Getting there:
From Kawaguchiko there are several routes but the fastest and most hassle-free trip is sticking with all trains (there are bus routes as well) to keep the luggage dragging to a minimum.
From Fuji-Q > Otsuki > Kofu > Matsumoto takes about 190mins all up.
Most of the routes out in the regions aren’t covered by the standard JR pass, if you wish to use the JR pass you’ll need one for the Kanto Area.
Kawaguchiko station timetable here


Travel tip:
As you leave the built up areas you venture out into the wide rice paddy filled country side, peppered with interesting railways and stations.

We stayed at “Hotel New Station”, a great value and perfectly located business hotel a couple min walk from the Matsumoto station.

Read the full review here.

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Hotel New Station – Matsumoto

This hotel is definitely one of those “best bang for buck” gems and it really is close to the station. We actually walked right past it thinking it was further along having only power walked for about a minute or two (it was raining). So as usual, being this close to any major Japanese station, you have access to a whole bunch of mod cons ie. food, shopping and amenities. We didn’t bother with the hotel’s in house food service because of this, instead going with the bakeries, convenience stores and one restaurant in particular just outside the station that was so good and great valued that we ate there every day 😀 *

Being half way through our trip the clean underwear situation was getting dire so it was good to have washing machines and dryers on hand. Detergent and other personal amenities are available from reception. The double room was on the smaller side even by Japanese standards but on par for a Japanese business style hotel, with –just- enough room to have two suitcases open and room to get by them.

Contrasting to its mountainous surrounds, Matsumoto is mostly flat so its an easy walk/ride to the major attractions like the castle and the timepiece museum. There is also a large post office a couple blocks away if you need to get cash out.

We used Matsumoto as a jump off point for The Alps/snow corridor so having a close proximity to the station for those early morning starts was a big plus. The station also has direct services all the way back to Shinjuku which was also very handy.

Very pleased with our stay here, wouldn’t hesitate choosing to stay here again.

* – If you want to check it out too, turn right out of the station (don’t head out to the road) follow the row of shops, past the small fence there is a wide shop front with a big colourful sign with pictures of food. Its also next door to an ice cream shop that has a big plastic light up ice cream out the front. The restaurant has combo deals, lunch specials and speedy service which was also handy.

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There’s two lots of planning you’ll need to do, getting to and from and up and down the mountains, all requiring a bit more than “she’ll be right, mate” if you’re only there for the day and want to maximise your time.

First hurdle is catching a train from Matsumoto station to Shinano Omachi station then a bus to Ogizawa which is the start of the Alpine route. Take special note of the return times if you plan on coming back late in the afternoon. The trips on multiple modes of transport up the mountain is a cross between theme park cueing and peak hour Japanese train ride kaos, thankfully the Alpine route website is very detailed with a lot of route suggestions. If you start early enough, you can take your time as there’s something to see at each station stop along the way, but of course, the two major attractions are the Kurobe dam and the Snow Corridor.

The dam, pushing close to 200m in height is the tallest in Japan. There are many vantage points around the wall and sides and if you time it right, you might even get to see them releasing some water. The route up the mountain also includes a walk through some of the tunnels which may spark claustrophobic anxiety or awaken your inner urbex-er depending on your disposition.

Speaking of tunnels, the trolley buses and funiculars are just 2 of the 7 fun and unique modes of transport that you will ride on your way up the mountain.

Once at Murodo, you have hiking fields to explore and a short walk to the snow corridor which, even at the end of the season around May-June there is still plenty of snow cover with the corridor easily towering over large buses.

The Japanese Alps are no different than other snowy mountains around the world this time of year, weather swings from warm sunshine, to showers, to haze to icy winds all in the space of an hour or two. The upside of this is, if its raining on the way up, there’s a good chance you’ll have some sun at stops on the way down. Just take a look at the photos we took of the dam, icy drizzle in the morning, sunshine in the afternoon!

Travel tip: take clothing layers you can add/shed along the way and wear waterproof shoes/boots if you want to explore the fields around Murodo. Check the live webcams in the days leading up to your trip to get an idea of what to expect.

Spicy hot band of the moment, Middle Kids kick of their Aussie tour with a double sold out show at The Triffid, Brisbane.

Highlights below!

The rad lads and gals are back at it again with the first BFLF event of the year with Nik Fish on classic rave duty and Kid Kenobi smashing out the big room bangers! Nothing but smiles for miles and BALLOONSSS!!! 😀

Check out the bumper highlight gallery below then head over to our Soulbridge media Facebook page for even more social photos!

 

The JBT (JBT!)* aka John Butler Trio expanded their folky positive vibes to a quintet for their latest tour on the back of the new album, “Home”.

Check out the highlights below.

*-bit humor from The Goldbergs 😉

10 bands across 7 venues in 2.5 hours? Sure, no problem, I’ll just jump into my teleporting machine! It was more than just a little bit of running around freaking out at every red light and delayed start but it was worth it to catch some of Brisbane’s best indie bands at the annual Mountain Goat Valley Crawl!

Check out the highlights below

Sunscreen



Between You & Me



Sleepclub



Mosquito Coast



The Jensens



Sports Bra



San Mei



IV League



Raave Tapes

02.16.2019

I know we say this everytime but hot damn did the Candee Flip team nail it again! The dancefloor was packed from the get go right up till the cake cutting at the end. Yes thats right, there was cake! The man of the hour being DJ Thief celebrating his half century milestone!

Check out the bumper highlights below and if thats not enough, head over to the Candee Flip FB page for even more photos!

Go to our SBM FB page for all the social photos and get ta taggin!


There’s very few bands that can stand the test of time, let alone for decades… let alone in dance music… let alone live dance music but I’ll be damned if The Prodigy doesn’t continue to deliver! Last time we caught them at Future Music festival in less than ideal conditions (ok it was horrible wading through shin deep swampy mud!) so it was a treat to stay (mostly) dry this time.

Check out all the action below!

01.14.2019

Parcels…err delivering @_@ the electropop disco goodies at The Triffid last week!

Well the Good Things Festival certainly lived up to their name bringing back the essence of what made previous institutions like Big Day Out and Soundwave great. Nice variety of bands across multiple genres, minimal clashes and room to move! Stand our performance of the day would have had to of been Babymetal who managed to get two stage full of punters bouncing to songs about chocolate! In one word, they, like the rest of the day was simply FUN! Fingers crossed we get to see them bring it back in 2019! 😀

Check out the bunch of pics below!

Offspring



Dashboard Confessional



Stone Sour



Smith Street Band



All Time Low



Dropkick Murphys



Tonight Alive



Bullet for my Valentine



The Used



Babymetal
(Babymetal PR authorised photos at The Music magazine Brisbane )



Make them Suffer



Northlane



Waterparks



WAAX

Metal-core double header! Local lads Parkway Drive with Massachusetts mates Killswitch Engage fighting the rain with flames… lots of flames!

Check out the highlights below!


Killswitch Engage

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Parkway Drive

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