So whether you’re just in transit in Matsumoto and have a few hours before you catch your bus…
Or you’re staying in Matsumoto for a few days and have a few hours between the time you check out of your hotel and are leaving Matsumoto by bus…
The Matsumoto bus station isn’t such a bad place to have a few extra hours!
In my case, I arrived to Matsumoto by train from Hakuba. (I stayed at this hostel in Hakuba.) Then I had a few hours to explore Matsumoto. And then I got on a bus from Matsumoto to Takayama. (I stayed at this hostel in Takayama.)
The location of the bus station relative to the train station made the transfer from the train station to the bus station simple.
There were also coin lockers at the bus station, which meant I could leave my luggage there and go off around Matsumoto hands-free.
And since the bus station is located in a convenient part of town, it also made it easy to explore the streets of Matsumoto for a couple of hours. This included a visit to the Matsumoto Castle.
Here’s a bit of a mini-tour of the Matsumoto bus terminal!
Arrive at Matsumoto bus terminal
Buying bus tickets
If you walk straight once you enter the building, you will almost immediately see the bus ticket counter and waiting area.
This is where you can find out information about bus timings from Matsumoto, as well as buy bus tickets.
And now, if you have time before your bus leaves…
Leaving luggage at the bus station
Leaving your luggage at the bus station is an option with the coin lockers at Matsumoto bus terminal.
These are located off to the right as soon as you enter the building through the main entrance.
There is a tourist information center at the Matsumoto train station, and it can be worth going here to pick up a walking map of the area!
In the same building as the bus terminal, you can find a cafe, a bakery, and restaurants at the food court.
There’s also a grocery store in the basement. Grocery stores are a place where you might be able to find some cheap food in Japan!
And there’s a gift shop in the building too.
Then, when you’ve finished exploring the rest of the building, you can head back to the bus ticket counter area, and there’s a waiting area.
You can also wait here for it to become closer to the time of your bus departure.
Time to leave to get on the bus!
Then, once it gets closer to the time that your bus departs, you can head outside to the platform.
There are information boards in the waiting area that will tell you what platform your bus will be at, and you can ask the workers at the bus ticket counter too.
And then you can head outside!
And then when your bus arrives…
Get on the bus!
HAPPY BUS RIDE FROM THE MATSUMOTO BUS TERMINAL!
How to spend winter in Japan
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
Among the top 3 things people get specific for a trip to Japan
- JR pass for quick and easy long distance train travel (see price here and see here how to calculate train routes to figure out it's worth it for you)
- Pocket wifi to make travel in Japan easier (see price here)
- Travel insurance for natural disasters just in case especially for travel disruptions (see price here and see here for past natural disaster that affected foreigners)
Food in JapanIf you are in Japan for FOOD, then be sure to see where to try different types of Japanese food! (Sometimes for cheaper!)
And also have a look at some of these cooking classes in Japan too.
If you're looking for a route for winter in Japan, here are some ideas!
- 10 day Japan winter itinerary
- Tokyo to Nagano bus
- 2 days in Nagano with snow monkey pass // Stay at this Nagano hostel (private rooms available)
- A few days in popular ski resort area Hakuba (go here for at least a day even if you don't ski for the winter landscape in the mountains!) // Stay at this Hakuba hostel (private rooms available)
- Hakuba to Takayama (Hakuba to Matsumoto train / a few hours in Matsumoto / Matsumoto to Takayama bus)
- A few days in Takayama with day trips: Shirakawago / Shinhotaka ropeway on a sunny day // Stay at this Takayama hostel (private rooms available) and eat regional Takayama ramen
- Takayama back to Tokyo OR Takayama to Nagoya airport to fly to Hokkaido for more winter landscapes!
Hokkaido winter itinerary (train to get around - there are JR Hokkaido passes available, and you can use a regular JR pass too)
- Sapporo to Asahikawa (Asahikawa for penguin walk at zoo)
- Asahikawa to Abashiri (Abashiri for drift ice cruise)
- Abashiri to Obihiro (night in Obihiro and go to Lake Shikaribetsu ice village the next day)
- Obihiro to Sapporo
- Sapporo to Noboribetsu onsen hot spring town (day trip)
- Sapporo to Hakodate // Stay in this Hakodate hostel
- Hakodate to Tokyo on shinkansen bullet train through the underwater tunnel! (Regular JR pass will be worth it if you take this train ride along with one more long distance train ride within 7 days)
When the JR pass is worth itIn general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure. See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.
Natural disasters in JapanUnfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.
My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon. There have been a few typhoons that have hit Japan in the past couple of years and they can cause real travel disruptions!
See how much insurance costs for your trip.
More for your Japan itinerary
- 5 days in Kyoto
- Cost of climbing Mt Fuji from Tokyo
- Where to go for famous Mt Fuji views as seen in pictures
- Know before you go to Hiroshima
- One day in Miyajima with famous floating torii views
- 3 days in Okinawa, Japan's tropical islands
- Cherry blossom photo walk
- When is the JR pass worth it for train travel?
- Tokyo to Kyoto train
- Hostels in Japan