You can’t leave Nagano without visiting Matsumoto Castle! This black and white, six-story castle is a magnificent site with the Japanese Alps in the background. Being one of the oldest castles in Japan–built in the 16th century–it has survived the Age of Warring States, Meiji Period (when castles were ordered to be destroyed), and time.

With the help of an English-speaking tour guide, you can enjoy an exploration of the castle that is so well-preserved. You might think that the ruler lived in the castle, but did you know that they had their own residents in the courtyard? The castle was a mere symbol of strength and only when attacked would the ruler move into the castle to defend it from being burnt down by the enemies.

Hours: 8:30am – 5pm (last entry at 4:30pm)
Access: 10-min ride on the Matsumoto Tour Bus “Town Sneaker”