Watch the Karakuri Clock on the hour.
A free sight in Matsumoto is the quaint Karakuri Clock on Isemachi Street, striking the hour. The ball opens and little people come out and circulate round the clock accompanied by music. There are two different performances, the second one starting a little after the hour and taking us by surprise when we thought the show had ended. I took this photo at 5pm.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Matsumoto Timepiece Museum.
On a chilly April morning, before heading to the castle, we called in to have a look around the Timepiece Museum. It was lovely and warm inside. Entrance was JPY300 (2006).
Clocks from around the world are on display, as well as several unusual oddly Dalek like Japanese ones!
The museum is closed on Mondays.
- Museum Visits
Visit Japan's oldest castle.
Matusmoto-jo is Japan's oldest castle. It was built over 400 years ago. The entrance fee is JPY600 (NZ$8.60).
You need to take your shoes off when you enter the castle and can carry them around with you in a supplied plastic bag.
The castle contains displays of artifacts and information about Matsumoto-jo's history. The views from the top floor are excellent in Matsumoto's clear mountain air. The moon viewing pavilion is the last room you pass through on the route through the castle and is a relatively recent addition to the castle.
Be warned that some of the stairways in the castle are very steep and narrow - more like ladders really. Elderly people will find these very difficult to navigate.
The castle is very photogenic from the south and west sides, in particular.
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Walk along 1920's Art Deco Buildings
Along Nawate and Agetsuchi Streets are another facet of Matsumoto's dedication to preserve old construction techniques. The shops here are typically local confections and food specialties, tea houses, and the like. These nostalgic walking areas are closely linked to each other, though this general area is located about 20-30 walk from JR Matsumoto Station, but are also well-served by various buses.
Ukiyoe Museum.. JUM or the...
Ukiyoe Museum.. JUM or the Japan Ukiyoe Museum is a really ulgy building that the brochures call modern which houses some very beautiful woodblock prints. Basically it’s the Sakai family’s collection (they were the second richest merchants in the area) of prints. The curator is also the lecturer and family member. The slideshow presentation makes some interesting arguments about Japanese heritage!! The main room houses a rotating collection of prints, but head towards the bathroom to see the really interesting pieces.
The everyday life scenes were very interesting – especially the women fighting in the bathhouse! I also got to see some of Hokusai’s famous 36 Views of Fuji series.
Walk down "Frog Street".
Nawate Street is a short pedestrian shopping street on the north side of the Metoba River, just east of the Sensai Bridge. It is lined with craft shops and is a pleasant stroll and place to browse.
- Budget Travel
Walk along 1860's era Japanese warehouse buildings
On "Nakamachi" Street, are lined with reconstructed warehouse buildings in the style of the 1860's Meiji era. The shops are very artful lacquerware shops, tea shops, other Japanese arts and sundries.
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