Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle

The impressive, Matsumoto-jo Castle.

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 also called “Uzyo” and is one of the most popular. The contrast of the black castle with white snow is especially beautiful.

Let me introduce the inside.
Matsumoto Castle

A castle built for military strategy

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. You can see how this castle is beneficial for both offensive and defensive military strategies. You might feel like you traveled back 400 years ago by touring the inside.

Matsumoto Castle
Small openings and Ishiotoshi

The Inside of castle is well built

Its very dim inside with lots of poles. The first floor 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.

Steep stairs
Steep stairs

The steepest stairs in Japan!

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. You’ll need to be careful when going up and going down them, and it’s better for women to wear pants, rather than skirts.

A view from the top
The city of Matsumoto from the top
An exhibit of the armor and guns that were used at the time

You should also visit the Matsumoto city Museum, located inside the park. Admission is free with with your Matsumoto Castle ticket.

Castle town
Castle town

I recommend eating Soba in Matsumoto city!

After touring the castle, why not walk around the small castle town?
There are plenty of nostalgic shops like toy stores, cheap snack shops, and restaurants.
Nagano is also famous for its Soba noodles and 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. Please take a look at this article,
How to eat soba.

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