April to November


08:15 - Nagano Area
09:45 - Matsumoto Area

Meeting Place

Nagano Station Area
Matsumoto Station Area


172,100 ~ / groupJPY


Home to some of Japan’s highest mountains and most stunning alpine vistas, Central Japan is a region which will impress the traveler with the breadth of activities it has to offer. From historical sites, to unique culture, to world-class nature, there is something for everyone. On this private tour, guests will be able to visit the over 400 year old Matsumoto Castle, followed by a trip high into the Japanese Alps to enjoy a hike in the fresh mountain air of Kamikochi, a secluded valley that is considered the gem of the Chubu-Sangaku National Park. Guests on this tour are free to mix and match their starting and end points from the following locations: Nagano City or Matsumoto City. You may also choose any location within a 5km radius of these stations as your pick up or drop off location. For example, you may start at Nagano City and end in Matsumoto City, or start in Matsumoto City and end in Nagano City, or start and end in the same city. For this reason, this tour is ideal for customers looking to travel through Central Japan while visiting its key sites.


  • Start and end your tour at or near any of the following points: Nagano Station or Matsumoto Station. Freely mix and match between the locations to fit your itinerary in Japan.
  • Store your luggage on our tour bus during the tour, removing the hassle of sending your luggage to the next destination.
  • Visit historic and vibrant Matsumoto, home of Matsumoto Castle. Ascend to the top of the castle for unforgettable views over the city and the Japanese Alps.
  • Take a 3 kilometer hike in Kamikochi, a breathtaking alpine valley which offers views of towering mountains and clear streams from April until November.

This tour offers amazing value for travelers looking to get a taste of nature in Japan at their own pace, attended by a knowledgeable English speaking guide. Escape from the heat and crowds in the cities, and enjoy an evening in the Japanese Alps.


What’s typically included?

  • A one-day tour starting from Nagano Station or Matsumoto Station (or any location within 5km of the above), followed by a trip to Matsumoto Castle, and a guided hike in Kamikochi. All transport is provided in our private tour vehicles. The tour may end at Nagano Station or Matsumoto Station (or any location with 5km of the above) – you are free to choose.

A one-day tour (typically) includes:

  • Private vehicle/driver for the duration of the tour
  • Private English-speaking guide for the duration of the tour
  • Entrance to the Matsumoto Castle
  • Transport into Kamikochi

A private tour provides a different atmosphere from offered group tours, as you can truly enjoy this intimate time with your party to enjoy these amazing locations with no interruptions or unexpected happenings.

The tour cost is calculated per person (aged of 6 years and over) with infants (under 6 years of age) included free of charge.

Tour Description


Once your tour begins, you will board our private tour vehicle and be shuttled to our first destination. For guests boarding from either the Nagano or Matsumoto areas, that will be the formidable Matsumoto Castle. At a total of 6 stories high, and covered on the outside with black wood, it’s architecture is equal parts elegant and imposing, reflecting the era in which it was built. One of only 12 original castles left in Japan and registered as a National Treasure, the interior of the castle also houses a number of artifacts from the era of the samurai, including muskets, armor, and rockets. The views from the top of the castle are of course stunning, and the whole plain on which Matsumoto is situated in will be visible along with the mountains which surround the city.

Guests will also have a chance to walk through some of the famous streets of downtown Matsumoto while on their way to the castle. A very picturesque city, Matsumoto is relatively small but boasts a lively art and music scene, and has a number of cafes and eateries catering to its residents. On Nawate doori, also known as frog street, you will have some time to sample local specialties and enjoy a visit to the most important shrine in the city.

You will the board the tour bus again, headed for Kamikochi. Leaving from Matsumoto, the drive up the mountains is stunning and offers lots of scenery to gaze out on the roughly 1 hour long drive. Customers with a keen eye may spot a number of wildlife species along the way, including snow monkeys, Japanese black bears, golden eagles, badgers, and sika deer.


Upon arrival at Kamikochi, guests will get off the bus at Taisho-ike pond, from where the 3 kilometer walk to Kappa-bashi (pictured above) will begin. The trail is flat and well maintained, and any guest of reasonable physical capabilities will be able to easily complete the trek.

Upon arrival at the scenic Kappa-bashi bridge, guests will have further time to themselves to enjoy a snack or browse for souvenirs at the shops around Kappa-bashi. For those who would like to hike further, Kamikochi also offers other trails from Kappabashi that guests are free to explore on their own terms during this free time. Your guide will offer an explanation of what there is to do around Kappa-bashi before free time starts,


Once free time is finished, your guide will lead you to the tour bus which will take you on to your destination, whether that be Nagano or Matsumoto. The return journey will take around 1 hour for guests returning to Matsumoto, or 2 hours for guests who will be returning to Nagano.

As this tour involves a lot of walking both in cities and in the mountains, please wear appropriate clothing and footwear to ensure you make the most of your experience! Water proof shoes and coats are also recommended if the weather forecast includes a chance of rain.


