- Snow attractions in Kiso area
- Stunning Shirakawa Ice Pillars
- Narai Post Town and chopsticks-making experience
- Visit one of the oldest castles in Japan, Matsumoto Castle
|Period||Dec. 2019 - Mar. 2020|
|Destination||Snow attractions in Kiso area / Shirakawa Ice Pillars / Narai Post Town / Matsumoto Castle|
|Start / End||Takayama City / Matsumoto / Nagano City|
|Operator||Snow Monkey Resorts|
If you’re visiting Takayama during the winter, you might think that the village of Shirakawa-go is your only option in the area, but there is far more to see in the area from the Kiso Valley to Matsumoto. There are historic post towns and plenty of fun to be had in the powdery snow of Nagano. We recommend the route that takes you through the Kiso Valley, up through Matsumoto and its magnificent castle, and on to the famous Snow Monkeys. In winter, however, there is almost no public transportation available between Takayama and the Kiso Valley, but a private tour will not only get you to these places you do not want to miss seeing, you can customize the tour to see only what interests you most.
Day1: 9:00 Depart Takayama Station / your accommodation
11:45 Arrive at Kaida Plateau - Snow activities and lunch
Once we arrive at the Kaida Plateau, you can enjoy 2 full hours frolicking in the snow or any number of fun snow activities. There are lunch options at the site that even include making your own soba.
Choose how you want to enjoy the snow from any of the following options:
Option 1 Snow Fun
Option 2 Horseback Riding in the Snow
Option 3 Snowshoeing
Option 4 Snowmobiling
14:45 Depart Kaida Plateau
We’ll spend 30 - 45 minutes here taking in the sights of the area.
17:00 - 17:30 Arrive at Kiso-Fukushima accommodation
We can arrange accommodation according to your preference from among several options such as a post town style family-run inn, a standard ryokan, or a traditional high-end ryokan in Kiso Fukushima.
If you want to enjoy evening attraction such as Ice Candle Festival, it is also available.
*Please note: if you want to visit Narai Winter Fire Festival, it takes place only on 3rd Feb.
Day2: 8:30 Depart Kiso-Fukushima accommodation
After enjoying breakfast at your accommodation, your guide will pick you up from your accommodation and take you to Narai Post Town.
9:10 Arrive at Narai Post Town
Walking up through the town from the station, you’ll come upon the Narai-juku Tourist Information Center on your left where you can try your hand at making your own chopsticks! The process takes about 45 minutes from start to finish. The tools are simple to use, but require a little bit of muscle and may be a little too fiddly for anyone younger than 8 or 9.
12:20 Lunch at Ishii Miso Brewery in Matsumoto City
After a short tour of the brewery, enjoy a delicious lunch with miso soup, salad with miso dressing, and miso-flavored rice balls.
13:25 Visiting Matsumoto Castle
Matsumoto Castle is sometimes called “Crow Castle” for its black exterior. From the outside it appears to have five tiers, but make sure to look for the hidden sixth tier when you visit! The castle features beautiful wooden floors, but as shoes are not allowed, please remember to wear warm socks as the floors can be quite cold in winter.
16:15 Arrive at Nagano Station or your accommodation
That completes your 2-days of winter fun in the Kiso Valley. Welcome to Nagano! Now that you’re here, do not miss your opportunity to see the world-famous Snow Monkeys!
- Transportation from Takayama to all destinations through to Nagano
- Lunch (vegetarian options are available)
- English-speaking guide
- Snow activity fee for winter attraction in Kaida Plateau
- Chopsticks making activity fees in Narai Post Town
- Entrance fee for Matsumoto Castle
- Shinkansen/bullet train ticket
- Additional rental gears (if required)
- Additional snacks, food & drinks