Snow covered roof tops (and two swans!) at Matsumoto Castle. One of four National Treasures in Japan. (Photo: Jessica A Paje)

Matsumoto Castle in Winter

A National Treasure in February snowfall

Jessica A Paje   - 1 min read

A day trip to Nagano Prefecture included a stop at one of Japan’s National Treasures, Matsumoto Castle.

In mid-February, temperatures can fall below freezing, so visitors can expect to see snow in the small town of Matsumoto City. But, that doesn’t deter the hundreds who flock to see the elegant black and white structure standing amidst the castle town of temples, shrines, and residential areas. Built between 1593-1594 by Kazumasa and Yasunaga Ishikawa, Matsumoto has the oldest castle keep remaining in Japan. Unlike other castles in the region, the original wooden interior of Matsumoto Castle is guaranteed to make visitors feel like a samurai warrior!

Bundle up and be prepared to remove your shoes as you tour the grand structure. Admission is 600yen for Adults and 300yen for students. Hours are 8:30am to 5:00pm.

Getting there

To access, from JR Matsumoto train station, take a short 15-minute walk or 5-minute bus. By car, it is a 15-minute drive from Matsumoto IC.

More info

Find out more about Matsumoto Castle.

Jessica A Paje

Jessica A Paje @jessica.paje

Originally from San Diego, California, I lived in Yokosuka, Japan, for 5 years. In 2010, I arrived with a new outlook on my future. Mainly, to refocus on family and let my curiosities take us to places we’ve only dreamt of. Along the way, we’d hopefully develop new friendships and simply collect ...