Matsumoto, a city guide
Travel high up to the Japanese Alps to this mountain town, winding your way through streets lined with traditional merchant houses to discover the signature black walls of the 16th century Matsumoto Castle, which give the place its nickname, “Crow Castle”.
Mundana has set a high standard and hand picked these restaurants for their great food quality, good reputation, great customer service, clean environment, courteous staff and original menus.
A cafe with bric-a-brac store attached; the coffee is rich and aromatic and its muffins are definitely worth trying.
A Korean-style pub with lots of atmosphere - try the charcoal-grilled samgyeopsal (Korean pork belly).
Matsumoto Castle (松本城, Matsumotojō) is one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan's original castles. It is a "hirajiro" - a castle built on a plain rather than on a hill. Matsumoto Castle is unique for having both a secondary donjon and a turret adjoined to its main keep. This grand castle is a must for visitors.
Kamikochi (上高地, Kamikōchi) is a popular resort in the Northern Japan Alps, offering some of Japan's most spectacular mountain scenery. Most years, it is open from mid April until mid November. Part of the Chubu Sangaku National Park, Kamikochi has half a dozen hotels, a few souvenir shops, mountain huts and hiking trails. Private cars are banned from Kamikochi, and access is only possible by bus or taxi.
Daio Wasabi Farm
The Daio Wasabi Farm (大王わさび農場, Daiō Wasabi Nōjō) in rural Azumino City near Matsumoto is one of Japan's largest wasabi farms and a popular tourist destination. The farm has multiple large fields with a meticulously maintained network of small streams that constantly provides each wasabi plant with clear, flowing water from the Northern Alps. Only under such pristine conditions is wasabi cultivation possible. From May to October, the fields are protected from the sun by black tarp sheets. Walking trails link the fields. Within the farm stands the Daio Shrine, which enshrines the spirit of an ancient local hero, Hachimen Daio, after which the farm has been named and who is considered the farm's protector. Nearby the shrine is also a small cave related to the local hero's legend.
Best Shops in Matsumoto
Ichinose Sewing Machine
Clothes made from vintage fabrics such as cotton, hemp, and oshima tsumugi (a locally made silk).
Explore the Itineraries
Discover Matsumoto in one of Mundana's Itineraries, getting the most out of your trip.