Matsumoto Castle (松本城): The Crow Castle (Nagano Trip Series)

Welcome to the first episode of my “Nagano Trip”!!!

Like I promised last time, this series of Nagano blog posts will get you to know about this amazing place in Japan in detail; like literally  everything that you need to know and you can follow my plan if you want too.

Matsumoto Castle

The Crow Castle

It is one of Japanese castles that has been considered a Heritage Site in the country with a history of more than 500 years. It was built in 1593 which was during the period of war between several kingdoms in Japan. So technically, it is more like a fortress than a castle. It is also called “Crow Castle” by the locals due to the structure and color of the rooftop as it is similar to a crow.

It is recognized as one of the most beautiful castles in Japan,such as Himeji Castle, Osaka Castle and Nagoya Castle. So, you cannot say that you have seen all of the castles in Japan until you visit this one.



From Tokyo

Tokyo Station  –> Nagano Station (Hokuriku Shinkansen) 1 hr. 30 minutes
Nagano Station –>  Matsumoto Station (LTD. EXP SHINANO) 50 minutes

First, we depart from Tokyo Sta. by Shinkanen, heading north to Nagano Station. en, we have to change to Local Express Line there, heading south to the castle.

Which Pass can you use? 

(Cover area from Tokyo to Matsumoto Castle)

  • JR Pass All Area Click>>> (Purchase before coming to Japan only)
  • JR EAST PASS-Nagano, Niigata area Click>>>

Arriving at Matsumoto Station…


Try to find “Castle Exit” and there will be a Tourist Information Center for you to get some maps. This station is quite large, so there are coin lockers and souvenir shops available for you. Don’t worry, take a rest. You are probably tired at this moment.

Okay! After getting some preparation, let’s go the castle! You can follow this map and it takes around 15 minutes by foot.

Around the City

Matsumoto is not that big of a city, so it is not that crowded. You will be able to see local architectures from bygone days like temples and museums. Actually, why don’t you spend one day sightseeing around here? There are a lot of things for you to see beside the castle.


and here comes our highlight

Around the Castle

It is surrounded by a large garden and pond which takes some time to walk around the area. Let’s go and see the awesomeness of this place, shall we?




The Red Bridge behind the castle is the highlight spot

Here is a picture of the main entrance to the castle, isn’t it so huge?? It is not just the castle that is huge, but also the cat fish in the pond. I am sure that if they are hungry, they could eat my whole hand lol.

Let’s go inside the castle!

There is an entrance fee and it will be cheaper if you come in a group.

Adult  610 yen / Kid 300 yen

Japanese people love collecting stamp everywhere they go,so let’s follow them haha.

Here we are at the front of castle

Inside the Castle

The entire castle is made from wood, so the floor is quite cold.
There are very small windows which they used to shoot arrows or to throw rocks at their enemies.
I tried to reach out my arm and took this picture from that small window!!! The scenery is spectacular!
Between each floor, there are very steep stairs, so please be careful of that . So many people fell down here.

There are 6 floors which they used to keep all of the Samurai armor and weapons during the period of war. You will see so many historic things and learn the history behind them.

At the top of the castle, you will see all the scenery from every direction.

 You will see views of the mountain range so called “Japan Alps”. It is so cool!

Let`s try Local Food!

You should try “Oyaki” (おやき). It is Baked Bread with fillings inside such as chicken, wasabi pumpkin and more!.

Various Menus you can choose
Matsumoto-Kung, Mascot of this castle.

Scenery of the day

Panorama View
One last shot…

It is time to wrap up our trip. Did you like it? For me, it is my favorite castle in Japan so far. I recommend to visit this place if you plan to visit Nagano. It is a must-see!!! I hope you enjoy this trip like I did.


Visit my other Nagano Series

Blog : Nagano Trip Series : Teaser

Blog: Jigokudani (地獄谷) Snow Monkey Onsen

Blog: Obuse (小布施): City of Chestnet & The Mt. Fuji Painting

Blog: Zenkoji (善光寺) Temple from bygone days

Blog : Shibu Onsen (渋温泉): Hot Spring Village

If you have any questions or any suggestions, feel free to massage me any time at  H.I.S Live Chat System. Hope to see you guys in the next blog.




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