Like Takayama, Matsumoto is an old, well preserved city, with a rich history dating back to the 8th century. The city is protected on all sides by the Japanese Alps, and Matsumoto has both a cosmopolitan vibe, while retaining its historical authenticity. The Nakamachi-dori is home to shops, traditional inns and restaurants housed in traditional, white walled buildings typically found in Edo-period merchant districts.
Matsumoto Castle, one of the most famous castles in Japan, is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan. The castle’s original wooden interior allows a much more authentic experience than the concrete interiors of many of Japan’s rebuilt castles.