I heard two good news for foreign travelers to Matsumoto.
One is a new ATM machine has been installed in the tourist information center at one block south of Matsumoto Castle. You can withdraw Japanese yen by your international cash or credit card as well as ATMs in Seven-Eleven convenience stores and post offices.
See this PDF leaflet for the details.
Another is new bus service to Utsukushigahara Heights. Until last year, a bus to the Utsukushigahara Heights Art Museum operated only early August to mid-August. This year, another direct bus to Utsukushigahara Heights operates weekend of June 18 to Sep 19 and everyday of July 25 to August 31. It departs from the Alps (west) Exit of the station at 8:00 and 13:30 (twice per day).
This March, Matsumoto City installed free Wi-fi at 11 major sightseeing spots.
See this map to find the spots and here for the SSID and the condition of use.
Please look for the following symbol mark to find the wi-fi spots.
At the same time, we optimized the screen of this site for smart phones and also developed a new Google map page
to make it easier to find your destination, restaurants, shops and hotels.
“Matsumoto Concierge” is a civic volunteer group guiding tourists from JR Matsumoto Station and the downtown tourist information booth.
“The Castle Town: Matsumoto Concierge Map” was created by “Matsumoto Concierge” members after numerous discussions, and the most useful, often unwritten, tourist information has been selected.
Recommended restaurants with price range, availabilities of credit cards, free wi-fi and English menus, and the locations for free bicycle pick-up, convenience stores, drug stores, banks, coin lockers, camera equipment stores are addressed on the map. Since all the spots, shops and restaurants introduced on the map are selected by the locos (Matsumotorian), the short comments tell real stories of Matsumoto.
This unique and very useful map is provided at the major hotels and inns in the downtown area, and will be distributed at the “Matsumoto Concierge” booth which is located in front of the wicket gate of JR Matsumoto station during tourist season starting from this golden week.
However, the number of the map is very limited, it may not be available to every tourist who will visit Matsumoto in this year.
Please download the map image from ⇒ “Matsumoto Concierge Map“, so you can install in the tablets of yours and use them while strolling the town.
Have lots of fun along with this handy information!
According to the blossom forecasts for cherry trees this year, best timing to visit Matsumoto castle will be April 9th to 16th.
“Yozakura kai (night sakura viewing festival)” will be held during the season, free admission to the castle’s inner garden (can not enter in the castle’s keep at night, though) .
There will be traditional tea ceremony services (500 yen), live performance of flute, Japanese traditional instruments such as “koto (琴）” and the ancient court music “gagaku (雅楽）”, as well as various food service inside of the garden.
This is Really useful info for Tourists traveling in the top half of Japan.
Matsumoto Castle is now nominated for “General Election” of “TDFK47” as a representative of Nagano Prefecture in the tourist website Trip Advisor.
It is a parody of the “General Election” of AKB48, the top idol group in Japan. The photo of the spot that got the most votes will be used as “Center” in the Trip Advisor. You can “vote” just by pushing “Like” button if you have your Facebook account.
There are 47 prefectures in Japan and our Matsumoto Castle is selected as a representative because it has been the most popular sightseeing spot in Nagano Prefecture in the site.
Matsumoto Castle and Japan Alps in winter
The election is until 23rd, Dec. Now Nagano Pref (Matsumoto Castle) is getting the most votes (the second is Hokkaido).
The webpage is in Japanese. Matsumoto Castle (松本城) of Nagano Pref (長野県) is located in the 10th row, the left column.
Please vote if you like Matsumoto Castle or Nagano Prefecture!
This coming Sunday, “International Cultural Festival” is going to be held at M – Wing in Matsumoto downtown.
There, visitors can savor various international foods prepared by Shinshu University International Student Association members.
Not only exploring dietary cultures, you are able to experience different music, dance, fashion, and workshops in one place on that day.
Venue: M-Wing, Matsumoto downtown about １５０ meters west from PARCO department store.
Date: June 23rd Sunday from 11:30 ~ 17:00
FREE ADMISSION (food tickets are sold at the venue)
Now carrying a tablet PC such as an iPad and/or a smart phone has become a normal style of travelling abroad. But, 3G Internet connection abroad is expensive and there are few free Wi-Fi spots in Japan. Most Wi-Fi services need registration or mail certification through a screen in Japanese and/or fees.
Perfectly free Wi-Fi service without any registration nor fee is now available at Kurasshic-kan, a landmark of Nakamachi Street. You can connect Wi-Fi in a open public space, a tea room (electric wave is weak, open 10:00 – 17:00 (10:30 – 16:00 in winter)), and a square in front of it, from 8:00 till 22:00.
Kurasshic-kan's public space (left) and a tea room (right)
Some other places in Matsumoto such as cafes offer Wi-Fi servcice. One of them I know is a cheep cafe restaurant with a good view on the 10th floor of Toko City Hotel in front of the Matsumoto Station.
In and near the Tourist Information Center in front of the Hotaka Station which is a gateway to the Wasabi Farm also offers perfectly free Wi-Fi service.
The 17th Matsumoto Theater Festival 2012
October 26th Friday ~ 28th Sunday
Yataimura (a group of food booths) is going to be set outside Piccadilly Theater.
Enjoy the plays by 8 different theaters. All theatrical companies have been performing in Nagano and their performances have been well-received by theatrical circles.
Ticket is １，０００ yen per performance, yet if keep the first ticket after the theatergoing, show the used ticket you will get the half price ticket for the next show.
or Get ２days Passport Ticket for ２，０００ yen. You can view all performance for this Passport tickets.
Theater performance will be good way to understand Japanese language since actors always speak with exaggerated tones and gestures in Japanese. Not only that the themes for the dramas are usually picked from the general conception of actual people. If you have some time to spare it will be nice to see performance art here in Matsumoto.