Tours from Hakuba - Matsumoto Castle
12th September, 2013
Another popular tour is Matsumoto Castle located in the beautiful city of Matsumoto. In Japan there are only four castles that have been designated as “National Treasures” and the picturesque Matsumoto Castle, nestled between the Japanese Alps and Utsukushigahar Heights (meaing “beautiful plateau), is one of these.
Construction began in 1592 and the five storey donjon is the oldest castle structure existing in Japan. One of the few great castles of the feudal era to survive in its original form it is an elegant black and white structure with its three turrets. Because of its black walls, Matsumoto Castle is sometimes called “Crow Castle”. Inside the castle are steep stairs and low ceilings leading past displays of armour and weapons from the Sengoku period ("Warring-States") when the castle was built. The narrow wooden windows, once used by archers and gunmen, provide amazing views of the Japanese Alps, Matsumoto City and the koi and swans circling in the moat below.
Every summer Taiko Drum Festival and a Takigi Noh (a play performed by torch light) festivals are held at the site which is also famous for its cherry blossums in April. A moon viewing party is held every autumn on the grounds in the specially built moon viewing room of the Castle. It is said, that "the moon can be seen three times from the moon viewing room". Once in the sky, once in the water below and once in your cup of sake (but six if the sake is strong!).
Enjoy the allure of Matsumoto and experience a place of breathtaking nature, fine music and rich culture - truly a taste of Japan that all travellers will want to discover. No matter what kind of Japan you want to find, make sure you put Matsumoto on your list of 'must visit'!
The tour cost from Hakuba is Y10,000 for adults and Y8,000 for children.