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

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33 2007/10/6 Matsumoto city: Marumo and Seifuso, which one??
I couldn't decide between Marumo Ryokan and Roykan Seifuso in Matsumoto. Anyone has any suggestions?

Ryokan Seifuso has a good website and looked very English speaking friendly. However it is not exactly downtown. As we're planning to drop off our luggage first thing in the morning when we arrive, (before we go visit the castle) Marumo Ryokan is only 15 mins walking distance from the Matsumoto JR station. Besides, Marumo looked like a place with more character. But I'm not sure if they have a nice accomodation because there is no picture. I don't know if they have a bath or a shower??
For distance and character , I would pick Rarumo. But I don't know enough about it to know if it is a good place to stay. For comfort and English friendliness, I would pick Seifuso even though it's further away.

Anyone can give me more information about these two ryokans( especially Marumo) would be greatly appreciated!

1) Do either of them allow luggage drop off before check in time?
2) Which one has a better bath area?
3) Which one is cleaner?
4) Which one has better food?
5) Do you know if they serve good breakfast??

I also heard there is curfew. If anyone know what time is the curfew for both roykan that would be awesome!


Note of webmaster: Comment 2 From another editor.
We reccommend Seifuso overall for the following reasons
-They allow early luggage drop off. (Both do).
-You should survive OK with English there.
-There is a traditional Japanese style joint bathing area a must if haven't already been to Japan. Marumo does too but it seems to be a little cramped. Eticate for onsen applies.
-Marumo would seem to be definately a lot more classic it dates back to 1868. Link here to web page
- Private shower booths are also available.
- Toilets are in some but not all rooms mention this if required when booking.
-They speak moderate English but prefer e-mail reservation requests.
-Toilets are all western style at both ryokans.
-Seifuso provides dinner, Marumo doesn't.
-Beakfast is at additional cost at both Ryokans. Marumo is a typical Japanese grilled fish and side dish type breakfast. Seifuso have both Japanese and western style that comes with drinks juice coffee etc included.
Marumo doesn't take credit cards. Seifuso does.
No curfew at Seifuso. Marumo's curfew is 11:00pm (if you call and ask before, it can be later)
Seifuso can pick up guests from the Railway staion between 3-5 PM and 7-8 PM.
Perhaps you could put your luggage in a Railway statiopn locker for the day until you get picked up in the afternoon or evening.

Next step I suggest is an e-mail your chosen Ryokan I suggest Seifuso for an easy stay for a foreigner. But Marumo is very convenient to downtown and a very genuine old Japanese style ryokan.

The Choice is yours Charmaine!
Milton n Maki
Comment 1
I don't know the answers to all of your questions, but I think that the most important thing to keep in mind is the different location and thus atmosphere of the two inns. Roykan Seifuso is a very homey place a little way out of the city center next to the river. While Marumo Ryokan is right downtown and a bit smaller. I think that you would be happy with both it just depends what you are looking for. I know Seifuso well and highly recommend it. I have never seen the rooms or bathrooms at Marumo but the cafe is wonderful and one of my favorites in town.
Hope this helps,

32 2007/9/26 Luggage Storage for Stopover
We would like to stopover to see Matsumoto Castle on our way to Takayama. Like to know if there are luggage storage (large 29inch hardcase & 1 large backpack) near the JR Matsumoto Station so that we can go around luggage-free.

We will be taking the highway KEIO bus to Matsumoto. However, we cannot find the timetable for connecting bus to Takayama. Please help!

Thanks a million!

Note of webmaster: Junie (and all travellers),

You can find the bus timetable here:

If you ask the bus people very nicely when you arrive (inside and downstairs from where the bus drops you off - follow the tickets sign) they may be able to help you. No guarantee - smile & look a bit lost?!

There are coin lockers at the train station, literally across the road; various sizes but I'm afraid I haven't taken a tape measure to any.

Enjoy your stay and post your impressions?

31 2007/9/15 studying Japanese in Matsumoto
Shirley Delsart 
I have been studying Japanese off and on for a number of years, but still consider myself a beginner, maybe high beginner. I've decided that it's time to get serious and come back to Japan, specifically to Matsumoto to study in a Japanese language course for one semester or maybe longer. Can you give me some websites to check out? Does Shinshu Univ. offer Japanese language courses to the general public? Thanks for your help.


