The downturn in tourism over the last couple of years has not slowed us down one bit! We at Matsumoto Experience have been busy, collaborating with the good people at the Matsumoto Tourism Association in developing new and better ways for visitors to take in the full flavor of our city. Last year we organized and operated monitoring tours with local foreign residents to find out what people coming to our town would like most to do and see. Now we’re rolling out our first set of new tours, outlined below to whet your appetite as you plan your eventual trip to Matsumoto!
Matsumoto is known as a compact and delightfully walkable city. But this sentiment will only take you so far. Matsumoto has a lot to offer beyond the attractions of downtown, and to make it easy to check them out we’re offering cycling tours around the farther reaches of Matsumoto.
Take in a variety of historical, cultural, and scenic spots that few visitors get to see, all with the ease of cruising along on an electric-powered bicycle. Apple orchards and rice fields; castle ruins in the wooded hills and local restaurants in the onsen village of Asama; there’s so much waiting out there. Let’s go for a ride and see!
From the castle to the former Kaichi School, from the merchant streets to the mountains, Matsumoto offers no shortage of photogenic appeal. But to make your visit truly memorable we’d like to invite you to step out from behind your camera for some tasty hands-on experiences. In the quiet nearby onsen village of Asama our friends would love to show you how to make soba, then let you try it for yourself.
We can also sample a few kinds of local Shinano sake, then grate some fresh locally-grown wasabi to add a bit of spice to our handmade soba lunch. This fun food and drink tour takes only half a day, including the quick trip up to Asama and back. So come on along!
Matsumoto holds so many secrets even people who have lived here for years don’t know them all. But you’ll get to see them as we walk the side streets and alleyways that harbor these little-known spots. See how far the original castle walls extended, and see what still remains. Learn about the fires that engulfed parts of the castle town and how the people of Matsumoto responded. And take a look at centuries-old ways of life that continue on today.
All this plus a traditional Japanese lunch that just might make you feel like you’ve spent a few hours living in Matsumoto’s past.
The lords of Matsumoto didn’t spend their days just hanging out in Matsumoto Castle. Besides tackling their local duties and responsibilities, they had to travel every other year to Edo, in present-day Tokyo, to meet with the shogun. The roads they traveled were long and arduous – and in some places can still be walked today.
More than just a stroll over the hill to the next village, this tour of the first stretch of the road from Matsumoto to Edo is a hike through the Japan of previous centuries, capped off with an irresistible obento lunch at Satoyama Village, in the beautiful setting where the Lords of Matsumoto stayed. So put on your walking boots and take a long walk with us as we follow in the footsteps of Matsumoto’s former nobility!
These new tours will be set for all to enjoy beginning in the Spring of 2022. Even the locals are talking about them as the local newspapers follow along, reporting on the places we’ll be showing and the experiences we’ll be sharing with our visitors from around the world.
We’ve been having a blast working with our friends at Welcome-Matsumoto and the Matsumoto Tourism Association, developing ways to bring you the best our city has to offer. All we need now is you. We can’t wait!