is located in Nagano Prefecture on Honshu, the main island of Japan. This picturesque castle town is nestled between the Japanese Alps and Utsukushigahara Heights (meaning "beautiful plateau"). Matsumoto boasts a surprisingly metropolitan atmosphere while maintaining historical sites and traditions. The streets are clean and the people are friendly. The region is famous for delicious apples and soba (buckwheat noodles), and is the birth place of the contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama as well as the Suzuki music method.
Every season offers a different allure to Matsumoto, which is Nagano prefecture's prettiest destination, year-round. In spring, watch cherry blossoms complement the black roof of the 400-year-old castle with a backdrop of snowy mountains. In summer, enjoy the cool breeze of a day hiking in Utsukushigahara Heights and an evening watching Seiji Ozawa conduct at the world class Saito Kinen Festival. In autumn, go apple picking or watch the leaves change while hiking through Kamikochi in the Central Mountains National Park. Then enjoy local soba and sake at a moon viewing party at the castle. In winter, enjoy skiing at the three high altitude resorts before relaxing in one of the many fine onsens (hot springs).
Centrally located, Matsumoto is a gateway to Kamikochi, Takayama City, and Utsukushigahara Heights.
Enjoy the allure of Matsumoto and experience a place of breathtaking nature, fine music and rich culture - truly a taste of Japan that all travellers will want to discover. No matter what kind of Japan you want to find, make sure you put Matsumoto on your list of 'must visit'!