Matsumoto, a perfect springboard from which to explore Japan!

Posted on 2022.10.19 in News

Located in Nagano Prefecture in the heart of Japan, Matsumoto is a city full of history, where one can discover Japan and its culture among the locals, far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. Matsumoto is an ideal location from which to explore the country off the beaten path.

Matsumoto has an original castle dating back to feudal times. Listed as a "National Treasure" this castle alone makes Matsumoto a must-see destination. However, Matsumoto’s historic streets, green countryside and rural atmosphere are also worth a visit! Matsumoto city is at the heart of Japan, from where you may embark on your historical and cultural journey throughout the country, all while contemplating breathtaking landscapes!

Matsumoto Castle & the Japanese Alps


North of Matsumoto (Nagano)

Matsumoto is a perfect springboard from which to discover the Japanese countryside. Nagano City and its famous Zenko-ji Buddhist Temple is just an hour from Matsumoto and trains are available every hour. Nagano City is popularly known for hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics. Once there the world-renowned "Snow Monkey Park" is only another hour away!

Zenko-ji Temple in Nagano City


West of Matsumoto (Takayama – Shirakawago)

The west of the city is characterized by the presence of the Japanese Alps. This is a perfect area for nature lovers and hikers thanks to Norikura and Kamikochi National Park. A short distance from here is the very popular town of Takayama with its narrow traditional alleys. Further still lies the famous Village of Shirakawa-go, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kamikochi National Park


South of Matsumoto (Nagoya)

Head south and you may discover the Kiso Valley famous for its lacquer. However it is also a valley very well known among history buffs. Indeed, the Kiso Valley and its post towns (Naraijuku, Magome, Tsumago, etc.) is an essential destination for many visitors to Japan. Making your way farther south and you will arrive in Nagoya City where you may explore another castle very different from Matsumoto Castle.

Naraijuku Post Town in Kiso Valley


East of Matsumoto (Tokyo)

To the east of the city is the Utsukushigahara Plateau, one of the largest and highest plateau in Japan. It’s a great place to enjoy nature and a refreshing stop on the way to venturing on to Suwa. Known throughout the country for its scenic Lake Suwa, this small town hosts the most spectacular fireworks display in the whole country! Takashima Castle and the city's many temples are well renowned within Japan too. Even the great metropolis of Tokyo is just a few hours easy reach from Matsumoto City and is easily accessible by train. On your way you may even catch a glimpse of the famous Mount Fuji!

Takashima Castle in Suwa City


For an overview of Matsumoto, please feel free to consult our "About Matsumoto" page from our partner website Welcome-Matsumoto, and begin your cultural journey into the heart of Japan!