Matsumoto Travel Guide: Why You Should Visit

Matsumoto Travel Guide

Traveling can be a form of de-stressing and relaxation. After working for hours every single day, it can get quite boring and mundane over time. Not only that but the stress that one gets from work and also from other sources can pile up after a certain time. While sleeping and exercise can be a way in order to reduce the amount of stress that one has, they may sometimes not be enough for a person to fully recover and energize. Hence, a lot of people reward themselves and opt to travel once in a while to refresh the mind and the senses.



While some people may opt to travel to European countries (I decided to skipped my EU trip goals) there are also others who wish to explore nations in Asia. This is because different parts of Asia have their own culture and heritage to share to the world.

Matsumoto Travel Guide

One of the most visited countries in Asia is Japan. Some tourists prefer to tour the Land of the Sun due to its rich culture and heritage. Others like how unique and extraordinary the Japanese people are, with the otaku and Harajuku craze.




Mostly though, people travel to Japan to see the magnificent views that the country has to offer. Japan is composed of several cities that offer distinct experiences and among them is the city of Matsumoto.

Matsumoto Travel Guide

Located in the region of Chūbu, Matsumoto is the second biggest city in the center part of Nagano Prefecture with a population of approximately 240,000+ people based on a survey dated 1st of October in the year 2016. The total area of the city is 978.47 km2 or 377.79 mi2 with a population density of 246 persons for every square kilometer. Surrounded by mountains, the city of Matsumoto is famous for its beautiful and magnificent views. It is 124 kilometers away from central Tokyo but is still accessible for tourists by train and bus.



Looking at a map, Matsumoto is almost at the exact center of Japan. As for the climate in Matsumoto, it has both hot summers and cold winters. There is much precipitation with a hotter real feel temperature during the summer months while it is much drier during winter. Considered as the third sunniest city in the country, the summer season is longer than the winter season in Matsumoto. Snow may fall in the city area on certain days during winter, but this is not frequent.

Matsumoto Travel Guide
Matsumoto Travel Guide

Although the city is usually sunny, there is still rainy season though this only lasts for about a month from mid-June to mid-July. For tourists who are unfamiliar with the place, there are tourist information centers in the city that would be more than willing to guide visitors, with one located on the 3rd floor of the JR Matsumoto Station building just in front of the ticket gate. It is open from 9 am to 5:45 pm




Matsumoto Castle, Matsumoto travel guide


Matsumoto travel guide, Matsumoto Castle

There are various places in the city of Matsumoto that are popular and for the right reasons. Probably the number one most famous and most visited place in the city is the Matsumoto Castle or the Matsumotojō in Japanese. It is among the “most complete” castles in the country and is considered as one of the most beautiful as well.




Considered a “hirajiro,” it is a castle constructed on plains instead of on a hill or on a mountain like the way other castles were built. Another feature of this castle is it houses a secondary donjon and a turret as well that connects to the main keep. Just looking at the castle itself, the structure gives off that grandiose vibe to it.

Matsumoto travel guide, Matsumoto Castle

Both the main castle keep and the secondary donjon were constructed from the year 1592 to the year 1614. Because it was not yet entirely peaceful at the time, these structures were well-fortified to keep away the enemies. When military threats had finally stopped in the year 1635, a third turret and another for moon-viewing were built in addition to the existing structures in the castle. The interior of the castle also offers that authentic feel as it is made of wood, unlike other castles that were reconstructed using ferroconcrete.




Additional features of the Matsumoto Castle are the steep wooden stairs, openings for archers to shoot arrows at enemies, openings to drop stones should there be any invaders, and an observation deck at the topmost floor of the main keep where visitors can have a scenic view of the surrounding city.

Matsumoto travel guide, Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle is most popular during the spring season when cherry blossoms bloom. Strolling around the castle grounds and the park is most romantic when accompanied by the blooming cherry blossoms. On top of that, several somei yoshino cherry trees along the outer castle moat also add to that relaxing and romantic feel when they bloom in mid-April. Admission to the castle is only 610 yen. Just a 10-minute walk from the castle is the Nakamichi District, where preserved, old buildings stand. Some of these buildings serve as small shops, restaurants, or ryokans, where visitors can have a nice respite.

