See one of the most famous sites in Japan at Matsumoto, and discover a charming city packed with cultural and historical treasures.
Matsumoto is more than just its world-famous castle, although the Matsumotojo is quite the sight to behold. This original and surprisingly intact black hirajiro dating back to around 1592 is a must-visit, especially in spring when the somei yoshino cherry trees along its outer moat burst into bloom.
Once you’ve ticked the castle off your must-see list, take a lazy afternoon strolling through the pleasingly compact city centre. Matsumoto’s architecture includes beautiful buildings from many different periods, each with their own old-fashioned charm.
There are also some unique and fascinating museums to see here in Matsumoto, including the City Art Museum, Timepiece Museum and a huge collection of woodblock prints at the Japan Ukiyoe Museum.
Head just outside of the city and you’ll even find a working wasabi farm, complete with walking trails and idyllic boat tours in summer and of course, you can sample the farm’s homegrown wasabi, in everything from wasabi noodles to wasabi beer and wasabi chocolate.
Matsumoto has plenty to attract visitors on its own, along with the most friendly and welcoming locals in Japan. But it’s also the perfect jumping off point if you want to explore the Northern Japan Alps.
From here, you can hop a train to the Chubu Sangaku National Park, where you’ll find beautiful mountain scenery, spectacular alpine views and steaming hot springs. This region is perfect for hiking, and it’s also home to Hakuba – one of the best ski resorts in Japan.
Plan your trip to Matsumoto today.