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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Matsumoto / Kamikochi Area

  • National Treasure Matsumoto Castle
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    4.5
    3121 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Marunouchi 4-1
    "Matsumoto Castle is said to feature Japan's oldest surviving five-storied six-floor pagoda. It is one of the few castles designated as a National Treasure, and maintains the image of the past. The black and white contrast of the castle rising amid the Alps in the background is beautiful, and the castle has become a symbol of Matsumoto City. In addition to the castle facilities of the Sengoku period, such as the stone drops meant to rebuff invaders, or samurai windows or the gun slits, there are exhibits such as the ""Matsumoto Castle Gunhouse"" centered around matchlock guns, and artifacts unearthed during the ninomaru palace excavation performed from 1979-1984. In the precinct, you'd do well to see the black gate with eave roof tiles marked with the family crests of historical castle lords, or the taiko gate which was restored in 1999."

    one of the oldest castles in Japan. you can see the reflection of the castle in the clear water. The red bridge gives it more color.

  • Matsumoto City Museum of Art
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    4.0
    337 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Chuou 4-2-22
    This is a private art museum in the center of Matsumoto City. The museum houses a collection of pieces by artists connected to Matsumoto City such as world-famous avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama, calligrapher Shinzan Kamijo, and lifelong Shinshu (Nagano) natural vista painter Kazuo Tamura. Special exhibitions and exhibitions of works submitted by the general public are held at the museum several times each year. A 12-minute walk from JR Matsumoto Station.

    The Municipal Museum is dedicated to the artist YOYOI KUSAMA, a unique artist with a unique, colorful and eye-catching style.

  • Matsumoto Timepiece Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Chuou 1-21-15
    This museum displays a wide range of timepieces centering on a collection donated by antique timepiece researcher Chikazo Honda. The museum has a policy of displaying each timepiece in its collection (which contains more than 1,000 items) in working condition whenever possible. The museum also exhibits a number of phonographs, which have a deep connection to the history of timepieces. The museum is notable for the massive pendulum clock, one of Japan's largest, which is built into the front of the building. The museum is a 10-minute walk from JR Matsumoto Station.
  • Matsumoto City Court and Historical Village
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    4.0
    14 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Shimadachi 2196-1
    Focusing on the theme of the modernization of Shinshu (Nagano), the Matsumoto City Historic Village contains a collection of precious buildings from the early Edo period through the Showa period. The Former Matsumoto Branch Court of Nagano District Court, a Prefectural Treasure, is a courthouse built in 1908 and is designed in the modern Japanese architectural style representative of the Meiji period. Visitors can also see a variety of other structures in the museum, such as Former Silk Mill of Showa Manufacturing Company and the Birth Home of Naoe Kinoshita.

    If you like open air architectural museums then this one is worth visiting. You can get there by bus (west entrance of the station) or by train (170 yen) and an easy 15 minutes walk (map to find the...

  • The Former Kaichi School building
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    4.0
    276 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Kaichi 2-4-12
    This elementary school opened in 1873 as the Dai-ni Daigaku-ku Dai-ichiban Shogaku Kaichi Gakko. The current structure was built in 1876, and approximately 70% of the construction expenses were funded by donations from the townspeople. It is a representative structure of Giyofu Kenchiku (imitation of Western-style architecture) and inside are displays of materials that give the visitor an impression of what it looked like back then.

    This is a very interesting historical site in terms of the education system and how it developed in Japan. The architecture is also very unique. The building is in great condition, with beautiful...

  • Yohashira-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Ote 3-3-20
    This shrine located in the Ote district of Nagano Prefecture’s Matsumoto City mainly enshrines four deities: Ame-no-Minakanushi-no-Kami, Takamimusubi-no-Kami, Kamimusubi-no-Kami, and Amaterasu Omikami. It attracts fervent believers as the deity who connects wishes and makes all requests come true and is also popular as a “power spot” (a location thought to be flowing with mystical energy). Among the locals it is affectionately called Shinto-san. The Shinto Festival is a procession that is held every year from October 1st–3rd, and is a representative festival of Matsumoto bustling with yatai food stalls, exhibitions of butai-hoei floats and an offering of fireworks.
  • Matsumoto  Scale Museum
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    4.0
    17 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Chuou 3-4-21
    This is a museum in the warehouse-lined Nakamachi Street, Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, in the building occupied by weights and measures specialist Takeuchi Doryoko from 1902 to 1986. They have collected and exhibit over 1,000 items related to devices that weigh, measure and calculate from both Japan and abroad. The quiet courtyard is one of the standout charms. The nearest station is Matsumoto Station.

