Visitors to Matsumoto can enjoy a range of tours that capture the history and character of our famous castle city. There are many experiences to choose from, of which our Private Samurai and Matsumoto Discovery Tours offer the convenience of your own guide and customizable itineraries to suit your interests and travel plans.
Private Samurai Tour: Katana Swords & Hankyu Archery Experience
Visit Matsumoto Castle in conjunction with hands-on experiences of the samurai arts of ‘katana’ sword fighting and ‘hankyu’ archery. Your private guide will introduce you to the history and importance of the castle – after all, it’s one of Japan’s few remaining original castles and a registered National Treasure - before a samurai master instructs you in use of favored weapons of Japan’s legendary warriors.
Meticulously crafted and deadly, samurai swords symbolize the ethos of the period and nature of the warriors who wielded them. The master will guide you in use of ‘katana’ before you try your hand at ‘hankyu’ archery. Designed to be used while seated, hankyu could be drawn and shot while on horseback, allowing samurai to be mobile and attack from distance. You’ll be instructed in use of the bow before being able to test your skill in an archery range with targets placed at distance.
Matsumoto Discovery – Customizable Private Tour
Designed for flexibility, our Matsumoto Discovery Tour can be customized to match your interests and travel plans. Most famous for our castle, we recommend starting with a private tour of the historic grounds and merchant districts of Nawate and Nakamachi. From there you can choose from activities including a tour and lunch at Ishii Miso Brewery, a Sake Brewery tour including guided tasting, ‘katana’ sword experience or visit to the Matsumoto City Museum of Art and its celebrated Kusama Yayoi Collection.
Combine any three activities along with lunch at a restaurant of your choosing, with start and end times matched to suit your travel plans. It’s up to you! A great option for travelers wanting a more personalized experience while in Matsumoto.
We’re Always Innovating!
These are just two of the tours we offer in Matsumoto. Keep an eye on the website as we’ll soon be launching a new ‘koto’ experience. The ‘koto’ – a traditional stringed instrument – was favored by the samurai class, who were encouraged to apply themselves to the arts and forget their fighting ways during Japan’s celebrated Edo Period (1603-1868). We look forward to offering that tour soon!