Matsumoto Japan Trips and Tour Packages Discover Matsumoto home to alpine scenery, Matsumoto castle and a deep love of art

About Matsumoto

Surrounded by the stunning Japanese Alps, known for its natural beauty and breathtaking sunsets Matsumoto is the perfect place for visitors looking for a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of traditional Japanese culture. Matsumoto has a rich history waiting to be explored, the city was the home of the famous violin teacher Suzuki, acclaimed artist Yayoi Kusama and a well-preserved Edo period castle, complete with original wooden interior offering visitors a truly authentic castle experience.

As well as its famous samurai castle Matsumoto is a great place for art lovers. With an abundance of art museums from the ukiyo-e woodblock print museum that houses over 100,000 pieces from over the centuries to the Matsumoto city Museum of Art that focuses on more contemporary pieces including pieces from Yayoi Kusama, there is so much culture to soak up in Matsumoto.

Is Matsumoto worth visiting - What to expect

When visiting Matsumoto on a guided tour, you can expect a rich cultural and historical experience. From Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan's most beautiful and well-preserved original castles, to the city’s rich connection to the arts Matsumoto is a must see on your trip to Japan. On your visit you can see the famous castle and get in-depth insights into the castle's architecture, history, and significance. Stroll through the charming Nakamachi Street, lined with traditional merchant houses and shops offering local crafts and delicacies. You'll can also visit the Matsumoto City Museum of Art, which showcases contemporary works, including those of the famed artist Yayoi Kusama. Our guided tours ensure you gain a deeper understanding of Matsumoto's unique blend of historical charm and modern artistry, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Japanese Alps.

What to do in Matsumoto Japan

A tour group at Matsumoto Castle
A tour group at Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle

One of the oldest surviving castles in all of Japan this five teared, six story main tower is flanked on each side by smaller structures. Nicknamed the ‘Black Crow’ castle due to its black exterior. The castle originally served as a fortress complete with small eyelets used for spying and shooting enemies and very steep stairs to slow down enemies in the event of an attack. The wooden interior of the castle gives visitors a uniquely authentic experience, helping visitors to have a glimpse of what life was like for the samurai who resided in the castle during the Edo period. During the springtime the castle grounds are full of cherry blossoms, the deep black castle towering in the background with the pale pink petals floating along the wind makes it a beautiful place to take a stroll during cherry blossom season.

an art piece by Yayoi Kusama of a pumpkin covered in polka dots
Yayoi Kusama art

Matsumoto City Museum of Art

The Matsumoto City Museum of Art takes visitors on a captivating journey through contemporary Japanese art, prominently featuring the works of renowned local artist Yayoi Kusama. As you explore the museum, you'll gain insights into Kusama's distinctive polka-dot and infinity-themed creations, as well as her influence on modern art. The museum also highlights other notable exhibitions, showcasing diverse artistic expressions and multimedia installations that reflect Matsumoto's vibrant cultural scene. The museum is compromised of four basic elements: appreciation, representation, learning and communication. These elements come together to make the Matsumoto City Museum of Art a unique and immersive experience diving into the world of contemporary art.

an onsen bath
An onsen bath

Matsumoto Onsen

Japan is famous for its onsens (hot springs) and Matsumoto is fortunate enough to be home to multiple hot springs. You can visit these onsens and take a relaxing bath surrounded by the serene nature of Matsumoto. After a long day exploring the many cultural and historical sites of the city, there is no better way to rejuvenate your body than relaxing in an onsen. Some of the local onsens have been around for hundreds of years and it is said that the residents of Matsumoto castle even visited for private baths. Enjoy the calming scenery and feel your body relax. Be aware that some onsens are strictly tattoo free and you may have to cover tattoos or be denied entry if you are tattooed.

When is the best time to visit Matsumoto?

The best time to visit Matsumoto, Japan, is during spring when the cherry blossoms and pleasant weather create a beautiful setting, or in fall when the foliage is vibrant and the temperatures are mild.

Conclusion

Matsumoto offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for a holiday tour. From the majestic Matsumoto Castle, a symbol of Japan's feudal past, to the inspiring contemporary art at the Matsumoto City Museum of Art, the city presents a diverse array of attractions that cater to various interests. The charming streets, vibrant local festivals, and the breathtaking backdrop of the Japanese Alps further enhance its appeal. Whether you're seeking historical insights, artistic inspiration, or scenic beauty, a visit to Matsumoto promises a fulfilling and memorable experience.

Frequently asked questions

When is the best time to visit Matsumoto for cherry blossoms?

The cherry blossoms in Matsumoto typically bloom in early to mid-April, making this period the best time to visit for cherry blossom viewing.

Are there any traditional festivals held in Matsumoto?

What are some recommended local dishes to try in Matsumoto?

where is Matsumoto Japan?

Japan tours: Discover the highlights of Japan

Whilst Japan is full of unforgettable highlights, these are the places that you really can't miss on your trip. From the heaving metropolis of Tokyo to the peaceful, rural tranquillity of Miyajima Island and Kyoto - steeped in ancient history. Japan is a land of beautiful contrasts just waiting to be explored.

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