Matsumoto, or how to build up patience

Update uploaded extra pictures, but still need to edit them

Mina san,

This is the third episode of my adventures in Japan. This is no longer a mere trip, but a complete adventure full of incidents.

After resolving my camera problem at Nikko (see previous chapter), I took the Nikko line back to Itsunomiya, then several Shinkanzen and finally a local train to reach Matsumoto, one of the doors to the Japan alps.

I arrived quite late, as the train trip took around 3 hours, but fortunately the innkeeper came to pick me up at the station.

That was very kind, and necessary, as the ryokan is not really at walking distance from the center. However, it is worth to come here, and I should have booked an extra night. Staff is really kind and helpful (they lend me a power adapter), and I got a real Japanese room with tatami, complete tea set for the 3 of us, big bath and bikes free to visit the city or the nearby onsen. Wonderful!

After recoverinvg from the trip (ofuro and cup of tea), and immediately realizing that I should spend more time here, I decided to go for dinner. First I walked, but “rectificar es de sabios”. The only con of this ryokan is that is far away from the center, so use the bikes! 😛

BTW, riding on the left was a whole experience! And riding on an old bike a plus! Hopefully it was one of the best they had.

After walking around, I decided to enter the Izayaka Bun, one of the recommended. I ordered Kirin stout, rice with micro sardines (aqui lo de “pezqueñines, no” no ho entenen), okonomiyaki, and for the second round, eggplant with cod’s roe and chicken with vinegar. Delicious.

Then I went back, and as usual, I got lost. Hopefully I had a map to find my way back, but I thought I was too far and turned back when I shouldn’t. Ains… I’ll never learn.

Anyway, I arrived safe at 23:00. But still unsure about what to do next day. When I asked for information about the alpine route at the station, they told me that Murodo road to Tateyama was closed, making inviable my trip.

Another option was to go to Kamikochi, but it will also be impossible to get back to Takaoka on time.

So I could still visit Matsumoto wonderful castle and walk around sightseeing.

That is what I have done this morning, even though I woke up early (6:30), still nervous and wanting to go to the alps. During breakfast, the daughter of the innkeeper has told me to forget about the alps. Weather is too bad to go there, and there are no nice views. I should go in september.

I could still try Kamikochi, but going from Takayama is longer. Ains… We have to come back.

That said, I checked out and she brought to the station. The visit to the castle was worth the walk, but I didn’t listen to her advice of checking train timetable before going, and I found myself in despair waiting for the 12:10 train.

Worse is yet to come. While the local train trip to Nagano was awesome, the second local train to Naoetsu started to despair me, but yet worse was to come. Instead of the 15:25 express train to Takaoka, I took the 15:18 local to Nagaoka (oppositr direction). Something was wrong, but I couldn’t tell until I saw the Japan sea at my left, when it should be at right.

I had previously asked a lady, so I thought I had only taken a local instead of express.

I’ve corrected my mistake, and I’m headed to Takaoka, but I wonder what else can happen. Time is now 17:03. I should already be eating dinner!


  • ask for timetable always
  • double check train track and time
  • do not ask old ladies
  • eat properly!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you more about Takaoka. Let’s sleep an hour. 😉


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