STARTFor guests from Nagano City: 8:15 - Meet your guide at Nagano Station or at the lobby of your accommodation and board the tour bus

For guests from Matsumoto City: 9:45 - Meet the guide at Matsumoto Station or at the lobby of your accommodation and board the tour bus
10:00Stroll through the streets of Nawate-dori with your guide followed by a guided experience at the historic castle grounds.
10:45Enter the Matsumoto Castle grounds learn the fascinating history of one of Japan’s last remaining original castles. Then, enter the castle and ascend to the top for a unique experience you won't soon forget. Afterwards, you will have 30 minutes of free time to prepare for our bus ride to Kamikochi.
12:30Get on the tour bus depart Matsumoto and begin your journey into the North Alps a journey of roughly 1 and a half hour.
14:00Arrive at Taisho-ike, where we will begin our 1 hour and 30 minute walk through the pristine nature of Kamikochi to Kappa-bashi. Once we reach Kappa-bashi, you will have a further 1 hour and 30 minute time period of free time to get some food, shop for souvenirs, or continue hiking
17:00Board the tour bus and begin the journey back toward Matsumoto City or Nagano City.
ENDFor guests returning to Matsumoto: Arrive at Matsumoto Station or your accommodation in Matsumoto City at 18:15

For guests returning to Nagano: Arrive at Nagano Station or your accommodation in Nagano City at 19:40



  • Private vehicle/driver for the duration of the tour
  • Private English-speaking guide for the duration of the tour
  • Entry ticket to all locations you visit on the tour
  • Guided walk at each location
  • English-speaking guide


  • Lunch
  • Accommodation

Other Information

  • This tour includes lots of outdoor activities and walking, including walking in both cities and natural areas. Please ensure you are prepared for changing weather conditions by carrying a waterproof jacket, umbrella, hat and sunglasses. As the tour runs from Spring to Autumn, the exact temperatures and weather conditions will vary.
  • Kamikochi is located at 1500 meters above sea level and weather can change quickly. Please ensure you have clothing suitable for changing conditions including rain and cooler temperatures (7 to 22℃). In late-autumn (October to November), temperatures can drop to 0℃.
  • Mid-summer temperatures in the cities can be very high, sometimes reaching 35-36℃ at the hottest point of the day. While Central Japan is less humid than the coastal cities such as Tokyo, and therefore will feel cooler even at the same temperature, prepare for very hot weather if you are taking the tour in July or August. We also do our best to ensure tours are designed to keep you as cool as possible while still enjoying the scenery.
  • This tour is not wheelchair accessible and may not be suitable for guests who are mobility impaired. Should this be a concern, please contact us prior to booking to discuss suitability.
  • At various points during the tour, guests will be granted free time to explore or eat at their own pace. Feel free to go where you please during this time, but make sure to follow the guides instructions and be at the meeting point by the designated time.

*For guests looking to join this tour from Tokyo, please consult the FAQ section below.

Awarded a 2022 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 and Central Japan.


I don't want to visit one of the locations on this tour, or want to go to a different location in addition to the listed destinations. Is this possible?
This tour page specifically caters to those who would like this specific itinerary as a way to see Kamikochi along with some historically important sites and townscapes.If you would like to change this itinerary, please use our website to make a private tour inquiry which includes the details of what you would like in your tour, and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.
I’d like to be dropped-off at a different location from where the tour begins. Is that possible?
Yes! This tour is designed to allow for multiple pick-up and drop-off options from 2 major travel hubs in Central Japan: Nagano Station and Matsumoto Station. You may also choose any location within 5km of the above listed points.Guests are free to pick and choose any location for both their starting and end points; we imagine that many guests will use this tour as a convenient means of traveling between locations.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible or suitable for mobility-impaired guests?
Unfortunately, this tour is not wheelchair accessible and may not be suitable for mobility-impaired guests. The tour requires a significant amount of walking that is suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness. There will be walking in both cities and the wilderness, and for guests visiting Matsumoto Castle, there will be a number of flights of steep stairs necessary to reach the top floor of the castle. Guests who are mobility-impaired may also struggle with the conditions. Should you have any concerns about your ability to join the tour, please contact us prior to booking to discuss options.
I'd like to join this tour from Tokyo and start at Nagano Station. Which Shinkansen / 'Bullet Train' service should I use to arrive in Nagano on time? What time do services depart for Tokyo after the tour?
If you’d like to join us from Tokyo, we’d love to have you with us! There are 2 options. You can either join from Nagano Station at 08:15 or join from Matsumoto Station at 09:45.

To join from Nagano Station. Take the following services on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line:

Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagano Station

Tokyo: 06:16 – Nagano: 07:38 – Kagayaki – reserved seats only Tokyo: 06:28 – Nagano: 08:06 – Hakutaka

To join from Matsumoto Station. Take the following Limited Express Azusa service:

Departing JR Shinjuku Station – Arriving at Matsumoto Station

Shinjuku: 07:00– Matsumoto: 09:38
Is accommodation included in this tour?
Accommodation is not included in this tour.For guests who would like help booking a room at a hotel or ryokan, please contact us
Can the tour bus pick me up/drop me off at my hotel?
For guests who are staying in hotels within a 5km radius of the listed meet up points (Matsumoto Station, Nagano Station), we will be able to go directly to your accommodation.

(Travel Agency License No: Nagano 2-562)
Snow Monkey Resorts Tours
Nagano City Kurita 1015-7, NK Copo 202, Nagano, 380-0921 Japan
Tel: (81)26-219-6256
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara