Matsumoto Discovery, Full-day


The opinion of Japan Experience

The city of Matsumoto, located in the heart of the Nagano Prefecture where the Winter Olympic Games of 1998 were held, is a place where history and modernity meet in an atmosphere which is at once urban and rural.

Surrounded by the Japanese Alps and a rich and well-preserved natural setting, it is an essential place to visit in the heart of Japan, nestled between Tokyo, Mount Fuji and Takayama.
 

Your Travel Angel's plus

Sylvain, who has travelled a great deal throughout Japan, fell in love with Matsumoto and settled there permanently, with the area reminding him of his beloved French Alps where he was born. He wants to share his love for this city with as many people as possible.

Let him show you through Matsumoto and its surrounding area, an opportunity to discover Japan off the beaten track, just a few hours from the country’s greatest cities.
 

Description

The day includes the following experiences:

Exploration of the very famous castle of Matsumoto, a symbolic site for the city and for national cultural heritage. Nicknamed “the Crow Castle” due to its dark color and its typical architecture, this is one of the 4 castles which have been designated as being part of Japan’s cultural heritage. On the way, you can also visit the Kasamori Inari temple, a small shrine nestled between tall buildings.

After this visit, you will be able to head out and explore the historical districts of Nawate and Nakamachi.
The Nawate alley is a narrow street with shops which has grown over the years thanks to the Yohashira temple and Matsumoto castle, and you will be able to walk along it and experience the rural spirit of Matsumoto. You will be able to make a stop at Yohashira temple and visit the streets small shops, including Earth, where you will have the opportunity to make your own souvenir.

The Nakamachi area, one of the town’s historic streets featuring small shops, including the ancient Kura, small traditional warehouses, typical period buildings, is one of its trademarks. You will thus be able to pass through the Kurassic-kan buildings, but also visit the many grocery stores and traditional shops which can be found in this district.

Having had lunch in a restaurant which your Travel Angel can recommend to you, you will then head to the city’s museum of contemporary art to view works by local artists, including notably the world-famous Yayoi Kusama, whose original works of art are more than worth seeing. Close to this museum, you will then be able to explore the Fukashi temple, as well as enjoying a stroll around Agatonomori park where you can visit the historical Matsumoto college building.

If you wish to see anything else during the afternoon, you can ask your Travel Angel to take you to the museum of Japanese Prints (Ukiyo-e), which is located on the outskirts of the city and is the biggest private collection of Japanese prints in the world, including work by renowned artists such as Katsushika Hokusai, the artist who created the famous series of prints making up the Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. Just next to the museum, you will also be able to visit the city’s former courthouse, the last remaining one made of wood throughout Japan. You will also discover the silk workshops and the ancient dwellings.

You can also decide, alongside your Travel Angel, on another itinerary depending on your preferences and other points of interest, such as a visit to the Alpine Park, for example, where you can enjoy a magnificent panorama over the city and the Japanese Alps, also featuring a small zoo. This is also a site that children will enjoy as it hosts a wide range of activities. You could also visit the Tea House close to the castle.

When the morning is over, your Travel Angel can give you advice and ideas about visits you may enjoy over the course of your stay in the region, depending on how long it is.
 

Access

You can begin your day wherever you wish, outside your accommodation, in front of the station or at any other location you choose. Your guide will contact you by e-mail a few days before you arrive to fix a place to meet up and a timetable for activities.

 Your guide will be able to advise you about the best way of reaching the place you will use as your starting point. You are welcome to ask as many questions as you wish before you arrive, and the program can be adjusted to suit your wishes.

The price for the day does not include meals, entrance fees or to transport fees for both you and your guide. The price for children of 8 years and older will be the same as for adults.