Take a Walk Through the Castle Town of Matsumoto Castle
Matsumoto Castle, located in Nagano Prefecture’s Matsumoto City, is a historic castle that has been designated as a national treasure. If you’re planning a visit to Matsumoto Castle, be sure to take a walk around the castle town too! It is divided up into several areas with a retro-style atmosphere, each with its own history and unique points. Take a look!
Honmachi-dori is the main street of the castle town of Matsumoto, with various shops lined up throughout. During the Sengoku period, when the people in Takeda Shingen’s territories faced a shortage of salt, the enemy daimyo Uesugi Kenshin sent them salt. The legendary stone “ushi tsunagi ishi” is said to be where the oxen that carried the salt was tethered.
The Nakamachi-dori area is also called “the town with the warehouses.” Rows of warehouses with white plaster walls and black namako walls line the streets, creating a scene that seems to have fallen backwards in time.
“Nakamachi Kurassic-kan” is an iconic symbol of Nakamachi-dori, and visitors can tour the old-fashioned building free of charge. There is also a coffee shop inside where you can stop and enjoy tea while looking out over the courtyard.
Located just to the south of Nakamachi-dori is Takasago-dori, which is lined with shops selling dolls.
Earning its name from being an “embankment (dote) like a long rope (nawa),” Nawate-dori is sandwiched between the south moat of Matsumoto Castle and the clear waters of the Metoba River.
There are many shops lining the area, from old-fashioned shops to chic general stores, and the shopping street is an easily-walkable pedestrian paradise. The area was once home to a large population of frogs, so it has earned itself the nickname “town of frogs,” with stone statues of frogs dotting the area.
Daimyocho-dori is a street that spans about 300 meters, going from the Chitose Bridge that crosses the Metoba River down to Matsumoto Castle. The Japanese linden trees that line the road have been named one of the “100 Kaori Sceneries” by the Ministry of the Environment. There are also many long-established stores in the area.
Isemachi functioned as the western entrance to the castle town of Matsumoto. On top of its long-established stores that have been in business for over 100 years, Isemachi is also home to new chic stores, including those of popular fashion brands, beauty salons, and restaurants.