Matsumoto, Japan

Matsumoto Castle + Seikando Bookstore

Posted In: Japan | Nagano | Travel

After seeing the famous Japanese macaques bathe at the Jigokudani Monkey Park, we headed to one of Nagano’s most popular attractions, Matsumoto Castle. Most of Japan’s castles have had to be fully reconstructed over the centuries, but this is one of small number of original castles left standing and is considered a National Treasure of Japan. It has been nicknamed “Crow Castle” due to it’s unusual black exterior, which makes it really unique.

The funnest part is that you can tour the inside the castle and learn more about it’s history. Another thing, there were a few people dressed up in period costumes in front of the castle for you to take pictures with (for free)! We visited during winter, but it looks like it’s a beautiful place to see the sakura blooms in the Spring.

      ^^ Indoor slippers to tour the castle! These were incredibly slippery (pun intended) on the wood floors ^^

Matsumoto Castle

Address: 〒390-0873 Nagano-ken, Matsumoto-shi, Marunouchi, 4−4番1号
Hours: 8:30AM – 4:30PM
Prices listed above

If you visit Matsumoto Castle you should visit Seikando, a second hand bookstore, just a short walk from the castle. Around 1950 the castle was under major construction, so the owner of the bookstore decided to make the outside look like the castle for those tourist who weren’t able to see the real thing. It is super impressive!!! I planned to buy a book, but sadly it’s extremely over priced… still a fun place to check out.

                ^^ Manhole cover decorated with temari or gotenmari balls on our walk to the book store ^^

Seikando Bookstore

Address: 3 Chome-5-13 Ōte, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano-ken 390-0874
Hours: 10AM – 6PM (Closed on random days)