Matsumoto Travel Guide

  • Matsumoto
    by Toshioohsako
  • Matsumoto
    by hassy
  • Gate of the North Japan Alps
    Gate of the North Japan Alps
    by hassy

Matsumoto Things to Do

  • Matsumoto Castle

    The main sight in Matsumoto, and the only one we had time properly to visit, is its castle. This is one of relatively few original castles in Japan; as they were built mostly of wood they often burned down and were rebuilt, some many times. This though is one of just four castles designated as “National Treasures of Japan” and is the oldest castle...

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  • Nawate-dori

    This is a quaint, if slightly (but only slightly) touristy street not far from the castle. This street once formed the border between the Samurai residences and the commoners’ homes in the Edo era (1603 – 1868).The name means "Frog" street. It acquired this name at a time when the nearby river became so polluted that even the frogs died. The city...

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  • Yohashira Shrine

    Part way along Nawate-dori, on your left if walking away from the main road, you will find this tranquil Shinto shrine. I haven’t been able to find out much about it, as the only website I could find was entirely Japanese, but if Google Translate was doing its job properly, the shrine was built in 1924 to replace an earlier one (1874?) that was...

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  • Visiting Suzuki Memorial Museum

    Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998) is known for so called "Suzuki Violin Teaching Methods" (see Wikipedia for details).The last photo presents his necessary conditions for early violin teaching (my translation into English):-early violin teaching and learning-good violin learning environments-frequent practice-good leadership-good teaching methods

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  • Where Samurai lived

    "Takahashi Ke Jutaku" (Takahashi family residence) is a typical high level Samurai used t live.It was nominated as "National Treasure" Its a simple but solemn house. If you want to see such house, you should visit this one.

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  • Where Japanese education started

    Kaichi school museum represents one of the oldest Kaichi Elementary Schools in Matsumoto (founded in 1873).The school educated pupils in the dawn of the Meiji period when Japan was pushing hard the development of talents among young pupils and students. It was a nation-wide campaign to catch up the West through intensive Western style of education....

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  • Fantastic Ukiyoe

    Japan Ukiyoe Woodblock Print Museum is one of the most known woodblock museums in Japan.The 100,000 collection of calligraphy, wood-printed masterpieces. There is a rich repertoire of local wood-block prints.

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  • New design Performing Arts Center

    The center just opened last year (2012). Toyo Ito designed it and is intended for various art and cultural activities. There are one big and another smaller concert halls. This building is worth visitingeven you end up with having a drink in the snack bar/restaurant on the second floor.

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  • Beautiful museum

    Its a beautiful museum which exhibit the famous modern art of Yayoi Kusama, most known for her giant pumpkin painting. The works of famous calligraphers, Shinzan Kamijo and Kazuo Tamura, are exhibited here. Adults:400 yen and students:200yen. You can take photos without flash.

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Matsumoto Hotels

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Matsumoto Restaurants

  • When you need a change ...

    We had mostly eaten (and for the most part enjoyed) Japanese food on our travels, but there are times when you really crave the food of home - or at least of another country! So when we spotted this cosy bakery/cafe on quaint Nawate-dori, with a menu of pizza, toasted sandwiches and soup, we thought it looked a promising spot for a more Western...

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  • Hot Pot in Winter

    We hit this restaurant by chance. It was almost full house when we arrived. We tried their famous hot pot set dinner, crab & potato coquettes, scallops on hot plate . 2 hot pot options were sold out when we ordered. They also have an English menu. We were on a 2nd floor, sitting on the floor and eat on the low table. Nice Japanese design with dark...

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  • Restaurant near Matsum0to Castle

    This restaurant is recommended by one of the locals in Matsumoto. The waiter speaks no English but they have English menu. They had horse meat set menu which we dared not try. 2nd floor is the restaurant. The ground floor sells souvenirs and their food stuff. We tried the soba set menu. The soba has to soak into a cup of cold soup and eat the...

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  • Affordable Japanese cuisine in a nice...

    The Mangetsu-ya restaurant in the suburb of Asama is well situated for backpackers staying at the Asasma HI hostel. It is just a short walk away (go right out of the hostel, left at the first intersection, walk to the next intersection and you will see two restaurants to your right).Inside there is a diner like feel with a Japanese twist. There is...

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  • SUIZE

    This is another trendy eating and drinking establishment in the back streets on Matsumoto. Quite hard to find unless you are with someone who knows how to get there! Nonetheless it is one of my favourite places to chill out in Matsumoto and worth a mention. The Vegetable Platter! YUMMY!

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  • YUMEYA

    This cool little place is located near Matsumoto Castle and the river. It is a very trendy and popular hang out for both foreigners and Japanese alike. The staff are great and they have an English menu too. Kushikatsu

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Matsumoto Nightlife

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
    From the darkness to laughter 2 more images

    by Toshioohsako Written Apr 25, 2013

    Chikuma is a Japanese pub with fantastic social atmosphere and excellent Japanese food.
    One can enjoy sake of many different kinds and seasonable food composed of fresh fish,vegetables and meat. One can easily find people to talk to and drink and joke together.
    One needs to visit this pub to find out the essence of Matsumoto life, taste and people.

    Dress Code: very informal - almost anything

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Matsumoto Transportation

  • To and from Matsumoto

    We came to Matsumoto from Kamikochi, for a few hours' stopover on our way back to Tokyo. Our journey involved a bus to Shinshimashima and from there a small local train to Matsumoto. The bus journey was about an hour and the train about half that, with 20 minutes between the two.We left Matsumoto some hours later on a limited express train service...

