11 May 2018 in Discover Japan
Make Matsumoto your base for exploring some of Japan’s most awe-inspiring landscapes!
Famed for its iconic castle, Matsumoto is also the gateway to the monumental mountainscapes of Nagano Prefecture. If you’re staying at Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto, make sure you check out these 4 local nature spots!
1 – Kappa bridge
Set 1500m above sea level, this humble bridge over the Azusa River is dwarfed by the might of the surrounding Northern Japanese Alps.
The local area, known as Kamikochi, is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.
The best period to visit?
May to June, when the lush green meadows contrast with the still snow-laden Mt. Hotakadake above.
2 – Johyama Park
This city park is famed for its dramatic 300° observation deck.
On a sunny day, you can see the whole city, the Northern Japan Alps to the west and, to the east, the spectacular plateau of Utsukushigahara.
Make sure you catch sunset over the mountains for that unique Alpenglow effect.
3 – Alps Park
Another city park with a prime viewing spot.
From the 5th floor of its Mountain and Nature Museum, the 360° panorama is perhaps the city’s best. The museum itself is great for kids, and there’s also a zoo in the park.
4 – Misuzu Lake
Surrounded by maple forests, this manmade lake is the perfect place for autumnal leaf peeping.
It’s also a great option for springtime walks, when the area is awash with late-blooming sakura and yaezakura (double cherry blossoms). The lake itself is a top fishing spot for crucian carp fish and Japanese pond smelt.