Matsumoto is the jewel in Japan’s crown of mountains. This beautiful alpine city is dominated by its distinctive black citadel, known evocatively as Crow Castle. The city, which in his remote location has remained largely untouched by the country’s trials in nature and history retains an old quarter full of wooden buildings that take you back to Japan’s Edo heyday.
And all around Matsumoto is the magnificence of the mountains that make its home.
From here you have access to fine hiking, from easy strolling to as challenging as you like; there are the winter sports, sightseeing. You are very close to Kamikochi, a pristine alpine national park, and the Norikura skyline, a road dramatically carved into 20m of ice and snow — a summer trip, ironically because the road is impassable in the winter.
High up in its mountain home, nothing much has happened or happens in Matsumoto, but there’s always plenty to do.