Exploring Japanese Nature's Changing Leaves… ( Part 1 : HAKUBA)
Go trekking..biking..find mountains on your own..
What is so charming about Japan that I keep going back?
...I ask my self this question for a very long time
And I found that, each city in Japan has its own charm ...
If you get to visit them, you will find out that each of them has their own distinct ambiance
This is the first time that I decided to travel alone during the whole trip
I hoped that traveling alone will make me discover something...
" What I really want the most,
What I really want to do the most
and What I really want to be the most?"
This trip's destination is a small quiet town called Matsumoto, in the Nagano Prefecture. Matsumoto is the second largest city in Nagano. One of the main tourist attractions is Matsumoto Castle - one of the most beautiful classic castles of Japan; it is also where I want to visit. You can also go to other places from Matsumoto.
I started my journey in the early morning, choosing a 11.35 AM flight so that I would reach Tokyo at around 20.00 PM. After that there will be an hour to prepare before taking the bus to Matsumoto. I booked my ticket in Thailand through this website: https://japanbusonline.com then printed my E-Ticket to confirm with the bus driver before boarding. Finding the bus stop at the air port is not difficult at all - after getting your luggage, walk out of the airport then read the stops there. Each bus stop will tell you the destination. Or another way to find it is to ask the airport staff, which is the easiest and most convenient way. Then, wait for the time, when it is close to boarding time, just wait at the bus stop :)
I reached Matsumoto at around 05.45, then I left my baggage and went to Hakuba Happo-One - which is a famous ski resort in Japan. In the summer and autumn, a lot of people come trek here to admire the flowers and the mountain view, which looks as beautiful as in winter!
Happo- one is the name of an area in Hakuba, which is in the far northern part of the Japan Alps up North. To get there from Matsumoto station, take the JR Oito line to Hakuba station. However, you have to change trains once at JR Shinano Omachi station. When you change trains, you have to be careful of the departure time because if you come later than around 7, you have to wait for the next train at 10.28 (which happened to me) XD
While the train is on the way to Hakuba station, the view on both sides is so beautiful that I wanted to get down from the train and take photos there! Sometimes, the train will pass a lake which has a background of a mountain with the color of changing leaves - red, yellow and green. This makes the ride so interesting and exciting.
From Hakuba station, you can travel to Happo Gondola to take the Happo Alpen Line elevator up the mountain. There are so many ways of going sight-seeing at the mountain.
1. Walk from Hakuba Station to Happo Gondola (3.5 KM distance). I chose this method.
2. Buy a bus ticket (Hana Sanmai bus) to Happo Gondola. However, this will take quite some time because there are only a few departure times. You can check them in the chart below.
At the Happo Gondola bus stop, buy the Happo Alpen Line elevator ticket which costs 2,900 yen. This price includes a round trip for the elevator (3 trips for the Gondola and the elevator).
Start trekking from the elevator to the viewpoint (1.5 KM, 2-3 hours depending on each individual's body conditions).
Trekking here is quite easy because there is a trail for you. However, when nearing the Happo pond, it might be a little difficult, if you have trekking shoes, I recommend wearing them. They can be very helpful.
You have to climb up too.
When approaching the Happo Pond, the trail is more difficult, you have to walk on rocks.
Before reaching the pond, you will see stairs here. On the left, you can see Happo Pond!
We are finally here !!
We finally reached our destination.
Someone said that, while trekking, what matters the most is not only the destination, but rather the journey along the way.
...While walking down..
The first part of the review ends here
See you again soon.....