Against the backdrop of the northern Japan Alps and sprawling highlands, this castle stands magnificently as a symbol of Matsumoto city. Dating back to the late 16 century, this is Japan's oldest wooden castle and one of four castles listed National Treasures (the other three being Inuyama, Hikone and Himeji). Among 12 castle keeps existent in Japan, it is the only one built on plains, rather than on a hilltop.
The donjon, attached with three turrets, has walls mostly covered with black clapboards, earning it the moniker of "Crow Castle". Interesting features include openings to drop stones onto enemies, and a turret built for moon viewing. Cherry trees bloom gracefully in mid-April and peonies in early May. The huge moats are very beautiful with red bridges and koi carp.
Purposecherry blossom viewing,sightseeing
Airport/Sta.Toyama Airport (about 83.2km) Google Transit
We guide this spot.
5.0a month ago
A Matsumoto must see.
The garden surrounding the castle is charming and if you have a clear weather you may have the chance to see the castle reflection in the water.
We visited the castle, entrance was ¥610 and the interior was a museum mostly featuring colts and muskets. We climb the 6 floors to arrive to the top of the castle and have a view of Matsumoto surroundings. However the stairs were pretty steep, but still worth it!
Be aware to come early to avoid the queue
4.03 weeks ago
A beautiful castle. It was very crowded when we visited and we still really enjoyed it. You can see it from outside the moat for free, but the entrance price is very reasonable and worth it. There are also free volunteer English guides who will show you around if you want, we didn't do this, but we overheard a couple and they seemed really good. A stunning, brooding castle that is still being restored in places so more will become available to visit over the years. Worth a visit.
5.0a month ago
This place is perfect for the person who love and want to learn more about the Japanese culture. The view is beautiful and you can go inside the castle until the top and see everything, unfortunately pictures inside are not allowed. But in the end you can take a picture in front of the castle.
5.02 months ago
One of Japan’s oldest original castles. From the outside the castle is picturesque, even on the rainy day that I visited. Currently (September 2018), that are restoring the moon viewing tower, which means a part of the castle is covered in white sheeting. It’s still possible to get nice photos if you choose the right angle. The inside has a nice collection of period firearms donated by a local family.
Near the entrance there’s a free guide service provided by volunteers available in at least English and French.
5.02 weeks ago
Very very beautiful castle, especially pleasant to look at in the evening. You can see many Japanese locals having a stroll here too.
Be sure to take photos of the castle with the reflection on the water. It will be stunning.