Japan 8 days self drive in Central Region – day 5- Matsumoto city, Nagano Prefecture

Japan 8 days self drive in Central Region – day 5  – Matsumoto city in Nagano Prefecture 

Early hot spring bath in Hotel Morinokaze Tateyama

Since the hotel provided the hot spring bath with very beautiful mountain view, I took the opportunity to rise early and soaked in the outdoor hot spring.  Outdoor hot spring has another name called Rotenburo “露天風呂“.

The hot springs were just terrific.  I went for the hot spring last night too but it was too dark, I could not see the mountain view at night. We went early in the morning and there was nobody so we managed to take some video of the beautiful mountain view.  It was very cold in the morning of the November winter in Tateyama mountain.  Normally hot spring in Japan is separated with male and female.  We washed our body before entering the hot spring indoor for few minutes before going out for the outdoor hot spring, that way we would not feel that cold.  However, we was freezing when we walked from the indoor to outdoor hot spring as there is a short distance.

We love soaking in the hot spring from indoor to outdoor and from outdoor to indoor.  That was the best part of the activities especially after a long day.  Japanese believe “onsen”/ hot spring helps them increase the blood flow, circulation and metabolism.  Frankly speaking, after soaking in these hot spring, I felt more relax and reduced all my tiredness. The water in the hot spring is very much different from the hot spring in Taiwan, the hot spring in Japan do not has chlorine smell like the one in Taiwan.  The hot spring in Japan usually smell very good.

Don’t be shy, try it and you will love Japan “onsen”!  

Day 5 activities was not much, driving from Tateyama to Matsumoto was about 3 hours drive.  We stopped in the middle of the freeway to take a toilet break and some hot tea.
This rest area is just beside the sea, it was very windy that morning, we could not stand the cold and quickly rushed back to our car.

It was almost 2 pm when we arrived in Matsumoto city.  Matsumoto city is the second largest city in Nagano Prefecture. Driving in the Matsumoto city was challenging, many traffic and roads were very narrow.  My impression about Nagano is the winter Olympics in 1998 and Nagano snow monkeys chilling in the hot spring. But we only planned to Matsumoto Castle in the city.

We wanted to visit the famous Matsumoto Castle today but due to heavy rain, we changed our plan to visit one of the indoor Art museum in the city.

Photography is not allowed in the museum. Above picture was taken in the toilet of the Art museum.  At first I was a bit reluctant to visit the Art Museum but it turned out to be quite interesting!

This museum is worth to visit because you will be amazed by the usage of bright colors and fascinating modern art exhibition.  The museum has several special rooms which gave us surprises in each room when we entered, there is this “wow” factor in each room.  Genius art work from Yayoi Kusama.There were many art pieces from famous artist Yayoi Kusama, one of her signature is using red polka dots in her art piece.  There are also red big polka dots in the washroom mirror, matches well with my red scarf, refer to picture above, interesting!

Shopping trip in Matsumoto city

We parked our car in one of the shopping and did some shopping and also had our dinner at the shopping mall.

Hotel Montagne Matsumoto

We checked in at the Hotel in the evening, the outdoor parking lot is quite small because the hotel is in the city.  The location of the hotel is very good, only few mins walk to Matsumoto Castle.

There is no hot spring in this hotel because hotel in the city usually do not provide hot spring.  It is more like a business hotel as I can see many business “salary man” wearing formal suit in this hotel.

Not many pictures for today trip because photography is not allowed in the museum and also due to rainy day.

DAY 5 – Itinerary ( 25 Nov 2015)

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