Famous for Matsumoto Castle with its unusual and distinctive black exterior
Matsumoto is located in central Nagano prefecture on Japan’s main island, Honshu. Nestled in the Japanese Alps, it is a mountain city famous for its impressive castle, dating from the 16th century and nicknamed “Crow Castle” for its characteristic black walls. Matsumoto offers many fine hot springs and plentiful hiking trails and is known as the gateway to the ancient Nakasendo Way walking route. The town itself has some interesting areas lined with old merchant houses reminiscent of a bygone era. During winter there are areas nearby which are ideal for skiing and snowboarding. The region is also famous for delicious soba (buckwheat) noodles and there are a wide variety of eating establishments where you can try them, or perhaps try your hand at making them yourself.