The Official Tourism Site of Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
The Matsumoto Welcomes You website has been renewed and is now Visit Matsumoto (! We are still working on fixing a few problems and you may notice some links do not work yet. We will fix them as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

About Editors

Meet the People Behind this Site!

Jim George

Jim's picture

I first came to Matsumoto in 1990, and have been losing hair here ever since.
I own an English school, teach & also examine all over the country; Matsumoto is the home I love.
If I have any freetime I like to take my camera for a walk & explore - there are still lots of nooks & crannies I haven't found yet.
Favourite things to do?
Having a beer with friends in a yakitori bar, thinking about nothing at all in an onsen, shouting at England playing badly on TV (any sport!)

John Koons

John's picture

I am originally from Philadelphia, USA, and have been living in Matsumoto for a few years.
I enjoy biking, skiing, yoga and Japan's best soba.
I teach English privately around the Matsumoto area and also teach part-time at a couple of universities.

Milton Beattie

Milton's picture

I am from New Zealand.
I've lived in Matsumoto for about 3 years Teaching English.
I'm Married with a kid.
I first came to Japan late last millennium on holiday to Japan and China.
I have travelled around a fair few of the sights of Japan since then and now call Japan home.

Akira Matsuo (Japanese, Project Leader, Nickname:Andy)

Andy's Picture

I was born in Osaka and moved to Nagoya, then, Tokyo.
There I founded my company MT Laboratories. I moved both my residence and company to Matsumoto in 1998. Living in this beautiful and healthy area ("Shinshu" in Japanese) was one of my dreams.
My company's business is translation services and web/software development including machine translation systems. So, I am managing the systems and contents of this website and some other multilingual official tourism websites with my coworkers. We are also operating the Japanese site of tourist information including onsens, events, of Nagano prefecture.

Sayaka:NanaAkua (Japanese, Designer)

Sayaka's Picture

I am originally from Matsumoto. I have also lived in Tokyo, Canada, and Ghana, but now finally I've returned to my home town. I am a proud member of the Matsumoto Expedition League, along with all my friends.
We're not a real league of explorers; I just like to call us that. We walk down alleyways, take pictures, and eat local snacks, bla bla bla... Enjoying Matsumoto is really our only mission. If you want to join just come to Matsumoto and enjoy yourself. You'll become a member automatically!
My occupation is communications design―I design absolutely anything that is necessary for good communications. That's one of the things that makes me very happy to be involved in the Matsumoto Welcome Project.  I hope it can help you to enjoy the Matsumoto area as much as I certainly do.

Ken Masuyama (Japanese)

I’m from Tokyo and first came to Matsumoto as a 23-year-old to work in the Northern Alps. Mt Yari brought me here. Earlier this year I set up "NAGAKNOW" a by monthly Free English magazine about life in Nagano, with the help of some wonderful friends and some great contributors. The magazine shares the same purpose as the Shin-Matsu website; namely to support visitors from overseas. It's a great pleasure to be part of this project.
I have experience of traveling/living abroad and enjoy language exchange or discussion with people from other countries. So I truly appreciate this opportunity to be a Shin-Matsu member because I can meet a lot of different people and enjoy life in Matsumoto with them.
BTW, Matsumoto is a really good size to live in. It’s not so big but not so small, not so backwoods but not such a big city. You will find not only traditional/historical culture but also modern. You’ll see amazing historical buildings in the city centre whilst still remaining just a few minutes drive away from rural Japan. There were enough reasons for me to decide to settle down here with my family, so I hope that at the least our information helps you enjoy your visit to this interesting city, Matsumotoooo!!
NAGAKNOW is based in Matsumoto but expanding to Hakuba, Nagano, Kiso and Ina. Moreover, it has a delivery base in Tokyo and Kyoto. It aims to reach out to foreign residents in Nagano, international visitors and also Japanese people with an interest in English. The magazine just started running in April of this year.

Rico Kishida (Japanese)

I am happy and delighted to be able to help Welcome Matsumoto project as a native Matsumotorian(?) who studied fine art in Salt Lake City, U.S. for about 7 yrs.
I’ve been teaching English, translating and interpreting here in Matsumoto for more than 10 yrs. Sometimes I create some (unnecessary & fun) objects in my free time.
I also like to wear Maiko & Geisha (Japanese traditional woman entertainer) costume for fun (as shown in the picture here). My first volunteer experience was ’98 Nagano Olympic – the last Olympic games in the 20th century, where I was working as an interpreter at the ice hockey stadium.
I like living in Matsumoto – beautiful country side with history, culture and precious natural environment. Try my best to provide practical and interesting information for the people who visit my home town.

Masano Inukai (Japanese)

I was born in Matsumoto and moved to Azumino as a child. Comparing Matsumoto with Azumino, Matsumoto is bigger than Azumino, so transportation and shopping is more convenient. Kamikochi is my favorite place in Nagano prefecture. If the weather is fine, you can see a wonderful view in Kamikochi! My hobby is communicating with foreigners. I hope I can meet various people through this web site.

Tana Benzon - proof reader (Inactive, now in South Africa)

Tana is from South Africa and has been living in Matsumoto for the last two years. At present she is teaching English at Luna International, a little school along the banks of the Metoba River. She loves the small town vibe of this city and is enjoying her life here very much.

Yukari Michelle M (Japanese)

Welcome!! I'm Yukari Michelle, an interpreter for English pages. I'm from Tokyo, and I've lived in Matsumoto for about 10 years and worked for a company as a testing engineer. I love this beautiful area, Matsumoto, and enjoy living here with my sweet husband and a beautiful 2-year-old son. Have a lovely moment visiting Matsumoto!

Sodai Taira (Japanese)

I am originally from Okinawa prefecture. I have finished my 11 years of education over in Australia and started new life in Matsumoto city since the beginning of 2010. My daily life in this city is a brand new experience for me.
I can guarantee you that Matsumoto city is a worthwhile visiting place with the oldest Japanese castle “Matsumoto-jou” and the world famous Japan Alps resort “Kamikochi”. Although I don’t have much experience in Matsumoto, I will do my best to keep introducing hot & memorable spots that you can enjoy and have a safe trip.

Liza Springmeyer (Inactive, now in US)

Liza's picture

I have been in Matsumoto since August 2006, and have been keeping very busy. I bike everywhere snow or shine.
I live in a small 100 year old storage house that has been converted into an apartment, and I work at two Jr High Schools and City Hall.
My parents came to Matsumoto on an exchange visit nearly 30 years ago. They had such a wonderful time they ended up getting married in a local shrine. Thus, I am a product of this amazing place and I hope that this web site can help spread the love.

Luke (Inactive)

I'm originally from Houston, Texas, in the United States.  I live just outside Matsumoto, translating and interpreting and trying out every lunch special in the city one by one.  In my free time I like to hit the books and read a bit in a cafe, or hit the ice in my hockey skates.  I've been in Japan for much of the last four years and I'm happy to call such a beautiful part of the country my home.


Matsumoto’s Character

We all hope your time in Matsumoto is enjoyable and productive.
It has so much to offer and we hope we have been of use in sharing that with you.

- From the Project Team