Another tourist destination is the Daio Wasabi Farm or the Daiō Wasabi Nōjō in Japanese. Located in rural Azumino City, which is quite near to Matsumoto, the Daio Wasabi Farm is among the biggest wasabi farms in the country. Because wasabi cultivation is only possible under primeval conditions, the fields are shielded from the harsh rays of the sun by black tarp sheets during the summer season starting from May to October.




There are walking trails for visitors wherein they can view the old-fashioned, wooden water wheels just beside the river. Short tours on inflatable boats are also available for a period of time. Products related to wasabi like fresh wasabi, wasabi paste, wasabi soba noodles, and wasabi juice to name a few can also be bought from shops inside the farm.


Don't miss the famous wasabi ice cream! Yummylicious!




If art is what one is looking for, then head on to the Japan Ukiyoe Museum or the Nihon Ukiyoe Hakubutsukan in Japanese. Based on the name itself, the museum showcases the huge collection of ukiyoe or woodblock prints of the Sakai family. Sakai Yoshiaki, one of the richest merchants during his time, began collecting ukiyoe among other art pieces almost 300 years ago. Through the years, his descendants continued his legacy and developed his collection. It has now grown to more than 100,000 pieces, which has made it among the biggest private art collections in the world.

Matsumoto is also quite popular for another reason, which is the Northern Japan Alps. Tourists from all over the world flock to Matsumoto in order to visit the three main destinations that the area has to offer, namely, the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Kamikochi, and Mount Norikuradake. For the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, the main attractions are the Tateyama Mountain Range, which has glorious scenery; Murodo, which is the highest point along the route; and the Kurobe Dam, which is the tallest dam in the country. In addition, alpine flowers are in full bloom during the summer and autumn season, along with the vivid autumn leaves that accentuate the overall view. There are also hiking and walking trails for those who would like a bit of exercise.







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For Kamikochi, the main attractions are the Kappabashi or the Kappa Bridge, the Taisho Pond, the Tashiro Pond, the Kamikochi Imperial Hotel, the Weston Monument, the Takezawa Marsh, and the Myojin Pond. The place gets particularly busy during the summer holidays, which usually starts from mid-July to August. Hence, it is suggested that one visit the place before July, probably in March or April.




As for Norikuradake, the top attractions in the area include the Shirahone Onsen, which is a hot spring town that is famous for its milky water; the Norikura Kogen, which is a magnificent highland located at the base of Norikuradake; and Mount Norikuradake, which is among the tallest peaks in the Northern Alps.



Because of the many tourist destinations in Matsumoto, there is a multitude of hotels all over the city. It is recommended to book accommodations early especially when there are upcoming events such as the Saito Kinen Festival or the Cherry Blossom season. Among the most well-known hotels in the area is the Richmond Hotel, located in the center of the city. Other options include Buena Vista, Kagetsu, Tokyu REI, Toyoko Inn, and Ikedaya.

Matsumoto travel guide

Why not visit Matsumoto on your next Japan trip?!


xoxo, Blair




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156 comments :

  1. I've always known Japan to be very beautiful, but I've never heard of Matsumoto. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Matsumoto is one of the places in Japan with less tourist, and its a good opportunity to visit it and relax.

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  2. Matsumoto is so clean and inviting. Hope to visit soon.

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  3. There's so much history and culture over there! I had planned on backpacking around Asia (emphasis on trying the different street food available and seeing the non-touristy areas as well), but there's just so much beauty in Japan itself, it'd be hard not to visit the touristy areas as well!

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    1. Skip those many famous places for tourist and visit the more rural areas. Matsumoto is recommended.

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  4. This is another great place to add to my wish list to visit. Thanks for sharing withme.

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  5. I am European and I am drawn to Asian cultures because they are so different and so exciting. I would love to discover Matsumoto, as I am all about traveling off the beaten path, learning about cultures and traditions.

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  6. I havent heard about Matsumoto city! this is amazing. I would love to visit that village where white water is found. Natural healing is something I am yet to experience

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    1. This is a good place for you if you are tired of the city tour, and wants to escape too many crowd.

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  7. These photos are absolutely beautiful. I would love to visit Japan some day. I adore Asian culture. I mostly love the architecture but the food would be amazing, too.

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    1. Mostly Asian foods (especially Japanese foods) are all sustainable. You will enjoy it!

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  8. I would like to visit one day. It looks like a wonderful place. I'm intrigued by the wasabi ice cream.

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    1. Definitely quite spicy, but not recommended if you are not used to spicy foods.