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  • Matsumoto City water and sewer...

    You go down from Matsumoto interchange of Naganodo highway, then you can see Matsumoto City water and sewer commission in front of your sight.

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  • Matsumoto Station as central link to...

    You can access here via an Express Chuo Line from Shinjuku Station (three hours by JR special express "Super Azusa"). Matsumoto is located in relatively central Japan, and is a convenient transfer point to Tokyo (three hours by JR special express "Super Azusa"), western Sea of Japan coastal town such as Toyama (via the Tateyama Alpine Route trek),...

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Matsumoto Local Customs

  • The magic of Onsen (hotspring)

    Onsen is one of the most loved form of relaxation in Japan. It is totally a relaxing, warm and social experience for the Japanese as well as foreigners. There are numerous hot-spring inns and hotels around Matsumoto. I picked 'Yume no Yu" (dream hot-spring) in Asama Onsen area as its proximity to the City. It was really relaxing and pleasurable...

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  • JAPANESE CUSTOMS

    Japan is FULL of interesting differences with other countries. For example: TOILETS : Public toilets in Japan are mostly the squating variety although count yourself lucky if you happen to find an electronic 'space rocket' toilet with lots of fancy gagets to play with! TAXIS : Avoid taking taxis as they are exorbitantly expensive but if you do...

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  • Matsumoto Hotels

    206 Hotels in Matsumoto

    27 Reviews and Opinions

Matsumoto Warnings and Dangers

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    by kiwigal_1 Updated Jun 21, 2004

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    As with other parts of Nagano it is worth warning you of the dangers in winter. Matsumoto is nestled in the Japan Alps and as such is a fairly cold place in winter. Yes, there ARE snowstorms and yes, the roads ARE slippery! Take care!

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Matsumoto What to Pack

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    by kiwigal_1 Updated Jun 21, 2004

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    Luggage and bags: If you plan on doing a lot of train travel when you are in Japan then I suggest that you decline from bringing large, heavy suitcases. Most train stations in Japan have huge staircases (often no lift) so lugging a big suitcase is not an easy task. I suggest a good backpack would be a good choice.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Rainy Season is around June/July and rain weather gear is essential. I just use an umbrella but there have been times that I have got completely soaked!! I can't buy shoes in Japan so I have had to think carefully before I came about what kind of footwear to buy. Note: Easy to slip on and off shoes are best and if you are going to work in a public building you will need 'indoor' shoes to wear. The Japanese always take their outdoor shoes off before entering their house or work. Matsumoto is pretty cold in winter being up in the Japanese Alps so make sure you have good winter clothes (don't forget your skiis etc!!)

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Most things you will need can be purcahsed here. I don't recommend going to a hospital in Japan unless you really need to. In most cases the pharmacist will be able to help you if you tell them what is wrong and what kind of medicine you are looking for (a phrase book will have this in it).

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Matsumoto and Nagano Prefecture in general are great places to experience the outdoors in Japan. Kamikochi (and hour from Matsumoto) is a great place for hiking. If you are into skiing or snowboarding then this is the place to come!

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Matsumoto Off The Beaten Path

  • Don't miss Wasabi!

    Daio Wasabi farm is the largest in Japan (15h). The spring water supplied by the Northern Alps grow and nourish Wasabi. The nature of Azumino region is beautiful which provides you with the curiosity of Wasabi, Wasabi ice-cream, Wasabi beer, Wasabi cakes, and other foods. It was the best cherry-blossom time that I went to this area. The beautiful...

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  • HAKUBA

    I mentioned Hakuba on my Nagano page. I decided that it needs to be mentioned here also as it is actually easier to get to Hakuba by train from Matsumoto. It takes a couple of hours on the local train but doesn't cost a lot. For those of you who aren't in the 'know' Hakuba is one of Japan's most famous ski resorts. It is the place where many of the...

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  • Most people begin their hikes...

    Most people begin their hikes from Matusmoto and miss out on Hotaka. Rent a bike (300\/hr), then spend the day riding through wasabi fields surrounded by mountains. There are also many painted jizo to see. Don’t forget to have a taste of some wasabi soft ice cream – it definitely has kick! Hotaka is a 30 minute train ride from Matsumoto. To the...

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Matsumoto Favorites

  • Wandering the streets is a great way to...

    Wandering the streets of any city is a great way to explore, provided you have a good map! This photo was taken at the Jorinji Temple, in Matsumoto, which we stumbled across one chilly and damp April morning in 2006.The temple is down a side street off Isemachi Street.

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  • MATSUMOTO CASTLE

    Lit up at night in winter Matsumoto Castle is a beautiful site. In the spring the area becomes decorated in pink and white as the Cherry Blossoms come out. One evening I went to the Castle grounds with some friends for a Cherry Blossom party! See my Japan page to learn more about this tradition!

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  • Matsumoto Castle. I’ve seen...

    Matsumoto Castle. I’ve seen many castles during my stay in Japan and I was not looking forward to seeing this one. However, I have to say that the castle is really beautiful!!! I was also surprised by how interesting it was. There’s a museum at the base and the view from the top is quite nice. The castle ticket also includes admission to the Japan...

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Comments (1)

  • owyewwah's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    Hi, I am interested to view cherry blossom in Japan, but I am told it is kind of late for some of the areas like the cities. I am told Matsumoto is a good place for early April. I plan to come and stay in Nagano, and make trips to Matsumoto during the day. I most like will come via Tokyo from Singapore in the 2nd week of April. I hope this is a good plan. Please advise. Thanks.

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