Matsumoto Castle (Matsumotojo) is the oldest and one of the most complete castles in Japan. It is also known as Crow Castle due to its grandiose black exterior that explicates real elegance.
The interior of the exquisite castle is made up of steep stairs and low ceilings, and contains displayed armor and weapons from the Sengoku Period (Warring-States). Ishikawa Kazumasa and his son Yasunaga built the castle in 1590. Centuries have passed since its establishment, the wooden structures and stoneworks remain original after centuries. No wonder that this six-story castle is listed as a National Treasure of Japan.
Taiko Drum Festival and Takigi Noh (a traditional play) is held every summer in the castle grounds. When fall comes, a Moon Viewing Party is celebrated in the special-built moon viewing room of the castle. It is also one of the best castles to view sakura. Most of the time, these are the dates where the castle becomes crowded. There is a souvenir shop that is located in the right-hand side after the ticket booth to enter the castle garden.
A short 15-minute walk or 5-minute bus ride from JR Matsumoto train station A 15-minute drive from Matsumoto IC.
Prepare 610 Yen for adults, and 300 Yen for students for the entrance fee. The castle is open daily except December 29 to January 3 from 8:30 AM to 5 PM (the doors close at 4:30 PM). Before you explore the castle inside, you must take off your shoes and take it with you, because the entrance and exits are different routes. And, as you go along, you will encounter steep stairs.
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