Matsumoto popular sightseeing area in Nagano prefecture as the city is a mixture of modern local city and historical buildings. There are historical buildings still remained such as Matsumoto castle, a national treasure.
This area is a base of Alps sightseeing, commanding the view of North Alps, the representative of Japan’s one of the beautiful mountain landscapes. Also, if you take Alpico Bus from Matsumoto Station for 20 minutes, there is a hot spring area including Asama Hot Spring or Utsukushi-gahara Hot Spring.
- 1. Spot Ranking
- 5th Nakamachi Street
- 4th Matsumoto City Museum
- 3rd Karasawa Soba Village
- 2nd Old Kaichi School
- 1st Matsumoto Castle
- 2. Getting in
- 3. Other Area List
1. Spot Ranking in Matsumoto area
5th. Nakamachi Street
Nakamachi Street is an area where you still can feel the taste of a castle town, and is located at the south part of Metoba River. The street still have strong traces as a merchant town once flourished in Edo period.
The view of storehouse made with sea cucumber lined up is really tasteful, and you can find cafes or gift shops on this street. The opening hour or price differ depending on each store, but please take note that most of the stores are not opened until late at night.
To get to the Nakamachi Street: from Matsumoto Station, walk for 15 minutes.
4th. Matsumoto City Museum
Matsumoto City Museum is located within the Matsumoto Castle Park. They have about 110,000 of many historical documents or exhibitions about Matsumoto Castle or folklore. In addition, there is a shop within this museum where you can buy traditional crafts such as Matsumoto Temari, Oshiebina, or Tanabata doll.
The tickets can be used for both Matsumoto Castle and this museum. The admission fee is 610 yen. (This is a common ticket for Matsumoto Castle and this museum.) The opening hour is from 8:30-17:00 (last entry: 16:30), and closed during Dec 29th to Dec 31st, so we recommend you not to visit around year end.
To get to Matsumoto City Museum: from Matsumoto Station, walk for 15 minutes.
3rd. Karasawa Soba Village
Karasawa Soba Village is located in Yamagata-mura. There are seven soba shop in a settlement about 500 meters. Their taste is excellent! Their style is “tatami (banquet rooms with tatami flooring)” who came as if they came to a grandmother’s house in the country and will welcome you with a welcoming atmosphere.
It is okay to spend your time at one restaurant, and taste comparison at soba.
Basically main transportation is car. But you can walk about 40 minutes from Hata station of Matsumoto Electric Railway. Although there are community bus in this area, there are quite a few books, so if you are not a car, take taxi.
2nd. Old Kaichi School
Old Kaichi School represents Japan’ giyofu architecture (imitation of Western-style architecture) which had been used for 90 years since it was build in 1876. It is well recognized as a buildings that represents elementary school architecture when Japan was in civilization and enlightenment period.
This building is now designated as a national important cultural property. There are exhibitions of photos or textbooks that were taken or used at that time. The admission fee is 300 yen.
The opening hour is from 9:00-17:00 (last entry: 16:30), and it is closed on every 3rd Monday of the month. (during Dec to Feb, it is closed on every Monday. If the Monday is a holiday, the museum will be closed on the next day.)
To get to Old Kaichi School: from JR Matsumoto Station, walk for 25 minutes.
1st. Matsumoto Castle
Matsumoto Castle is one the Japan’ 5 castles designated as national treasures besides Inuyama Castle, Hikone Castle, Himeji Castle, and Matsue Castle. This castle was built by Ishikawa Kazumasa, a father, and Yasunaga, a son in 1594. The castle was considered as unique as it was built on the flatland although they normally used to built castles on the mountain for offence/defense during those the civil war era.
It is the oldest valuable buildings existing today in Japan as the five-storied and six floors, and many tourists visit the coal-black-castle with the Alps mountains at the back.
The admission fee is 610 yen. (It is a common ticket for the castle and Matsumoto City Museum.) The opening hour is from 8:30-17:00 (last entry: 16:30), but it may change depending on the season. Since the castle is closed during Dec 29th – Dec 31th, we recommend you not to visit at year end.
To get to Matsumoto Castle: from Matsumoto Station, walk for 15 minutes.
2. Getting to Matsumoto Castle from Matsumoto Station
From Matsumoto Station to Matsumoto Castle, it takes 15 minutes by walk. To get to Matsumoto Castle: After you exit the JR Matsumoto Station, go straight the traffic light standing in front of the Matsumoto Station.
When you are at the another traffic light at Fukashi 2 chome, turn left and keep walking straight. You will see the Matsumoto Castle soon. All the streets are flat so it is easy for walking.
If you take a bus, there is a bus terminal for city round tour called “Town Sneaker”. There are 4 courses: east, west, south, and north. If you take the north course bus, the bus will take you to the Matsumoto Castle & Old Kaichi School direction so you can visit Matsumoto Castle.
The fare for taking Town Sneaker is 200 yen for adult, and 100 yen for kids per ride. The bus takes about 10 minutes. Since they sell day pass inside the Town Sneaker or at the bus terminal for 500 yen, we recommend you get one if you are planning to use the bus for round trip and other destinations.
Getting to Matsumoto Station from Tokyo Station
3. Nagano Area list
Tateshina – Venus Line
Lake Suwa, Kami-Suwa Onsen and Shimo-Suwa Onsen