This charming and historic city which is cradled by the Japan Alps is Matsumoto. To me this is one of Japan’s finest cosmopolitan cities that still has a rural feel. It has so much to see with its stunning castle, captivating districts and enchanting vistas and could keep me occupied for hours or in fact days.
Matsumoto town is the gateway to the Japan alps for skiing and hot springs in the winter and walking in the mountains in the summer. For us, it was a morning at one of Japan’s best preserved famous castles, lunch in the centre of town and the afternoon exploring its surrounding streets.
After our exciting morning at the Matsumoto Castle, we visited Nawate Street, in Matsumoto town, a small pedestrian zone with lots of small shops and restaurants along the river and then Nakamachi Street which is famous for its old houses with a beautiful white tone.
As we were wandering around this charming town we met up with many locals out walking their dogs. We soon learned that this activity is a big part of their everyday pastime. They are happy to stop for photo opportunities; in fact they encourage it which is very fine with me being a big dog lover.
We thoroughly enjoyed our few hours in this lovely town with its beautiful gardens and water features, exceptional architecture and general overall feel of calmness. This location offers a magnificent scenic view of the Northern Japan Alps and a unique cultural experience.