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  9. Wow!!! I love the photos! When will see Japan? That trip has been pushed back many times...

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  10. I have a friend who frequently visits Japan, and talks a lot about the people, culture, heritage and food too. Love this post and glimpse of Japan through your lens.

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    1. Thank you Dipika. I admit I am kinda getting addicted travelling to Japan. It was very lovely place.

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  11. Japan is on the top of my travel bucket list, so it's always exciting to learn more about different Japanese cities i may not have heard about yet.

    I'll admit: My interest in travelling to Japan definitely started from Otaku culture as an anime lover...and one of my dreams right now is to interview people about their street style in Harajuku! But, in addition to the quirky and technological aspects found in Tokyo, i also love the tranquility of Japan's natural landscape and traditional culture.

    Matsumoto sounds so relaxing...! I hope i'll get a chance to visit.

    And Japan Ukiyoe Museum sounds fascinating! What a legacy to have passed down through your family for that long...


    - �� Alissa Ackerman | Fashion-Philosophy Blogger at https://StoryBehindTheCloth.com

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    1. That is true, same as what I discovered about Japan and its people. Everyone is interconnected, they are all mindful that everything exists because of the good reason. They look after each others :D

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  12. This is a place that I would like to explore. It sounds like a great place for food and shopping.

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    1. Food, shopping, and also just to reconnect with yourself.

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  13. Oh wow! Matsumoto truly looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. I’ve been to a lot of these places! Such amazing parts of the world. Thanks for the new trip ideas!

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    1. I am glad to contribute to your list of travel ideas. Hope you will enjoy your next vacation!

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  15. Woww! The pictures are stunning, especially view of Kamikochi.

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  16. I agree Japan is a fabulous place to visit. It has great culture, history, unique and cool things to do in the city, and scenic view in the countryside. There’s something for everyone. not to mention food is delicious.

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    1. Yes, from high-end foods to the cheapest, Japan have everything! It is costly when you stayed in the cities, but chose the rural areas and it is glorious.

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  17. Looks like an amazing trip. My cousin teaches English in Japan, and I would love to be able to visit.

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    1. I bet your cousin have been to many places in Japan!

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  18. We have been to Osaka and I can see some resemblances.. When we'll visit Japan again I think Tokyo will be next.. We can add this one then.

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    1. That will be wonderful! When will be your Tokyo trip?!

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  19. bookmarking this! oof, so many places to visit, so little time and money!

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  20. Glad that you enjoyed Matsumoto. I lived in that area for two years and miss it (but visit it once in a while). You should visit Matsumoto Castle in the winter when they have snow statues and cool lighting.

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    1. Aww definitely! Japan looks very different in every seasons :D

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  21. How perfectly lovely. Adding another place to my travel wish list. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

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  22. I'll have to add this to my revisit list. I went as a young child when we lived in Japan but I would love to go as an adult.

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  23. ang serene ng place based sa photos mo. I've been seeing that castle in photos but this is the first time I have actually read about the place.

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  24. Looks like an interesting and beautiful place to visit. Thanks for the review.

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  25. What a great place. I didn't know about it. I would love to visit the castle . Haha, and the icecream cone is so tempting. Thanks for sharing about this city.

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    1. With the wasabi ice cream, you can pair it with sushi!

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  26. It looks like a wonderful spot for a short trip! Everything is so full of life and eye-catching ... and these wasabi ice-creams! :)

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  27. Nice. When I visit Asia again, I definitely wouldn't mine going to visit this place. The photos you share make the place look so interesting.

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  28. I love our visits to Japan, though I have not been to Matsumoto... yet 😉. It does look absolutely gorgeous, though I may not participate in the open air bath. Pool Operator Talk News 🌎 www.poolTalknews.com Cheers!

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  29. I've never been to Japan before, and in truth, I've not really wanted to visit due to so many tourists. That said, Matsumoto sounds more like my kind of place and worth checking out. Adding it to my travel list, so thanks for sharing!

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    1. Japan is big enough and only have many tourist in mainstream attractions.

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  30. Japan has tons of amazing places to visit like this place Matsumoto. I've never seen a castle up close before and that wasabi ice cream sounds interesting.

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    1. The wasabi ice cream is a perfect treat after a long walks.

