Matsumoto, Japan – Day 4(b)

matsumoto city

Matsumoto (松本市 Matsumoto-shi?) is a city located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Matsumoto is surrounded by mountains and is acclaimed for its beautiful views. Hiking and climbing locations in the mountains are readily accessible by local bus transportation.


matsumoto city
Some snaps of the Matsumoto JR station. I love the lockers outside the stations usually, such a life saver as you do not need to lug all your heavy overnight bag to your next destination.

cola bench
Maybe Coca Cola is part of the city sponsor.

ice cream!
A little short stop at the red bean biscuit snack shop, oh my, they are so advanced! Using the ipad as their cashier :O

The city was surrounded by the mountains and most of the shops were surprisingly closed on a Sunday.

matsumoto jo

Matsumoto Castle (松本城 Matsumoto-jō), also known as the “Crow Castle” (烏城 Karasu-jo) because of its black exterior, is one of Japan’s premier historic castles. It is located in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture and is within easy reach of Tokyo by road or rail.
The keep (tenshukaku), which was completed in the late 16th century, maintains its original wooden interiors and external stonework. It is listed as a National Treasure of Japan.
Matsumoto Castle is a flatland castle (hirajiro) because it is not built on a hilltop or amid rivers, but on a plain. Its complete defences would have included an extensive system of inter-connecting walls, moats and gatehouses.


matsumoto jo
A panorama shot of the surroundings

matsumoto jo
The Japanese were all sitting on the benches and looking at this view. it is pretty amazing they are just sit there for extended time not talking and basking in this view.  Seems like everyone is in a zen mode. I am always impressed with this (just like the last time in Arashiyama in Kyoto) I know for sure, I cannot sit there and look at this for 2-3 hours 🙂

matsumoto jo
1 of my favorite and best shot from the camera for this trip.

Admission to the castle is 600Yen per person. Upon crossing the bridge, you would make head way to the castle entrance. The Ojisan, efficiently passed you a clear plastic bag to hold your shoes since you are not allowed to have any foot wear inside. Then it was just another hour of climbing stairs, waiting in line to go up the 6 storeys of the castle and the various exhibitions depicting the history of the place.

archers view
I got to know the little holes on the walls with strings across were actually for the past days samurais to fire their arrows, I was really amazed…There was a lot of interesting mechanical infrastructure that I was amazed with the creavity for people back in those days to think of.

from the viewing platfom
View from the top floor and it was really breezy.

from the viewing platfom
Another angle

matsumoto city muesum
The admission ticket to the castle also included admission to the Matsumoto City Museum. It was a really simple museum, with 3 floors. The basement mainly on artifacts found from the Matsumoto Castle, Level 1 on the history of Mastumoto City and the celebrations for the 4 seasons and Level 2 on some of the writers and artists of Japan pre war and post war. Of course, everything was in Japanese and it was just a quick tour for me.

matsumoto snacks
Some Matsumoto local delights – fried chicken and buns before making the 3.5 hours rapid train back to Tokyo.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. abraxis
    Oct 18, 2010 @ 01:03:51

    They’re known for their soba…really good. And 30 minutes outside of town is the Daio Wasabi Farm. They grow wasabi. Yum!

  2. Xuan-er
    Oct 18, 2010 @ 07:54:26

    Yeh, Nxt time I wld eat their soba like immediately
    Wasabi farm?!!!! Yeah, on my to go list then 🙂

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