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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Chubu - Nagano - Matsumoto
Matsumoto Castle 
# 1   of 4 most visited
sights in Matsumoto

jump to:   access  -  admission  -  hotels  -  ratings

Matsumoto Castle ({, Matsumotojō) is one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan's original castles. It is a "hirajiro" - a castle built on plains rather than on a hill or mountain. Matsumoto Castle is unique for having both a secondary donjon and a turret adjoined to its main keep. The castle structures, in combination with their characteristic black wainscoting, give off an air of grandeur and poise.

Matsumotojo's main castle keep and its smaller, second donjon were built from 1592 to 1614. Both these structures were well-fortified as peace was not yet fully achieved at the time. In 1635, when military threats had ceased, a third, barely defended turret and another for moon viewing were added to the castle.

View from the castle buildings

The wooden interior of Matsumoto Castle provides an authentic experience unlike that felt at many other castles rebuilt of ferro-concrete. Interesting features of the castle include steep wooden stairs, openings to drop stones onto invaders, openings for archers, as well as an observation deck at the top, sixth floor of the main keep with nice views over the surrounding city.

In spring, Matsumoto Castle is a popular cherry blossom spot. Many visit to stroll around the spacious castle grounds and park. Along the outer castle moat are hundreds of somei yoshino cherry trees that provide lovely views when they are in full bloom around mid April each year.

Along the northern moat of the castle in spring

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
The castle is a 15 minute walk or a 5 minute bus ride on the "Town Sneaker" Northern Course bus loop line from JR Matsumoto Station.

How to get to and around Matsumoto

Hours and Fees
Hours:8:30 to 17:00 (until 18:00 around Obon and Golden Week)
Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.
Closed:December 29 to January 3
Admission:610 yen

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User Ratings
Ratings for Matsumoto Castle:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of Japan  
User Rating (by 372 users):
88/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 787):
83.  Miho Museum (Koka)   89/100
84.  Mount Hakodate (Hakodate)   89/100
85.  Pilgrimage Trails (Mount Koya)   88/100
86.  Hot Springs (Noboribetsu)   88/100
87.  Hakone Hot Springs (Hakone)   88/100
88.  Matsumoto Castle (Matsumoto)   88/100
89.  Great Buddha (Kamakura)   88/100
90.  Taiyuinbyo (Nikko)   88/100
91.  Asahidake Onsen (Daisetsuzan)   88/100
92.  Ainokura Village (Shirakawa-go)   88/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 913):
119.  Yatai (Food Stalls) (Fukuoka)   684
120.  Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto)   675
121.  Ninnaji Temple (Kyoto)   672
122.  Shinsekai (Osaka)   668
123.  Climbing Mount Fuji (Mount Fuji)   667
124.  Matsumoto Castle (Matsumoto)   666
125.  Chinatown (Nagasaki)   666
126.  Government Building (Tokyo)   661
127.  Meriken Park (Kobe)   649
128.  Naramachi (Nara)   636

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