A Walking Tour That Combines History, Gastronomy & Nature

Nature & Countryside / Hiking

While downtown Matsumoto grew-out from and around the feudal castle, the history of the region extends far beyond the remnants of the castle precinct. This tour takes you out of the city center and into the Satoyamabe Valley, to the discover of a story most international visitors will never experience. Enjoy a walking excursion into the Japanese countryside to discover the ruins of Hayashi Castle and other historic sites in combination with wine tasting and lunch – a journey through space and time following in the footsteps of legendary samurai while enjoying the region’s burgeoning wine and contemporary food scene.10


Discover Satoyamabe:  Where A Hidden Past Can Still Be Found Today

Your day will begin at Agatanomori Park from where your guide will lead you to the east of downtown Matsumoto. After about thirty minutes of walking, you will arrive in the Satoyamabe district. Though not well-known, the district contains important historic sites few international visitors get to see.

The district’s former school is a historic building that has a similar design than the former Kaichi School in the city center. Nearby the school, "Harizuka Kofun" grave dates back more than 1500 years while Kotakuji Temple was established in 1441 by the Ogasawara clan, one of the former ruling families of the region. Then Hayashi Castle where your guide will introduce the long history and local stories of Satoyamabe.


Discover the Ruins of Hayashi Castle

Built in 1593, Matsumoto Castle is the most famous castle in the region however other castles also once existed. Most of them were built on the hills, taking advantage of elevated topography in strategic defense of the valley. Such fortifications were essential in protection of the valley, its industry and residents.

The most important of these fortifications was Hayashi Castle. Protecting the southern approach to the valley, it served a strategic gateway to Matsumoto. Before the advent of Matsumoto Castle, this position was forcefully defended by the former samurai of the region. A short hike to these historic ruins will also allow you to enjoy a breathtaking view of the valley set against the backdrop of the nearby Japanese Alps.


Local Wine Tasting & Lunch

Walking on through the Satoyamabe Valley you will move from the past to discover what it is best-known for today. In addition to its traditional houses, rice paddies, soba fields and delicious strawberries, Satoymabe’s vineyards produce some of the region’s best wine.  This is a unique opportunity to taste some of the best local wines at a renowned winery.

While at the winery, you will enjoy a Western-style lunch carefully prepared by the resident chef. The restaurant provides views of the surrounding vineyards and Matsumoto City in the background. After lunch you will also make a stop at a small local market where you can enjoy the freshness of the local fruit and vegetables.


Additional information


Meeting Location: Your tour will begin at Agatanomori Park. Your guide will pick you up at 9:30am.

Group Type: Group Tour (Private Tour Option available)

Lunch Options: Western-style menu including option of a vegetarian menu (available upon request)

Allergies: Please let us know if you have any food allergies or other restrictions.

Important information:

Please note that the hiking trail to reach the top the hill is steep and narrow.

The walking distance will be around 10km. The walk itself is easy, but requires a section of hiking (30 minutes uphill - 30 minutes down). Because of this, please be sure to wear appropriate walking shoes and warm clothes. As a reminder, the entire tour involves a total walking distance of 10km. Please make sure to be well prepared.

Please note that in accordance with Japanese laws, people less than 20 years old are not allowed to drink alcohol.

Cancellation Policy: To receive a full refund, cancel up to 24 hours before the experience start date in the local time zone. No refunds will be given after that time period.

Please note that we reserve the right to cancel the activity in the event of inclement weather that does not allow the tour to take place in safe condition. In such event, you will be offered an activity of similar value or a full refund.

Terms & Conditions: Please read our Terms & Conditions


Booking Deadline: Please book at least 7 days before the activity begins

* Submitting this form does not complete the booking. We will contact you by email once the booking is confirmed and complete.

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Private Tour Option
(separate fee 20,000 JPY)