    It was raining in Matsumoto so I went to this small museum. It is very beautiful, but there is very little information in English so if you don't speak Japanese you will not enjoy it 100%. There is...

  • Matsumoto City Museum of Art
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    3.5
    103 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Marunouchi 4-1
    This is a municipal museum on the grounds of Matsumoto Castle in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, exhibiting items related to the history and folk customs of the area. It introduces the history of the castle and the castle town from their origin to the modern day. There are also materials which convey information and allow visitors to learn about local lifestyles and customs including raised cloth pictures, star festival dolls, travelers’ guardian deity and an aging ceremony. One important highlight is the Edo period waterworks discovered during an archaeological dig.

    We stopped by at this museum after visiting the Matsumoto castle as already included in the ticket to the castle. It was a small museum. The only artifact I enjoyed was the model of the city.

  • Matsumoto Mingei-kan (Matsumoto Folkcraft Museum)
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    4.0
    37 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Satoyamabe 1313-1
    Matsumoto Mingei-kan is a folk craft museum located about 15 minutes by car from the center of Matsumoto City. Taro Maruyama, the owner of a folk craft shop, founded the museum in 1962. The museum houses a collection of about 6,000 artifacts of the Mingei movement from the Taisho period (1912–1926) which introduces the idea of “beauty of necessaries” in daily necessities used for handwork in everyday life. In 1983 the building was donated to Matsumoto City and now it is an integral part of the Matsumoto City Museum.

    We put this on our itinerary not knowing how small it was, but it is still worth visiting. It is definitely out of the way of other attractions from city center, and you may need help finding it...

  • Old High School Memorial Museum
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    4.0
    41 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Agata 3-1-1
    This memorial hall is located in Agata no Mori Park in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. It contains collections and exhibitions on the country’s high schools under the old education system, including Kyusei Matsumoto High School, the predecessor to present-day Shinshu University. The shop offers books written by Morio Kita, a graduate of Matsumoto High School, and other related goods. The park grounds also feature one of Matsumoto High School’s old school buildings built in the Taisho period, which is registered as an Important Cultural Property.

    For older travellers this is a good way to spend a bit of time on your vacation. Wouldn’t recommend it to the younger people visiting the area don’t think it would interest you. Gardens in the park...

  • Fukashi-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    59 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Fukashi 3-7-43
    This shrine is located in 3 Fukashi, Matsumoto City. Miyamura Daimyojin, deified by Ogasawara Sadamune in 1339, and Tenmangu, deified by Ogasawara Sadatada in 1402, are also referred to as “Miyamura Ryosha” and “Miyamura Tenmangu” and were both worshipped by the lord of Matsumoto Castle. The final name of Fukashi-jinja Shrine was decided in 1841, and many in Matsumoto, the surrounding castle town, often worship there.

    not difficult to find, if you have already seen a number of shrines in Japan, don't expect anything new. if you are really into temples, no harm to quickly drop by.

  • Japan Ukiyo-e Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Shimadachi New cut 2206-1
    The Sakai collection, as it is called, started with the woodblock prints of sixth-generation Yoshiaki Heisuke Sakai. It was the10th-generation Fujiyoshi Sakai who took the works spanning a period of 200 years and established the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum in 1982 in order to share the precious collection, which includes handwritten works and woodblock-printed books, with the rest of the world. It is the largest collection of 19th-century woodblock prints in the world. It’s a minute by car from the Matsumoto Interchange on the Nagano Expressway.
  • Former Catholic Church Priest House
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Kaichi 2-6-24
    "A historic building located close to Kaichi Park in Kaichi, Matsumoto City. The purely Western-style home was built by French priest Clement Lemoine in 1889. The building is where Japan's first Japanese-French dictionary, the ""Dictionnaire Japonais-Francais,"" was compiled. The building was originally located in a corner of the outermost section of the grounds of Matsumoto Castle and was later moved to its current location in the 1990s. The structure is also designated a Nagano Prefecture Treasure."
  • Gofukuji Temple
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    4.5
    7 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Uchida 2573
    This Chisan (sect of Shingon Buddhism) temple famous as a Japanese mountain ascetism temple is on Mt. Hachibuse located in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. It enshrines items such as an 11-headed Kanzeon Bodhisattva, and possessed various Important Cultural Properties including a Deva gate. Famous for warding off evil, the Yakuyoke Ennichi Taisai festival held every January is visited by many worshippers.

    Best done as part of a trip to the French waterway in summertime. Plenty of steep steps so get read for a thigh burner!

