Matsumoto Castle

Behold the Black Beauty of Matsumoto Castle

Only two hours from Tokyo by train lies Matsumoto, home to one of the best-preserved castles in Japan. Matsumoto Castle is a National Treasure of Japan, and one you have to see with your own eyes.

Art & Culture History Scenery Sites Traditions
Witness the marvel of Matsumoto Castle, a National Treasure in Nagano.

Witness the marvel of Matsumoto Castle, a National Treasure in Nagano.

Japanese castles are iconic, but many were at least partially destroyed during countless conflagrations and conflicts over the past several hundred years, and have thus been faithfully reconstructed. Matsumoto Castle, however, is quite the exception, because at no point in the past 400 years was this National Treasure destroyed.

Seen among Japan’s marvelous, snow-crowned Northern Alps, Matusmoto is a gorgeous setting for a feudal keep. And though the castle, as with most castles, was ultimately a product of war—which is evident in the watchtowers, hidden floors, and wall slits through which archers could aim their bows—it has spent much of its life in peace. This era of peace influenced castle renovations, with a moon-viewing room added in 1634 as a place to admire the natural wonders of Matsumoto and to hold counsel with then-Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu (though he never visited). It is a beautiful place to marvel at cherry blossoms in spring and the brocaded carps and ducklings swimming in the castle moat.

Beyond the castle, there is plenty to enjoy in Matsumoto. In addition to onsen and the beauty of the Northern Alps surrounding it, Matsumoto is a cool art town, and the birthplace of Japan’s most revered pop art legend, Yayoi Kusama. Many of her works are permanently on display at the Matsumoto Art Museum. You can’t miss its polka-dotted exterior.

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto is home to one of the finest and best-preserved castles in all Japan. In addition to being home to beautiful mountainous landscapes, it is also a hidden gem of modern artistic culture. Better yet, it’s only two hours from Tokyo by train! Looking for more things to do while in Matsumoto? Fill out the rest of your itinerary with our exciting model routes here.

Phone number

Tel: +81 263-32-2902

Business hours

08:30 - 17:00


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