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.
4.0in the last week
Another amazing piece of Japanese history perfectly preserved.
There is not a huge amount of artifacts to see inside, but the experience and surrounding grounds are beautiful. Makes for some great photos.
If visiting in winter make sure to wear two pairs of thick socks. As usual it's no shoes inside the castle and the floors reach zero degrees.
5.04 weeks ago
Very beautiful and scenic. The staff does a really good job ushering visitors around the castle for a smooth flow. A little bit of an exercise climbing the stairs, bad feeling for people without foot arches since you must remove your shoes. I also got good photos of beautiful Matsumoto City from the top floors of the castle.
4.0a week ago
We only saw the outside as it was closed over new year (Google's opening times currently don't reflect this). But this is a stunning Castle that looks great both in the day and at night. The mountain backdrop of Matsumoto makes it even more special.
5.0a month ago
Wonderful castle that was easily accessible from the train station. Unlike some other castles which have been converted to museums, only a small part of Matsumoto Castle housed some artifacts. As a result, you can get a feel of the actual keep, see the layout, look out of the windows, climb to the top floor and imagine what life could have been in the past. Note: you have to take off your shoes and carry them in a bag when you go into the castle. And the steps were really steep.
5.0a month ago
Beautiful view from the top of Matsumoto Castle. I would recommend bringing sunglasses as they make it easier to see the mountains in the distance. On a bright day they are not visible unless you are wearing sunglasses. Also super cool is to take a picture with the samurai outside the castle gates. I believe one was licensed to have a real sword -- it was amazing.