoto Castle grounds

 

Excluded:

  • Snacks and drinks
  • Bullet train tickets

 

Other Information:

  • Please wear suitable shoes and clothing for an outdoor tour in spring.
  • This tour is scheduled to coincide with the peak bloom at Takato Joshi Park however we cannot guarantee the condition of the blossoms on the day of the tour. In case of bad condition we might have to change the blossom-viewing site to Joetsu Park, Ueda Castle or Suzaka Garyu Park. If this is necessary, we will notify you in advance.
  • Infants (0-5) are free of charge.
  • Arrival times at Takato Joshi Park, Matsumoto Castle, and the tour’s conclusion at JR Nagano Station are our best estimates and can be affected by traffic.
  • The tour application deadline is 1 day before the tour date at 17:00.

MEETING PLACE

Google Map

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Kurita, Nagano-shi, Nagano, 380-0921, Japan

FAQ

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: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) *

Tokyo: 07:24 – Nagano: 09:14 – Asama

Tokyo: 07:52 – Nagano: 09:30 – Hakutaka

* You can still take 07:52 – 09:30 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: 20:26 – Tokyo: 21:56 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

Nagano: 20:34 – Tokyo: 22:12 – Hakutaka

Nagano: 21:15 – Tokyo: 23:00 – Asama