A Journey to Matsumoto –
A Charming Castle Town Located at the Foothills of the Majestic Japanese Alps

At the end of October, I journeyed to Matsumoto, a charming castle town located at the foothills of the majestic Japan Alps in Nagano Prefecture. Matsumoto is one of my favorite towns in Japan and I always look forward to the opportunity to visit there. Autumn is an especially beautiful time of year to visit Matsumoto as the cool crisp air allows for a picture perfect view of Matsumoto’s four hundred year old castle, a national treasure, set against the backdrop of the Japan Alps with their first dusting of snow.


On this recent trip to Matsumoto, I had the pleasure of staying at Myojinkan, a wonderful ryokan or Japanese inn located approximately forty minutes outside of town. As I passed through the forests and valleys laden with autumn foliage on my way to Myojinkan, my sense of anticipation gradually heightened and I was not to be disappointed. Myojinkan offered not only splendid rooms but a wonderful onsen or Japanese bath where one can peacefully relax in enticingly warm water while gazing upon a beautiful mountain stream. The food at Myojinkan was excellent with an abundance of local produce and seasonal vegetables.

A visit to Matsumoto is not complete without a stroll down Nakamachi Dori with its Edo period kura or storehouses, many of which have been converted into restaurants and shops. Without fail, I always leave Matsumoto with an antique or local craft as a remembrance of my visit there. Matsumoto can be visited on an overnight trip from Tokyo or as part of a journey that will take you onwards to the delightful town of Takayama.

By Philip Rosenfeld



Hi Guys!

Just noticed the pictures on this do not seem to be working.

Would love to be able to see them.


Nicholas Coutts