Matsumoto City is probably most well-known overseas for its historic castle, the Matsumoto Castle, which is over 400 years old and a National Treasure of Japan. Nagano’s second largest city also has lots else to offer, which WAttention will introduce in this 4-part Matsumoto Must sightseeing series. 


1) Oyaki おやき

These baked buns are a specialty of the Nagano prefecture. They are traditionally filled with savory stuffings such as picked Nozawana vegetables, miso pickled eggplants or shredded radish and baked over a big hot plate, hence its name Oyaki, which means “something baked”. You can find these sold almost anywhere in the prefecture. These come from Naraijuku Post Town, an hour’s local train ride from Matsumoto City.

2) Taiyaki たいやき

It’s always a good sign when you see locals frequenting a shop, and this little taiyaki shop, Taiyaki Furusato, located at Nawate Dori Shopping Street along the Metobagawa river had a steady stream of locals taking home boxes of this griddled pastry with red bean filling. Crispy and not too sweet, this is perfect for have as a street snack while checking out the shops along Nawate Dori.

3) Goheimochi 五平餅

This is a variation of the usual round mochi or dango (rice dumpling) which is chewy and made of rice flour. The goheimochi (which literally means Five Flat Mochi, though as you can see, it does not refer to the number of mochi) is made from coarsely crushed rice that is molded onto a stick and grilled. So it is slightly crisp to the bite with the texture of rice grains remaining. The sauce is made from sesame – sometimes more than one type of sesame – soy sauce and/or miso.

Next up, Matsumoto Must Try Local Gourmet: Horse meat, Grasshoppers and Baby Bees

So hungry you could eat a horse? Well, Matsumoto is the right place for you!