Matsumoto Castle

A few facts

The oldest castle tower in Japan has 5 tiers and 6 floors, and has been preserved in its current state for 400 years.

This black castle is one of the most popular in Japan along with Himeji Castle and Kumamoto Castle. In winter the contrast of the black castle with white snow is especially beautiful.
Matsumoto Castle

A military castle

Along with it’s impressive exterior, Matsumoto Castle is also built for military strategies and gun battles. It has fewer windows and more openings to accommodate gun barrels. Ishitosohi, or openings to drop stones onto soldiers climbing the stone walls, is another impressive feature of this castle. Th castle was made for both offensive and defensive military strategies.

Matsumoto Castle
Small openings and Ishiotoshi

Step inside for a small time travel

The first floor of the castle was a warehouse for food, weapons, and ammunition. There are no windows on the third floor, which was used as the conference room for military planning. It looks like the tower has only 5 floors from outside, but it actually has 6! You can’t tell it from the exterior, so it’s referred to as a secret room. The 4th floor was a room for the lords and the 5th floor was for meetings of the chief vassals. The top floor is an observation tower. It’s fun to see these rooms and imagine the military activities that took place there.

Steep stairs
Steep stairs

The 4th floor’s staircase is the steepest in Japan, at an angle of 61 degrees. Its purpose was to make it difficult for the enemy to ascend inside the castle.

A view from the top
The city of Matsumoto as viewed from the top of the castle

We recommend visiting the Matsumoto city Museum, located inside the park. Admission is free with with your Matsumoto Castle ticket.

An exhibit of the armor and guns that were used at the time

Have a walk inside in castle town and get some good soba noodles

Castle town
Castle town

After touring the castle, why not walk around the small castle town?
There are plenty of old fashioned shops like toy stores, cheap snack shops, and restaurants.
Nagano prefecture is also famous for its Soba noodles so you’ll find many soba stores and restaurants in the city. The texture of the soba noodle, its color, and the taste of the soup differs from shop to shop, so why not try out several and compare them? I ate soba twice for lunch and dinner.

Shinsyu soba
the “Sanjiro” soba shop
Shinsyu soba
The “Miyoda” soba shop


4-1 Marunouchi, Matsumoto city

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Editor / Writer

I’m from Mie Prefecture, and a big fan of Yomiuri Giants, Japanese baseball team! I rarely stay at home every weekend, and love to go outside. I feel Japanese locals and the world will be connected soon! I’m trying to make a fun world!


Address 4-1 Marunouchi, Matsumoto city
Hours 8:30~17:00 (Last admission is 16:30)
Price Adults 610 yen / Children 300 yen
Close New Year’s Eve
Access 4 km from Matsumoto IC. A 15 min walk from JR Chuo Line Matsumoto Station The Bus stop is called “Matsumoto-jo/ Shiyakusho-mae”
Phone 0263-32-2902