• Ayako

Summer trip for Kamikochi and Matsumoto

*This post was edited and published based on a dairy in 2015.

At first, we wanted to go to Hachijojima-island or Izu Oshima island (because the ticket price was very cheap). However, we decided to go to Matsumoto and Kamikochi area in Nagano Pref. instead. I don’t remember why Nagano pref. that has no ocean was picked as a destination by us who wanted to lie down on a beach in a southern island at first. Anyway, we took a night bus to head for Matsumoto.

Kamikochi is 90 min. from Matsumoto by train and bus. In fact, I visited Kamikochi once when I was a junior high school student with my family. It’s famous for its hiking area, and we saw a lot of families along the course that day. The water in the river was transparent, and the forests were dazzling under the sunshine.

One of the things on our to-do-list in Matsumoto was food. It is famous for horse sashimi, Oyaki (a Japanese dumpling, or fried round wheat or buckwheat flour cake with various fillings), and soba. I wanted to try everything on this trip. Though an Oyaki I bought at a shop in the hiking area in Kamikoch was a little frozen, a set of horse sashimi I ate back in Matsumoto city for dinner was incredibly delicious. I heard that people have been eating horses in Nagano Prefecture since old times. We were satisfied with it as it was, unexpectedly, priced reasonably. Eating local food always makes me happy.

The next day, we went to Matsumoto Castle. The first thing that surprised me was there were many tourists inside the castle. There was even an entry-restriction in the entrance. I hadn't imagined not a few tourists were there because the city of Matsumoto was quiet all day long.

The steps in the castle were very narrow and the ceiling was very low. The floor creaked when people stepped up the stairs. I was a little anxious about the floor would fall off if so many people were walking in. It was more than a small castle as I imagined from its appearance. It cannot be seen from Matsumoto Station, but it stands in a place with a little bit walk from the station. It’s not too big nor too small. It is as perfect as it is, I suppose.


Castle Matsumoto

The castle tower, which was built in the late Azuchi-Momoyama period to the early Edo period, is designated as a national treasure. The castle ruins are designated as national historic sites. It was called Fukashi Castle before people call it Matsumoto castle nowadays. It is also known as Karasujo by the Matsumoto citizens. Various types of guns are on display in the castle. You can climb to the top of the castle using the stairs of the time. Be careful not to hit your head against the ceiling as the stairs are narrow and the ceiling is low. When I visited in July 2015, there was so crowded that admission to the entrance was restricted. So, be sure to have enough time when you visit there. It's a small but beautiful castle.

The city of Matsumoto is a small town where you can go and see around in a half-day, but I found it was clean and probably comfortable to live. Going there in other seasons to go around cozy cafes and soba restaurants would be very attractive, too.

#Nagano #Summer

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