Hotaka Station is a small but very convenient access point for travellers moving to and from Azumino. The station is serviced one line – the Oito Line – running from nearby Matsumoto Station, around 16km in distance from Hotaka.
The station itself is very simple therefore basic to navigate. Consisting of a ground-level platform between two tracks, passengers won’t have any problem identifying where and how to board their train.
Directly across from the station, the Azumino Tourist Information Center and two rental bicycle shops are only 1 to 2-minutes walk while nearby Hotaka Onsen-kyo has some fantastic guesthouses and hot springs – see below for details.
Running from Matsumoto Station to Minami-Otari, the Oito Line covers approximately 70km including Hokata Station – around 16km along the line from Matsumoto – and Hakuba Station – one of the primary transport hubs for the ski resorts of the Hakuba Valley.
In doing so, the line connects Hotaka Station and the surrounding Azumino area to Matsumoto – the nearest major station which includes direct connections to Nagano City and Tokyo – while also running to Hakuba Station, a popular stop in winter given its proximity to multiple ski resorts.
There are regular local services running from Matsumoto to Hotaka taking around 25 minutes. Some services connect via Matsumoto to Shiojiri and as far as Itoigawa in Niigata via Minami-Otari. For further information including timetables, please see our ‘Oito Line inc. Hakuba Train Services’ page.
Tourist Information Center
Located directly outside the station, Azumino operates a Tourist Information Center including information and assistance for visitors. Open daily from 09:00 to 17:00 (Apr. to Oct.) and 09:00 to 17:00 (Nov. to Mar.), English-speaking staff are onhand to assist with any enquiries you might have. Located right outside the station exit, you literally can’t miss it.
Azumino is a tranquil rural area lying in the shadow of the North Japan Alps. As such, exploring the area by bicycle is a great way to combine multiple attractions and activities while breathing in the peaceful atmosphere of the area.
Two shops renting bicycles are under 2-minutes walk from the station. The first of those, Hitsujiya, is located directly across fromt eh station and rents mountain bikes, e-bikes and kid’s bikes and is open from 08:30 to 18:00 (or 10:00 to 17:00 during winter).
Also nearby, Shinanoan rents sports bikes, mountain bikes, tandem bikes, e-bikes and kid’s bikes and is open from 08:00 until “sunset” but closed from mid-December to mid-March.
Prices range from around JPY200 to JPY500 depending on your chosen bicycle. For suggested cycling courses, make sure to drop-by the Tourist Information Center which can provide maps of suggested routes.
Located within three hours of Tokyo, Azumino is picturesque rural enclave of quiet villages, farms and orchards, temples and shrines set against the stunning backdrop of the Northern Alps.
Easily accessible from Matsumoto Station – home to one of Japan’s most impressive original castles – and the ski resorts of the Hakuba – wildly popular with both international visitors and Japanese – Azumino already attracts many travelers as they journey between these famous sites.
But those who have taken the time to spot and explore along they way have discovered that Azumino should not be overlooked.
Offering a fantastic combination of cultural, culinary, and sporting activities all set against the stunning backdrop of Japan’s Northern Alps, Azumino has endless appeal for visitors wanting to escape the neon and buzz of the cities and retreat to the country; and should that be just what you are looking for, we are happy to introduce the region with 20 Things to Do in Azumino.
Accommodation in/nearby Hotaka Station
For visitors heading to Hotaka Station and Azumino, the hot spring enclave of Hotaka Onsen-kyo is home to some fantastic guesthouses.
For accommodation listings, please see our ‘Hotaka Onsen-kyo Area’ hotel page.
Book a Private Tour or Charter from/to Azumino
Based in Nagano, Snow Monkey Resorts is the region’s No.1-rated tour and charter operator. Operating all year round, we can provide charters to any destination including Nagoya, with customised itineraries to suit your travel needs and interests.
We have the expertise and experience to help you get the most out of your time in the region, including transport to and from any regional destination.
Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations, in combination with any activity that suits your interests and schedule including locations in and Azumino and beyond!
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Awarded a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano.
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