Access Update: Azusa expected to resume service at end of October

Recent reports from JR East indicate that the Azusa and Super Azusa trains linking Matsumoto and Tokyo will remain out of service until October 31st. We realize that this poses an inconvenience to anyone hoping to access Matsumoto from Tokyo.

The Hokuriku Shikansen is now operating on a reduced schedule, due to some trains having become waterlogged during the flooding caused by Typhoon 19. Additionally, all train cars are now operating as “non-reserved” and Green Car bookings are not currently available. At time of writing, the segment of the route linking Nagano and Myoko was closed.

The news regarding Alpico highway buses remains unchanged from yesterday:

  1. All buses running between Shinjuku and Matsumoto are cancelled for today (2019/10/16)
  2. On Thursday, October 17th, the 4:20, 4:50, 5:20, and 6:20 buses have been cancelled with further cancellations also possible.
  3. All Sawayaka Shinshu buses linking Tokyo, Shibuya, and Shinjuku Station to Kamikochi have been cancelled for the 16th and 17th. Additionally, all Shibuya line buses have been cancelled for the 18th.

Please confirm the details of any reservations with train bus companies and travel safely.

Sources of Information:

Alpico homepage:

JR East: , and




Latest Updates on bus and rail access to Matsumoto and Kamikochi

Our friends at the Visit Matsumoto  website have posted the following update regarding public transportation facilities granting access to Matsumoto and surrounds:

To summarize the content of their post:

As of Oct 14th, disruptions caused by to Typhoon Hagibis have led to the following cancellations:

  1. JR Super Express Azusa, Shinjuku to Matsumoto
  2. Highway buses linking Shinjuku and Matsumoto (due to highway closures)
  3. JR trains linking Nagano and Matsumoto

Currently, the following trains and buses have returned to almost normal levels of operation:

  1. Buses and trains linking Matsumoto and Nagoya.
  2. Buses operating withing Matsumoto
  3. Buses linking Matsumoto, Kamikochi and Takayama.

Those currently in Tokyo can take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Nagano City and then travel to Matsumoto by highway bus from Nagano Station.

Most hotels, shops, and other facilities in Matsumoto, including Matsumoto Castle are open as usual.

Thanks again to Visit Mastumoto for providing this valuable information.

ADVISORY: Typhoon 19 and its effects on Kamikochi

The following applies to the long weekend lasting from Saturday to the following Monday (2019/10/12-14).

Currently, Typhoon 19 is about to sweep across central Japan. Strong winds and heavy rain are expected from around midday Saturday (10/12) to late in the evening.

Beginning tomorrow around noon, the train service linking Matsumoto and Kamikochi will be suspended until further notice. They are expected to start operating the following morning, but at time of writing this can not be confirmed.

Regarding buses from Sawando to Kamikochi, no official announcement had been made at time of writing, but there is a high possibility that landslides or other effects of heavy rain could disrupt operations.

Hotels and lodges in central Kamikochi are expected to operate as normal this weekend.

Please exercise caution when traveling this weekend.

Highlighting Japan pays Tribute to Walter Weston in Recent Feature

The August 2019 issue of the Government of Japan-published “Highlighting Japan” magazine focuses on the country’s mountains and alpine culture. Of particular interest to our readers is the page 14 article on “The Father of Mountaineering in Japan,” Walter Weston. You can read the online text here:

Weston (1860-1940), was an English clergyman hailing from Derbyshire. Very much in the vein of other Victorian polymaths, he excelled at a number of fields of endeavor, but is remembered primarily for his travel book, “Mountaineering and Exploration in Japan.” This colorful volume (whose title perfectly reflects its contents) helped introduce foreigners and Japanese alike to the wonders of recreational mountaineering in Japan and greatly enhanced the profile of hiking as a pastime. For anyone interested, Weston’s book can be read legally and free of charge here:

We hope you enjoy “Highlighting Japan”‘s illuminating tribute to one Kamikochi’s great trailblazers.

Sources of Information:

Highlighting Japan homepage: homepage:

Kamikochi Walk Rally 2019

The popular Kamikochi Walk Rally event will be held from May 7th to July 5th this season.

The rally involves hiking to various checkpoints in and around Kamikochi, including Nakanoyu/Taisho Pond, The Bus Terminal/Kappa Bridge, the Weston Relief, Moyjin, Tokusawa, and the Yokoo area.

Participants receive special stamps at each checkpoint and can also collect coveted items like discount coupons for use in the park.

This event is ideal for visitors of all ages and offers a chance to enjoy such sights as the snowy peaks of the Hotaka Range, the clear blue waters of the Azusa River, and the newly budding trees.


Kamikochi’s Official Opening Held on April 27th.

Kamikochi officially opened to visitors on Saturday, April 27th. In keeping with tradition, special ceremony known as the Kaizansai marked the event with a Shinto priest praying for safe passage through the mountains as as the crowds around Kappa Bridge looked on.

The Kaizansai (literally, “mountain opening observance”) followed the now-customary early opening of Kamikochi to the public on April 17th.  This year’s tourist season will last until November 15th when the park officially closes to visitors and the Kama Tunnel is closed to public transport.

Kamikochi English Guided Walk

Let’s have an afternoon walk in Kamikochi. An English-speaking guide will lead the walk along Azusa-gawa River and help you understand fauna, flora, and mountains around Kamikochi. It’s a one-way guide from Kamikochi Visitor Center to Myojin. With a little help by the guide, you will enjoy Kamikochi even more!

◆Date and TIme:- 13:00 – 14:30, 13th September, 2018
◆Starting Place: Kamikochi Visitor Center
◆Finishing Place: Myojin-ike Pond
◆Fee: 500/person (Cash only)
◆Guide: Arata Matsunaga (Certified English Guide of Nagano Prefecture)
◆Course: Kamikochi Visitor Center -> (Left bank of Azusa-gawa River) -> Myojin-ike Pond

How to Participate
1. Drop by Kamikochi Visitor Center by 12:50 (No reservation needed)
2. Fill an easy participation form
3. Pay the fee
4. Wait for a few minutes until the walk

Official Opening Ceremony in Kamikochi 2017

Official opening ceremony “Kaizansai” was held on Friday Apl.27 in Kamikochi.
During the ceremony two events to pray for safety and play the alpenhorn which is traditional musical instrument of Switzerland took place at the foot of the Kappa Bridge.
Due to the fine weather on the day many people visited here and enjoyed the fine view of snow and magnificent mountains.

End of the 2017 season!

Kamikochi Closing Ceremony had held on 15th of Nov. Thanks to all the funs of Kamikochi, There are so many people visited here same as usual year.

In progress towards Views of the autumn

It seems to fall into enter into this month. Temperature began to fall. In the morning, below the 10 ℃ in this season.
Season is progressing towards the autumn. Green also has changed color at the top of the mount hotaka

“Alps Pass” is on sale!

Alps mountain village with Kamikochi / Norikura Kogen / Shirahone hot spring area. All-you-can-pass passport that you can take a tour of its northern Alps charm for 2 nights and 3 days!
That’s “Alps Pass”
Please travel around 3 days from the famous spot to the local people recommended spot spot!

Details on the 3 Day Pass may be found here: (click on the WOVN tab bottom left for an English translation).

“71th Weston Festival” held

Thefestival, which took place from 10:00 in Weston Squarea lot of people visited. Weston is a British missionary. It is also a climber was introduced to the world the mountain and Japan of the customs of the time, such as the Japan Alps.