Discover a real feudal era castle and so much more with our local English-speaking guide!
Matsumoto is a city proud of its history and traditions - a city of living history kept alive by the preservation of its historic streets and knowledge of local residents. Our half-day Matsumoto Castle Town Walking Tour is designed to reveal the living traditions of our city by following a different route to and from the castle, and in doing so, bring the history and tradition of the famous castle town to life!
Follow the Footsteps of the Samurai onto Matsumoto Castle
Matsumoto castle is one of five castles in Japan registered as a National Treasure, while also considered one of the country’s most beautiful heritage sites. The castle is located around 15 minutes walk from Matsumoto Station and as such, most visitors head directly to it upon arrival in the city. On this tour, we do things a little differently…
Starting from the station, your guide will lead you on a historical route to and from the castle that traces the steps that samurai would once have taken. After all, a direct approach to the castle was not then possible - a strategic measure to protect it from attack. In doing so, you’ll be introduced the history of Matsumoto before arriving at the castle before being taken inside by your guide. You’ll learn its history and about the samurai that once defended it, and of course the legends you’d expect of such a historic place.
Meet the Friendly Frogs of Nawate
After the castle, your guide will lead you onto Nawate Street – a small shopping street that once ran between the imposing moats of the castle. Today, it remains a thriving street of food vendors and small stores run by vocal merchants.
Often referred “Kaeru Michi” or "Frog Street", Nawate is lined by frog statues and souvenirs making it popular with visitors. Your guide will explain just why they are there while pointing out its best stores and vendors including delicious ‘taiyaki’, and cultural sites including Yohashira Shrine.
Explore the Historic District of Nakamachi
Separated by a small river, Nakamachi Street runs parallel to Nawate and another is another street that embodies the history of the city. Your guide will accompany you along the Nakamachi, introducing its many cafes, restaurants and craft stores.
Once the main street of Matsumoto, Nakamachi has long been a district of merchants and shopping dating back to feudal times. The street is known for its traditional warehouses called "kura", which bear a distinct black and white design that makes Nakamachi a photogenic destination in its own right. Among its historic buildings, your guide will introduce you to the former "Kurrassic-kan" sake brewery, explaining its history and importance to the area.
Meeting Location: Tour begins at Matsumoto Station. Your guide will meet you at 9:00am or 1:30pm
Group Type: Group Tour
Personalized Tour: should you be interested, we are also able to conduct private / customized tours including half-day or extended itineraries. For more information, please click here.
Important information: Please note that the stairs to reach the top of Matsumoto Castle’s tower are steep and narrow.
The tour itinerary includes the following visits:
- Matsumoto Castle - 2 hours
- Nawate Street - 30 minutes
- Nakamachi Street - 30 minutes
Please note that the above times are estimates and that the tour may end
earlier or later depending on how busy Matsumoto Castle is, especially during
holiday periods and on weekends.
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.
Terms & Conditions: Please read our Terms & Conditions