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.
5.02 months ago
Matsumoto city is beautiful. Small city, but so full of charm. It’s easy to get there, but if you mistake trains it’s gonna be a long time to the city. You should definitely plan ahead since touristic spots close at 5pm, last chance to go in being 4:30pm. The castle is breathtaking, and it still has its original design and parts. I think it’s definitely a must while visiting Japan. I think it’s one of the most awesome ones. Definitely top place. Plus, it’s a good spot if you’re someone who gets tired of overcrowded places.
5.03 months ago
The no.1 attraction in Matsumoto city, very great place. Also historical place where you can learn the history of the town. The castle itself very attractive with the beautiful and old style of architecture. From the top level of the castle can observe the above of the city. The castle really not far from the station you can walk easily within 15-20 minutes, during the cold weather is a good walk cause the way to castle passing other attraction in town.
5.03 months ago
Our FREE private tour guide (from a booth as we entered) was so brilliant. She took us around the castle and explained everything to us. We couldn’t have asked for a better guide and all she wanted was for us to get the most out of our trip to the castle. Their conservation of the site is excellent and I saw on display a set of armour I have not seen before of a samurai equipped to fight with a musket versus a bladed weapon. Stunning.
5.03 months ago
This is a great castle with amazing history. It’s free to enter and explore however, on the day we went you couldn’t go inside. Known as Crow Castle because of its black exterior, it’s well worth reading up about it before you go.
The fish in the moat were amusing as they looked for me to feed them. Mths site is very clean and there are toilets.
This is also not far from other interesting sites around Matsumoto.
Wheelchair accessible. Stroller friendly. Kid friendly. Great photo opportunities.
5.0a month ago
Everyone has a favorite castle in Japan and this is mine. It is very rare for a castle to be largely black in color and this 'Crow' castle is justly famous. And beautiful.
Examine the castle from outside across the moat. Note its balance and beauty. Then count the floors. Then go inside the castle and count the floors. There are clearly 5 floors in the castle when seen from the outside. But there are actually 6 floors inside the castle. Overall, this is a fine example of castle architecture and tells a lot about how castles were used in the Sengoku period.