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  31. Japan is still in my bucket list. You have no idea about how much I admire its culture, respect for the elders, traditions, hard work people and cleanness! Great post and your pictures are adorable.

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  32. I've never been to japan but I would definitely check out these places. Matsumoto Castle is so beautiful!

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    1. Oh you should especially airfare ticket from Manila is getting cheaper!

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  33. I have never been to Matsumoto but it seems a nice place to visit. Thanks for the detailed guide.

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  34. That's a very beautiful place! I love the cobblestone road and sidewalk....very walkable. Although I'm not really that fond or architecture, Japanese shrines look really cool. Japan has always fascinated us, especially its culture and the importance of respect and discipline that is instilled in their people at a young age. Hope we could visit Japan soon!

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    1. They are also good in restoring many monumental castle throughout Japan.

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  35. You have described a not so popular place in a different way. Reading the article I am also now interested to visit there if I visit Japan in future. The pictures you have shared made it more attractive to read.

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  36. I'm fascinated by the wasabi farm. I would love to taste the real thing. And wasabi ice cream? I think I'd be in heaven. Is it really crazy hot? I figure much of the stuff I've had is a bit distant from wasabi from the source. Cool.

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    1. During summer season, yes the weather is really hot. But still you can enjoy the spicyness of the wasabi ice cream :D

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  37. Amazing architecture! Those buildings are so cool! I have always wanted to visit Japan:)

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    1. Hope you can visit soon! Ohh catch the Tokyo Olympic 2020!

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  38. Great post, it looks like a lovely city! I admire castles and the Japanese ones are so different than the European which I frequently visit. It's amazing the fact that it looks in top shape.

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    1. The castles in Japan are way older than those of castles in Europe :D

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  39. Anytime I see anything Japan related, I'm just all over this. Not only am I sold on Matsumoto, but that onsen looks like it's on another level! I honestly look Japan is my favourite country to travel to on the planet!

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    1. I know the feeling, Christopher. The moment I visited Japan few months ago I knew this is my favorite country, aside from the Philippines.

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  40. This looks like a really cool place to visit

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  41. It was always been my goal to visit Japan soon and finally I get to see another place to visit aside from tourist attractions! Definitely visit this to know more about the history and culture

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    1. Japan is close to my heart because I have good friends living there, and Japan is a good friend of the Philippines.

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  42. I have been wanting to visit here for so long, this post is actually pushing me to buy the tickets soon!

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  43. I have always wanted to visit Japan and Matsumoto sounds really awesome I love the castle. I would love to visit it.

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  44. I have not been to this place, very interesting! I will include this on my bucketlist.

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  45. Wow. A hidden paradise in Japan. I want to try that hot spring. Looks relaxing

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    1. hot springs of Japan are known to give wonders in our body.

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  46. Finally a different place to visot in Japan! I lovr your photos💛

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  47. Oh my, Matsumoto is like heavin in this Earth!!! It's just sooo picturesque in all angless, and this just makes me want to visit Japan and see this for myself. You've written it so well, and I'm in love now with Japan's aesthetic!!

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  48. You are absolutely right when you say that travel helps de-stress & relax and I'd love to experience that during a visit to Japan. I hadn't heard about Matsumoto until I came across your post - it really looks like a lovely place to visit. Good to know about the rainy season in mid July-August and about the location of the TI center. Matsumoto Castle looks so stunning and the scenery is so peaceful - I would love to take a leisurely stroll in the early morning in the area. I also appreciate the historic details you provided about the castle as that helps learn more about the site one visits. Thanks for this informative post - the photographs are amazing as well.

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    1. I am thankful that you took time to read and enjoy our post! Hope you visit Matsumoto soon.

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  49. I studied Japanese in high school and a bit in college. What fascinated me most was the culture. It made me want to visit the country to see everything I had learned about.

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    1. That is awesome! Hope you can apply your Nihongo learnings when you travel to Japan.

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  50. This is the first time I've heard of Matsumoto. It really seems like a place I would love to visit, especially the pool with the healing water.

    - Jellybeans
    beingjellybeans.com

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  51. Thank you for giving us a tour of Japan!! I would like to visit it someday and see the places and learn about the culture myself. Japan is like my ultimate travel dream in asia!!

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  52. We adore Japan and were originally planning to make our fourth trip this year but decided to move to our neighborhood country of Wales instead. Matsumoto was high on my list for that trip, not least because of the castle but also many friends who've recommended it to me. Lovely to read more able visiting.

