The Official Tourism Site of Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
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My Time in Matsumoto (Guest's Blog)

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The guestbook has 642 messages     

127 2015/3/2 Questions about winter activities
Hi, I am visiting Matsumoto for the second time next week (3/5) and bringing my family along for their first time in Japan. This will be my first time visiting in the winter and was wondering if there are any hiking / trails available during this season that is reasonably accessible from Matsumoto. I loved hiking Kamikouchi and the utsukushiigahara Alps but I heard they are all closed until April. Our stay is 1 night and we plan on doing Matsumoto castle, Is there any other activities you would recommend for our short stay? Thanks in advance!

Note of webmaster: Um.. Many visitors want to know hiking though this is not a season for hike. Please refer to others' questions and my answers (Hiking around Matsumoto late march - early april from Maren and Hiking Mid-April from Riccardo). Especially a trail between Joyama Park to Alps Park is nice and close. If you can snowshoe or x-country ski, Norikura Norikura Plateau is best.
Another alternative is visiting world-famous Jigokudani Hot Spring (Snow Monkey), about three hours distance from Matsumoto. It is also a 1 hour hike course.
Or, the Nakasendo Trail between Tsumago and Magome old post towns is also very popular among foreign travelers.
If you can be satisfied by a flat "walking" course, the Narai old post town of Nakasendo is closer from Matsumoto.
- Andy

126 2015/2/15 Name of Potter at Stationery Nomado on Nakamachi Street?
Mark Huey 
Could you tell me the name of the potter who sells his work at Stationery Nomado on Nakamachi Street. We purchased a tea bowl there in Nov. 2014 but I do not know his name. Thanks! I'm also interested in knowing what kind of glaze he uses to make the bowl light blue.

Note of webmaster: Hello Mark,
I asked Nomado. Probably the potter is Makio Hiragata. The light blue tea blowl's glaze is made by powder of feldspar contaning SiO much, natural straw ash, and china clay (1:2:1). But, it is difficult to make the color, he said.
I hope this info helps your pottery.
- Andy

125 2015/1/26 Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival
Does anyone know the 2015 dates for the Hideo Saito Festival - recently renamed Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival?

Note of webmaster: Hi Karen,
Not fixed but the current planned schedule seems to be Aug 20 to Sep 10.
- Andy

124 2015/1/6 Trying to contact friend
Hi everyone,

I have a friend named Sean Vella who lives in Matsumoto. He teaches English at a private academy. I'm trying to get in touch with him. However, his old e-mail address is no longer valid. My e-mail address is
If you know him, will you let him know for me. Thanks so much. bill & Ye-mi

123 2014/12/31 Property Release
Does anybody know if I need a property release in order to use an image of Matsumoto Castle on a book cover? If I do, who do I ask permission from?

Note of webmaster: Hi, I asked an officer of Matsumoto Castle Management Office. He said probably no permission procedure is required but tell a person in charge (Mr. Maekawa) about your book and photo. I think you had better send the draft of your book's cover page to the Management Office in the Castle or e-mail me (
- Andy

122 2014/8/15 English tour of castle on Thursday August 21st for three adults
Brian Angle 
My family loves history and we wanted to hire need be a great tour guide for the castle and city if possible. We are staying at the hotel Tamanou. I can be reached at

We also love any local guided tours that might be available including a guided food tour, walking tour of city, etc

Note of webmaster: Dear Brian san
Thank you for your message. About guided tour, I am going to send your e-mail address.
Rico Kishida from Matsumoto welcomes you!

Dear Brian san:
I've sent you an e-mail to your address, but your remote host has been blocking the mail. The failure notice says, "Comcast block for spam".

Here are some idea for the historical tour in Matsumoto CIty.

Downtown sightseeing spots:
【castle tour】
There are some volunteer tour guides at the castle gate who know history of
Matsumoto castle. They always set a tent in front of the castle main gate
waiting for the tourists.

【Nenraiji temple's bell tower】(800 meters, 0.5 mile from the castle)
Important cultural property of Nagano prefecture, built in 1705.

【Fukashi Shrine】(1.1 kilo meters from the castle)
Matsumoto castle's guardian deity, said to be there since 1339.

【Nakamachi Kurassic kan】(550 meters from the castle)
Edo period's merchant's house. On Nakamachi street, you can see many old
warehouses and merchants' buildings.

City sightseeing spots (more than 2 kms away from the castle)
【Harizuka Tumulus】
Mid-5th century funeral mound (3.3 kms)

【Koboyama Tumulus】(3.7 kms)
Late- 3rd century ancient mound

【Tsukama Shrine】(2.1 kms)
The oldest wooden construction in the city.

【Yamabe School Museum of History and Folklore】(3.3 kms)
Built in 1886, the second oldest elementary school in Matsumoto.
The oldest elementary school is Kaichi School (built in 1876), near the castle.

【Matsumoto City Museum of Archaeology】(6.4 kms)
Jomon era (B.C. 14000~) to Kofun era(~A.D.538)'s historical evidences.

【Open Air Architectural Museum】(3.5 kms)
Right next to Ukiyoe Museum

Please tell me your ideal plans and members who is going to join the tour.

121 2014/7/16 Fall Color at Kamikochi 1500 meters up

Can anyone tell me when in Oct Nov the best time for fall colors in the mountains. I know it is up higher so I am guessing 3-4th week Oct or maybe 1st week in Nov is best.


Note of webmaster: Hi, DeanHosh
You are almost correct.
In 2012, 2nd-4th weeks in Oct were the peak season. In 2013, it was 3rd-4th. I think larch tree leaves are still beautiful in 1st in Nov.
- Andy

120 2014/5/25 Baseball
I see Matsumoto has a baseball stadium- when are the games on and how much is entry? If there is a schedule in English I could look at that would be much appreciated!

Note of webmaster: Hello, Chaz.
Matsumoto Stadium is one of the home fields of Shinano Grandserows.
The club joins BC League, an independent baseball league consisting of 6 teams in Central Japan.
And, the Serows' manager is Mr. Akinori Otsuka, the former closer of San Diego Padres.
I can only find Japanese team/league schedules online.
In this 2014 season, they will hold the following games in Matsumoto:
Wed, May 28, at 6 pm, vs. Orix Buffaloes' 2nd team
Sat, June 7, at 1 pm, vs. Gunma Diamand Pegasus
Fri, June 20, at 6 pm, vs. Fukui Miracle Elephants
Tue, July 29, at 6 pm, vs. Niigata Albirex Baseball Club
Sun, Aug. 10, at 1 pm, vs. Niigata Albirex Baseball Club

On-the-day tickets are available at the park for 1,200 yen per adult.
The attendance at each BC League game is around 500 to 2,000 people, which is far less than the stadium capacity.
Other than Serows' games, preliminary prefectural tournament games for the National High School Baseball Championship are scheduled to be held between July 12 and 27.

119 2014/4/29 4/29/2014 event
Thank you, Andy! I went there today to see it for the first time. It was interesting and very enjoyable. どうもありがとうございました。

118 2014/4/29 4/29/2014 event
Does anyone know what time the harquebuses shooting event will begin at Matsumoto Castle today?

Note of webmaster: Hi, Shirley, long time no see.
From 11:00 to 11:30 and 13:30 to 14:00.
Have a nice golden week!
- Andy

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