Hakuba to Matsumoto – Friday 17 May

A lovely tree change at the base of the mountains.

Spring has sprung in the valley – tulips are featured in the gardens along with many other colourful spring flowers.
Hakuba was host of the 1998 Winter Olympics. A winter sports hub, Hakuba encompasses mountain resorts with terrain for skiing, snowboarding and hiking. The Hakuba Ski Jumping Stadium, built for the 1998 games, is at the base of the Happo-one resort.

Our guesthouse was a 10 minute walk to the Goryu ski lift. We enjoyed a quiet stay in K’s House Hakuba Alps Backpackers Hostel. Lovely hosts – a couple full of knowledge and English speaking. Lots of accommodation in the area but most closed. It would be a sight to see in winter.

It was an easy ride mostly downhill through the valley. Great views of the mountains on both sides, splashes of snow in the high alps. 3 small lakes equally as scenic. Rice paddies, agricultural and hot houses were all part of our great downhill run.

Back into a big city, Matsumoto with tall buildings the station looks to be the hub of activity. Too early to check in – the Shinshu Flower Festival is advertised, in flags along the street poles – a free shuttle service and free entry.

The highlight of my day.

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