DESTINATIONS
05. NAGANO CITY
How to Get to Matsushiro

How to Get to Matsushiro

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Located approximately 12km to the south of central Nagano, the small and unassuming destination of Matsushiro is well-known as one of Central Japan’s best-preserved samurai towns.

Matsushiro Sanada festival

Once the stronghold of the ruling-Sanada clan, Matsushiro’s story is pivotal in understanding the region and today boasts attractions including Matsushiro Castle Park, the former- Sanada Residence and Bunbu Military Academy and other important Edo Period buildings, museums, temples and shrines.

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Yet it is what lies beneath Matsushiro that will command the attention of many international visitors. Constructed during the final nine months of the World World II, the Zozan Imperial Wartime Tunnels were excavated as the intended point of relocation for and headquarters of the Japanese military and government, once the expected Allied invasion occurred. Though the war ended before the tunnels were completed or could be used, they can still be visited today – a poignant and unique experience in Nagano.

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For furthers suggestions of what to see and do, please refer to our ’15 Things to Do in Matsushiro’ page.

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Lying on the outskirts of Nagano City, most visitors heading to Matsushiro will do so via Nagano Station. For information and directions about reaching Nagano for popular starting points such as Tokyo, Matsumoto, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa and more, please refer to our ‘How to Get to Nagano City’ page.

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Once in Nagano, public buses run from Nagano Station to Matsushiro. Departing from the Bus Stop No.3 outside the station’s Zenkoji Exit, buses take around 30 to 35 minutes to reach Matsushiro, where you will need to disembark at the Old Matsushiro Station Bus Stop.

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Buses depart regularly throughout the day – between every 20 to 30 minutes with the first service departing at 07:00 and the last at 20:55.

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I can be a little hard to spot the stop as you approach but look for the old railway station building and platform on your right.

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As you approach that, the bus stop is on your left. If you have any concerns you’ll miss it, just speak with the driver and ask them to let you know.

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When returning by bus, the bus stop is directly opposite. Buses depart regularly throughout the day – between every 20 to 30 minutes with the first service departing at 06:25 and the last at 20:40.

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A one-way journey costs JPY660 per adult and JPY300 per child. Rental bicycles are available at the nearby Matsushiro Tourist Information Center from 09:00 to 16:00 daily / JPY500 per person.

Private Tours & Charters with Snow Monkey Resorts

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For guests wanting to visit Matsushiro in the comfort and convenient of their own vehicle, we can arrange private tours and charters customised to fit your needs including starting and ending at any destination.

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Locally-based and operating all year round, we have the expertise and experience to help you get the most out of your time in the region including combining your visit to Matsushiro with the nearby Jigokudani Monkey Park or any other attraction.

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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.

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We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide – whichever works best for you! 

Why choose us? 

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 – Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator.

 Locally-based and operating all year round, we offer the local knowledge, support, and service that you need to get the most out of your adventure in Japan.

Got a question about visiting Matsushiro? Feel free to contact us at snowmonkeyresorts@machinovate.com and let’s get planning together!