Photo:Brian Jeffery Beggerly

5 Must-See Places in Matsumoto, Nagano

Known as the gate to the Northern Japan Alps, Matsumoto is surrounded by great nature where you can enjoy fresh and delicious local food.

Here are 5 of the best spots to visit in the area.

1. Matsumoto Castle

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Photo by Nao Kitano on flickr

A designed national treasure, the Matsumoto Castle is also known as “Crow Castle” because of its black color. The main tower, which appears to have five floors but actually has six, is said to be Japan’s oldest castle tower. Its dignified appearance, with the Northern Alps as a background, becomes even greater when it gets illuminated at night.

Address: 4-1, Marunouchi, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano 

Phone: 0263-32-2902

2. Yamabe Winery

Located at the the foot of the Migahara highlands, Yamabe winery produces fine wine using their locally grown grapes. You can also pick grapes here starting from August through October, or eat in the restaurant. Don't forget to bring back grapes as a souvenir!

1315-2, Iriyamabe, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano Tel 0263-32-3644

3. Soba Moegino

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photo:http://www.moegino.jp

This restaurant's homemade soba noodles are made from100% freshly stone-ground buckwheat. The “Touji-soba”, which you dip in a hotpot filled with soup, is absolutely delicious. The store also offer a soba-ownership program, which shows you how to grow, harvest and make your own soba noodles.

Address: 278, furumi, Asahimura, Chikuma-gun, Nagano

Phone: 0263-99-3004

4. Daio Wasabi Farm

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photo:663highland on wikimedia

This wasabi farm, which is 11 times as large as the Tokyo Dome, has beautiful water coming from the Northern Japan Alps. At the farm, you can find a water mill which was featured in Akira Kurosawa's film Dreams. There is also a bridge called “Saiwai no Kakehashi” which is believed to bring good fortune to couples. It is also possible to experience unique activities such as a wasabi pickle making class or to try some wasabi ice-cream or wasabi croquette.

Address: 3640, Hodaka, Azumino-shi, Nagano

Phone: 0263-82-2118

5. Kaasanchi Udon

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photo:http://iksk-agri.com/kasan/

Kaasanchi's hand-made udon noodles, which you dip and eat in a hot bowl of miso soup, are simply exquisite. You also don’t want to miss their special vegetable curry. The local raw sake called “Hara no Kami” is also available.

Address: 5049-1, Ikusaka-mura, Higashichikuma-gun, Nagano

Phone: 0263-69-3431

Why not indulge in seasonal food while enjoying the beautiful autumn scenery in Matsumoto!

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