Matsumoto Castle – Japan’s national treasure which tells hard domestic battles to the present day.


Japan has four distinct seasons and you can find the different beautiful scenery for the tourist attraction in each season. As our 6th article of  “Four Seasons Series”, We will introduce Matsumoto Castle(松本城), a national treasure known as “Crow Castle (Karasu-jo)”, attracts many tourists throughtout the year.

Matsumoto Castle

20150422-343-9photo by flickr/SteFou!

Matsumoto Castle(松本城), a symbol of Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, was first called Fukashi Castle built in the late 16th century. The main tower has five-tiers and six-floors which remains beautifully over 400 years. It is the oldest in the existing castles in Japan. Matsumoto Castle is designed as a national treasure in 1936 after the extensive renovations.

20150422-343-19photo by flickr/Chopper Kuo

20150422-343-2photo by flickr/SLTc

20150422-343-1photo by flickr/★Kumiko★

It is a interconnected-style keep consisting of Daitensyu (larger keep),  Inuikotensyu (smaller keep), and Watarigura (roofed passage connected between large and small keeps). Since it was built during the Sengoku period which many hard battles occurred domestically in Japan, it is defensive structure with few windows and equipped with many boulder drops and loopholes to fire guns. Matsumoto Castle is sometimes called “Crow Castle” named because of the elegant black appearance painted by black lacquer.

20150422-343-23photo by flickr/Kent Yoshimura

20150422-343-14photo by flickr/かがみ~

Inside the main keep, most of stairs, floors, walls, ceilings, and pillars remain intact at the time of its construction.

20150422-343-18photo by flickr/Aapo Haapanen

20150422-343-17photo by flickr/chriggy1

20150422-343-22photo by flickr/Joel Abroad

Historical materials and valuables such as armours and matchlock guns are displayed inside the castle tower.

20150422-343-11photo by flickr/graney

20150422-343-10photo by flickr/graney

Seasonal scenery of Matsumoto Castle

(Spring) Matsumoto Castle is famous for cherry blossom spot where cherry trees beautifully bloom around moat and castle walls.

20150422-343-15photo by flickr/かがみ~

20150422-343-16photo by flickr/Sanctu

(Summer) It’s a wonderful scenery that the castle stands out against the Japan’s Northern Alps.

20150422-343-4photo by flickr/Chopper Kuo

(Autumn) Trees are beautifully stained to yellow and red, which contrasts finely with the black castle walls.

20150422-343-20photo by flickr/Jacob Ehnmark

20150422-343-24photo by flickr/ijiwaru jimbo

(Winter) Matsumoto Castle Ice Carving Festival is held every January. Every year a number of visitors are coming for impressive Ice Carvings against a background of Matsumoto Castle.

20150422-343-26photo by Nagano Prefecture Tourism Association

20150422-343-6photo by flickr/SteFou!

Spot Information

Name Matsumoto Castle(松本城)
Address 4-1 Marunouchi, Matsumoto City, Nagano, Japan
Hours 8:30 – 17:00
Closed Dec 29 – Jan 3
Fees General: 610 yen / Elementary and Junior High School Students: 300 yen (Admission for Matsumoto Castle Tenshu (Gardens) and Matsumoto City Museum)



en-map-icon0   Route1
15 minutes walk from Matsumoto Station on the Shinonoi JR Line.
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