Welcome to Azumino
An easy day trip north from Matsumoto, Azumino sits just east of the Northern Alps and has some interesting things going on. Hikers and onsen-seekers are close to heaven here, while foodies can visit Japan's largest wasabi farm to try wasabi wine and ice cream. Cute little JR Hotaka Station, 30 minutes north of Matsumoto, is the place to head to start adventuring. The city of Azumino (安曇野) was formed in 2005, when the towns of Toyoshina, Hotaka and Akashina and three smaller villages amalgamated. It's also the traditional name of the picturesque valley in which they're located.