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    1. That will be great! Japan always makes us happy :D

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  53. That milky water spring is so cool! I wonder what makes the water like that. I am also interested in how that wasabi ice cream tasted. I do love wasabi, but normally just with my sushi. It must have been very interesting!

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    1. the milky colored water is due to the milk-colored mud under water :D

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  54. Matsumoto looks amazing! Definitely one for the bucket list!

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  55. I would love to visit Matsumoto soon. I enjoyed this post and your pictures.

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  56. What beautiful photos you have included in this post. I am hoping to visit Japan soon, maybe when our babies have grown a bit more.

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  57. Is the Wasabi Ice Cream Spicy? I have heard of it but never tried it!

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

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  58. My husband's dream country. Perhaps when we have extra cash for Japan, we'll go here.

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    1. Many cities in Japan are expensive like Tokyo, but if you travel on rural places, it gets cheaper.

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  59. It looks beautiful!Though i am not an avid traveler but i put this in my bucket lists!

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  60. Beautiful Country. My goodness I would love to visit for a vacation. Your pictures are just amazing.

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  61. Visiting Japan is my husband's dream and I so hope I can make it happen soon! The pictures show how different and unique it is from where we live and we would love to experience it.

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    1. Maybe you can celebrate your anniversary in Japan!

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  62. This made me want to go to Japan now. Their culture in cleanliness rrally shows in all your photos. Matsumoto looks like its in a rural area, but still maintain its heritage.

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    1. That is true. They value their heritage and embrace it with modernization.

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  63. I love how the Matsumoto castle looks like! It gives off this ancient and mysterious vibe. This is definitely on the check list for when I visit Japan. :)

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  64. I have visited this place when I have two-week trip in Japan. I admire the architecture very much. We also would like to take a bath there but unfortunately had no time.

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    1. Sometimes our planned itinerary never realize, hahaha which I prefer coz many surprises happens.

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  65. The castle....that is one hell of an attraction to visit whenever I am in Japan! So beautiful.

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  66. We have never been to Matsumoto but would love to during cherry blossoms seasons. It would be a wonderful to stroll around these castle grounds. We will definitely consider this during our future trips. Thank you for sharing.

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  67. Matsumoto castle looks amazing! I want to see it at night with bright lights! So romantic!

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    1. That is amazing! Watching it makes me teary-eyed for unknown reason.

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  68. Matsumo looks so peaceful - just the kind of place I would seek out for some rest and relaxation. I have not heard of it but now its on my radar. I would love to try the Shirahane Onsen - do you wear bathing suits or is that not allowed ?

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    1. You can never wear any clothing when using an onsen, because the clothes brings dirt to the onsen pool.

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  69. I'd love to try wasabi ice cream! I adore wasabi peas, so I think I'd like it. The architecture is so pretty there, too - those roofs always get me!! <3

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  70. Kristine Nicole AlessandraSeptember 17, 2019 at 6:38 AM

    Japan is high up on my travel bucket list. I hope I can visit it in my lifetime! That wasabi ice cream is a must try for me! And the Shirahone Onsen hot spring! I am so amazed at how that water looks like. Never seen anything like that before!

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  71. I am adding this to my list! Looks like a beautiful place!!

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  72. Such lovely photos, would love to visit! Japan looks so enticing with so much beauty everywhere.

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    1. This is one of the few places and many more to explore soon!

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  73. Well, I too agree that travel helps to recover the mundane of daily life. Matsumoto looks like a great place to visit. And you have introduced us with the culture of the place with this article. I have wanted to visit most of the southeast Asian countries, but Japan never had really been on my mind. But of late, I have read a lot about Japan and want to visit there as well. And now Matsumoto will definitely be on the list.

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    1. Asia have many wonders, and each country is unique. Please visit Japan, and add it to your bucket list. You'll never regret it.

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  74. I wish I could go to Japan someday in my life. Matsumoto seems a nice place to visit. Thanks for sharing your travelling experience with us.

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  75. WOW how amazing!! I want to go there right now. that ice cream looks super lush and yummy too xx

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    1. That's true, you may opt to go crazy and add sushi on it, lol

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  76. Wow, this place looks absolutely stunning. Added in my bucket list

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  77. Your photos looks so stunning. I would love to visit this destination some day. The castle looks super beautiful!

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