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!
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Garbage Sorting App “threeR” – Free Download!

Constantly baffled by the complexity of Japan’s garbage sorting? Now there’s a free app to help you figure out how to properly dispose of your garbage.


Called threeR (reduce, reuse, recycle) or さんあ~る, the free app is available for download via the App Store (iOS 8.0 or higher) or Google Play (Android OS 4.0 or higher). Matsumoto City is officially registered on the app.

After downloading the app choose “New Registration”, select “Nagano Prefecture”, then select “Matsumoto City”. After that, select your district and agree to the terms of service, and you’re all set!

Although some notices will appear in Japanese, you’ll find a calendar of when to take out certain items and charts detailing how to dispose of different types of garbage and recyclables written in English.



While you may still need to carry your trash around with you due to the utter lack of public garbage cans, when you do finally happen upon that oasis of trash receptacles, hopefully you’ll be a little less confused about what goes where!

Even More Free Rental Bikes Now Available for Tourists

Did you know you can rent bicycles for free in places all over Matsumoto? If you’re planning a day in the central part of the city, bicycles are one of the best – and most flexible – ways to get around. Matsumoto even has designated bike lanes on its main roads, so you don’t need to fight with pedestrians for riding space!

Rental bikes at Matsumoto Station bicycle parking lot

The new rental bikes at Matsumoto Station bicycle parking lot

Eighteen brand new rental bikes (photo above) have been added to the free bike pool offered by the Sui Sui Town public bike service. These new bikes are available at the bicycle parking outside Matsumoto Station’s Castle Exit (East Exit) and the North Bicycle Parking Area just a short walk from the station. The rental service is available from 9 AM to 5 PM, but you can return the bikes up until 9 PM.

The get to the Sui Sui Town right outside the station, simply walk to the right of Matsumoto Station’s Castle Exit toward the car lottery. You will see a bicycle parking lot to the left by the main road, which is where the rental bikes are located. Ask the attendant about the bikes. (See Google Map)

Matsumoto Station Bike Parking

Matsumoto Station Bike Parking

The Sui Sui Town at the North Bike Parking Area is can be tricky to find. To get there, immediately turn left from Matsumoto Station’s Castle Exit and walk down the sidewalk (do not cross the street). Turn left down the alley immediately before the Super Hotel Matsumoto and you will see an indoor bike parking lot, which is where the rentals are located. Again, ask the attendant about the bikes. (See Google Map)

North Bicycle Parking Area

North Bicycle Parking Area

One word of caution: The free bikes at the station tend to be completely rented out during busy times like the weekends. However, there are several other spots that also offer free rentals not too far from the station, including the car parking lot on Nakamachi Street, the “M Wing” near Parco, and the Matsumoto City Museum near the castle. See a map of rental bike locations on this page (also includes English information about Sui Sui Town toward the bottom) and more info on transportion in general here.

Cycling roads in the city

Cycling roads in the city

If you do run out of luck and can’t find a bicycle available to rent, Matsumoto is definitely compact enough that you can see many of the best sights on foot. You can also use the convenient Town Sneaker buses. But if you really want an extra classy ride, keep an eye out for Matsumoto’s one and only rickshaw puller! (He is often found at or around Matsumoto Castle).

For the best tour of Matsumoto, take a rickshaw ride!

For the best tour of Matsumoto, take a rickshaw ride!

Nakamachi Japanese Culture Event

Disaster/Emergency Warnings and Safety Tips App

Yesterday morning, when a missile passed over the northern part of Japan, 12 prefectures were alerted via their areas’ emergency alert systems which included sirens and warnings via mobile phones.
In light of this, we wanted to direct visitors and residents of Matsumoto to information and resources that may be of use to you during an emergency.
Please note that we are not experts and cannot bear any responsibility in the event of a disaster or emergency or for any loss or damage resulting from the use of third party websites or applications.

Although Japan is a relatively safe country, there is still a chance that you may find yourself awoken by a siren and/or a warning alarm coming from your phone.

Sirens: Typically, sirens are accompanied by loud speaker announcements that indicate what the sirens are being sounded for.
If you don’t hear any announcement accompanying the sound of siren, the chances are that the warning is not emergency related as sirens are sometimes used to indicate that it is a certain time.

Phone warnings: Warnings may appear on your phone for disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and landslides. These warnings will indicate how you should react including if you should seek shelter or evacuate. Please see the information below on an app that will provide warnings in English, simplified and traditional Chinese, and Korean.


Information Resources:

 Safety Tips App

The Safety Tips app is a free app created by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).  It is a push-enabled app that was originally designed to issue warnings for events including earthquakes and tsunamis. The app offers other functions in addition the warning function such as communication cards. It will allow you to add up to five locations that you would like to receive warnings for. Find out more about the app here. You can download the app via the JNTO or search for “Safety Tips” in your app store.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)

The JMA provides information on natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Their Emergency Warning System is detailed here and more information can be found on their homepage.

General Advice:

  • In most cases, you should not run outside during an earthquake. You may be hit by falling debris, so try to wait until the shaking stops.
  • If an earthquake occurs and you’re near the coast, move inland. Objects can be swept away in even shallow water.
  • If you are on or near a volcano and notice trembling or smoke, leave the area.
  • If there is heavy rainfall, either suddenly or continuously, and you are near a mountainous area, move away from the mountains, especially if you are near an area with few trees, which may be more susceptible to landslides.

Good news: ATM for foreign C/Cards and Bus to Utsukushigahara

I heard two good news for foreign travelers to Matsumoto.

ATMPhotoOne 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).

11 Free Wi-fi Spots, Smartphone Screen, New Map Page are Available Now

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.

Smartphone Screen

Smartphone Screen

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 Map” will be distributed

“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!

Come to see our gorgeous cherry blossoms!

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.

Free WiFi in North/Eastern half of Japan for tourists. 14 Days.

This is Really useful info for Tourists traveling in the top half of Japan.

Matsumoto Castle Nominated for General Election of “TDFK47” in Trip Advisor

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!

Matsumoto Street Performance 2013

July 14th Sunday, you will be a witness  of  marvelous & amazing performances in the whole town of Matsumoto.
Matsumoto Street Performance takes place biennially in Matsumoto downtown.

(All these amazing photos are from Matsumoto  Machinaka Daidogei Executive Committee.)

33 best professional & semi-professional performers from all over the world congregate for just one day!

It is very easy to find these astonishing artists on the street!  All you need is “JUST BE THERE”!!

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