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Matsumoto, Nagano

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Matsumoto, regarded as a castle town, is most famous for the Matsumotojo (松本城). It was built in 1594 and is Japan’s oldest existing castle, designated as one of Japan’s national treasures. For this trip, I stayed at Marumo ryokan, which dates back to the 1800’s and is centrally located in Matsumoto. It’s a very nice base for experiencing the town’s old castle like feel as it is situated in between Nakamachi street and Nawate street. Behind the ryokan is a beautiful river lined with traditional crafts shops and small cafes.

Here are photos of the old town of Matsumoto featuring its local delicacies (horsemeat and soba),  merchant streets of Nakamachi and Nawate, and the famous Matsumoto Castle.

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stayed at Marumo ryokan. a perfect base for my Nagano trip.

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Kobayashi Soba, a 100 year old soba restaurant in Matsumoto.

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Former Kaichi School, the oldest elementary school in Japan.

Former Kaichi School, the oldest elementary school in Japan.

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Matsumoto Shrine

Matsumoto Shrine

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Nawate street, stone paved street with many tiny shops. a good place for a stroll.

Nawate street, stone paved street with many tiny shops. a good place for a stroll.

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antique pieces along Nawate street.

antique pieces along Nawate street.

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Nakamachi Street features nicely preserved old kura storehouses with white faced and a black and white checker design. the street is lined with small cafes, ryokans, and traditional crafts shops.

Nakamachi Street features nicely preserved old kura storehouses with white faced and a black and white checker design. the street is lined with small cafes, ryokans, and traditional crafts shops.

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Sakura around Matsumoto castle.

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Matsumoto is well known for its horsemeat or "basashi" which I was able to try at Kura restaurant. It is known to promote longevity.

Matsumoto is well known for its horsemeat or “basashi” which I was able to try at Kura restaurant. It is known to promote longevity.

Kura's facade.

Kura’s facade.

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