An excellent base for exploring the Japanese Alps, Matsumoto is best known for its stunning and original castle, a National Treasure of Japan, often referred to as Crow Castle owing to its black exterior. Built in the late 16th century, Matsumoto Castle was built on flat land, as opposed to a hillside and is an impressive structure of gatehouses and wall complexes surrounded by a series of moats.

Highly recommended for a visit is Matsumoto’s Nakamachi-dori, a street of wonderfully preserved old buildings hosting shops, restaurants and ryokan inns. Art lovers will be interested in the vast collection of ukiyoe (woodblock prints) in the Japan Ukiyoe Museum, while food lovers will want to visit Daio Wasabi Farm for tastings and products.


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