Holidays to Matsumoto, Japan

Castles aren’t usually the first thing that spring to mind when you think of Japan - and with good reason. The majority were sadly destroyed either at the end of the nation's feudal age or during WW2, leaving but a few ancient strongholds scattered about the country.

Matsumoto, perched high in the snowy mountains of the Nagano prefecture, is the proud home of the oldest of these historic gems. Dating back to the 16th century, the castle's three imposing black-and-white towers, wood-clad interiors and stunning views transport visitors back to a rarely glimpsed era of Japan’s past.

Matsumoto is perhaps best-known among gourmands for its world-class soba noodles and oyaki dumplings - complemented by some award-winning local sake. A visit to a lakeside sake brewery will show you the intricacies of this age-old artisanal process. While you’re at it, you might want to visit a traditional wasabi farm and even try some wasabi ice-cream.

If all the eating gets exhausting, you’re certainly in the right place to relax. The highly volcanic islands of Japan are dotted with natural hot springs, and plenty can be found in Matsumoto. Known locally as ‘onsen’, these thermal baths, which even in winter peek through the white snow, provide therapeutic benefits for weary travellers. Humans aren’t the only ones to have discovered these natural spas, however. Visit one of the nearby parks to witness the unique spectacle of wild Japanese macaques bathing in the warm waters.

To drink in the breathtaking scenery of this mountain region, head over to the Kamikochi national park. Whether you hop between mountain huts, check in at luxury hotels or camp in a tent, a few days trekking up the mountain will allow you to savour the highland views, with their crystal-clear lakes and brilliant white peaks.


  • Step back in time into Japan's oldest castle

  • Discover appetising local delicacies

  • Relax in natural volcanic hot springs

  • Hike through breathtaking national parks

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One of the things I love most about Japan is that it is a country of contrasts. From the vibrant, modern cities bustling with life to the tranquil countryside, interspersed with traditional villages and soothing landscapes. Also, let’s not forget the incredible Japanese cuisine. No matter where you go, the food is delicious! There are so many things that keep me coming back time and time again.

Matsumoto trip ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Matsumoto. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 020 3510 5777

Things to do in Matsumoto

Here are some of the things you can do in Matsumoto. When you've chosen your favourite experiences, just give our Travel Designers a call and they'll put a trip together for you. If you need help choosing an experience, or if you want to learn more about it, our Travel Designers will be more than happy to talk to you. Just call them on: 020 3510 5777

Map of Matsumoto