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Matsumoto

Alpine Peaks and National Treasures

A charming city featuring a historic castle, surrounded by a glorious mountain range.

Discover Matsumoto

Designated as a core city of Japan, Matsumoto offers stunning views of the Northern Japanese Alps, set behind one of the oldest, and most beautiful castles in Japan.

Matsumoto Castle, also known as ‘Crow Castle’ due to its black façade, was built in the 16th century, and portions of the castle still maintain their original stone and woodwork. The castle is officially ordained as a National Treasure of Japan and boasts a five-story main tower, a wide moat, and bright vermillion bridges. Look out for samurai wandering the grounds, and for the many seasonal events taking place at the castle.  

This vibrant city is home to many internationally acclaimed artists and musicians. Iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama was born here in Matsumoto, and you can visit the Matsumoto City Museum of Art to see a permanent exhibition of the artist’s work from early drawings of pumpkins to her more recent series of polka dots. Explore the work of other famous Japanese artists specialising in calligraphy, watercolour painting, and drawing. To discover more unique Japanese art, head to The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum to see the world’s largest collection of woodblock prints (ukiyo-e). The Sakai family has collected over 100,000 prints, including those by printmaking masters, Hokusai and Hiroshige. Outside the train station, spot the statue of acclaimed Japanese violinist, Shinichi Suzuki, famous for developing the Suzuki Method in musical theory.  

Sample some of the best local sake in one of the city’s bustling restaurants or take a little trip out towards the mountains to the Kametaya Sake Brewery, a wonderful brewery producing sake out of one of the original farmhouses of the area.  

 

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