  • Former Matsumoto High School (Agata no Mori Cultural Center of Matsumoto City)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Agata 3-1-1
    This educational facility is located inside Agata Forest Park. You can see the restored principal's room and classrooms in the wooden Western-style building-former Matsumoto Highschool-that is an Important Cultural Property. In addition, there is an adjoining auditorium, and it is used by many as a venue for the educational and cultural activities of local residents such as concerts and exhibit presentations.
  • Koboyama Ancient Tomb
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Namiyanagi 2-1000
    Eastern Japan's oldest rectangular-shaped ancient tomb, it is located in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. It has been designated as a national historic site and a cultural property of Nagano Prefecture. A mirror with four beasts, ancient magatama (curved bead ornaments) and other artifacts that were excavated from the ancient tomb are exhibited in the Matsumoto City Archaeological Museum. In addition, it is a famous cherry blossom viewing spot, and bustles with many people who come to see the 2,000 Yoshino cherries and late-blooming yaezakura cherries when they bloom.
  • Matsumoto City Shiga Fossil Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Matsumoto-shi Nanaarashi 85-1
    "When local elementary school students discovered part of a whale fossil in 1986, a large excavation was conducted. They uncovered the ""Shiga Sperm Whale,"" now the museum's main exhibit. Located in northern Matsumoto City, this region is known as a prefectural treasure trove of marine mammal fossils (whales and pinnipeds). It was only the second complete fossil sperm whale skeleton ever excavated along the Pacific Rim, as well as the world's oldest. Fossils of shellfish, fish, and plants are also on display."
  • Matsumoto City Azusagawa Akademia Hall
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    3.5
    2 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Matsumoto-shi Azusagawa Yamato 566-12
    A 10-minute drive from the Matsumoto Interchange and 20 minutes from JR Matsumoto Station. This art and history museum is located in the front of the Azusagawa Library. In part a place for local residents to rest and relax, there's a coffee room in the lobby and an outdoor event space; visitors can also take in cherry blossoms on the grounds in spring. Exhibition room number 1 can be rented out and is used for exhibitions and concerts. Exhibition room number 2 displays works by local artists such as Toranoshin Kawagoe and Kesao Horasawa, and also introduces the history of the Azusagawa area. Exhibits include pottery discovered during archeological excavations and farming implements once used by local residents.

    定期的に画家さんなんかの絵画発表をやってますし。 地元の方の作品の発表もしたりしてます。 二階は民族資料館になっていて、これがなかなかの見応えが!! 静かで落ち着いた場所で、時間ある時に寄るのは良いかもしれませんね。

  • Kaeru Daimyojin
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Matsumoto-shi Ote 4
    A five-minute walk from Matsumoto Castle and a 10-minute walk from Matsumoto Station. This statue of frogs is situated along Nawate-dori Street. The area is closely associated with the Kajika frogs which live in the Metoba River flowing along the street and many other stone frog statues can be found nearby. This statue was built to pray for the return of the frogs to the area. Each year a frog festival is held here in June and many of the shops and stalls here sell frog-themed merchandise. Kaeru Daimyojin goshuin seal marks are also issued as part of an event at Yohashira-jinja Shrine, attracting frog lovers from around the country.
  • Genkoji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Matsumoto-shi Omura 681
    "A Pure Land Buddhist temple located a 15-minute walk from the last stop on the bus bound for Utsukushigahara Onsen and a 20-minute drive from the Matsumoto Interchange. Founded by the great priest Choho in 1561, the name of the temple was changed to its current title in the Edo period after it became the location of the mausoleum of the Mizuno clan, which ruled Matsumoto Domain. Nicknamed the ""Tree Peony Temple,"" as this name implies, the temple has a tree peony garden on the grounds, and the 1,350 tree peonies spanning 120 varieties spread across three locations inside the temple boundaries come into bloom in May, attracting large numbers of visitors from both across the prefecture and beyond. Other temple highlights include its many stone Buddhist statues; a wooden statue of the great Tokugawa Ieyasu's mother enshrined in the Denzuin hall; and a cow Jizo statue which was erected based on the legend that a cow once sacrificed its life in place of the temple's high priest."

Nagano Main Areas

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Nagano prefecture is an exciting mix of mountains, hot spring monkeys, and preserved Edo history. At the heart of the Japanese Alps, Nagano is one of the country's most popular destinations, whether in winter for its snow sports and the much-loved Jigokudani Monkey Park or in the warmer months for discovering the undulating hills on foot. For fantastic Edo architecture, head to the Kiso Valley for a 60-kilometer stretch of quaint wooden buildings that marked the Nakasendo route 200 years ago.

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