Note of webmaster: Re: Japanese language course in Matsumoto city

Hi! Shirley.
Unfortunately, Japanese language courses in Shinshu University are only available for the regular university students.Shinshu University Japanese Class Info
However, a private institution, Marunouchi College of Business Marunouchi Japanese Course offers 2-year course and 3-month intensive course. Since it's a small business school in down town Matsumoto,Marunouchi Business Location it will be convenient for the people without cars. Please check out !!
Good luck and hope to see you in Matsumoto soon.

30 2007/9/9 I miss Matsumoto!
Cutenekko (Selinda) 
I lived in Matsumoto for three years (from 1999-2001). It's a lovely city with friendly people. Some things I enjoyed while there were:
1) Bon Odori dance during Obon (around Aug.14~16th). Local people form groups and perform the Matsumoto dance all through the streets. Anyone can join in!
2) Cafe Abe (from the train station, go up the big main street. It's near the Yamaha music school on the right). Try the mocha parfait there...yum!
3) Take a local train out to Hotaka or Azumino (to see an IMAX screen, glass museum, u-pick farms, etc.)
4) Go skiing in Hakuba (I took the local train and then a free bus from Shin-Omachi Station to my favorite hill, Kashimayari)
5)Frog Street along the Metoba's been completely refurbished. I especially loved the Edo(?) style police box!

To Matthew: You'll love Matsumoto! Small town and friendly people. Great music scene there too! Check out Hot Lab near the station!

Note of webmaster: Come back Selinda!

29 2007/9/6 Alpine Route
Hi again Milton! Thank you for the information re forwarding luggage and for all the trouble you took to find out for us. We appreciate it very much. It certainly seems that it will be quite easy for us to do this, and hence we will be able to take the Alpine Route to Toyama. Thanks again for your wonderful help! Christine

28 2007/9/6 Place to stay
Mona Bonde 
Wow I am looking forward visiting Matsumoto after reading this site.
Could you please help me. Are there any youth hostels in Matsumoto or other cheep places to stay???
2 persons: 2 october to 7 october. greeting from Mona

Note of webmaster: Hi Mona,

Please look through our "Accommodation" pages. A Youth Hostel can be found in the "Accommodation Directory - Asama Onsen" page, but, one of our editors recommends other places such as a guesthouse called "Kaze no Yasuyado" in "Accommodation Directory - Downtown" page and "Ryokan Seifuso" in "Accommodation Directory - Downtown Ryokan".

Enjoy your trip!

Akira Matsuo (partly, Sayaka)

27 2007/8/28 Alpine Route
Hi and thanks for the wonderful website. We are visiting Matsumoto in late October and are wondering about doing the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, and then travelling on to Kanazawa. Is it possible to have our luggage forwarded from Matsumoto to either Tateyama or Toyama? I have read that such a service exists in Japan and it would be great if we didnt have to carry our bags with us. We are looking forward to our stay. Many thanks.

Note of webmaster: Hi Christine.
Sorry about the slow response
The Webmaster has found 2 options for you.
I suspect the first will suit you best.
There is a courier service from Japan's version of FedEx that can do the job. They have an English website
The luggage would be sent to the destination (hotel) by the next day. That may mean you have to arrange a receiver if you are not there at the time it comes. To avoid that you could pick it up from the Toyama Depot or a convenience store close to your destination. I recommend the Convenience store pick up option if it can be arranged.
I have called the courier company and am awaiting their reply. Hopefully I can confirm some possibilities for you. And update this post.
Update. Just got called by Kuroneko to hear...You can also select the date of delivery with in 7 days of sending luggage. That should help with delivery arrangments when you are available.

Option 2 if you can handle Japanese, is to carry luggage from Matsumoto to Shinano Oomachi by yourself, and then use a luggage sending service from (Japanese web page) to Toyama. The luggage could then be sent to Toyama station or hotel by 16:00pm if you left it at Shinano Oomachi station (Alps Roman-kan) by 11:10 am. Again you need to arrange someone to receive it.

I recommend the first service as it is flexible on times and can take your gear anywhere in Japan and practically the world. (If you want to fly some stuff home to Aussie it could be of use.)

Steps for first Service
* You will need details of destination etc. Get the address details of the hotel you are staying at or the nearest convenience store to it that receive Kuro Neko (Black Cat) deliveries.
*Print out instructions on web page here
And for filling in address forms here
*Take gear to Convenience store Fill out address form with date to be delivered and send it.
*make sure you can find the destination store get a map printed of your destination area before you go.
Hopefully that should help.
If you need further help let us know.

Regards Milton

26 2007/8/14 Thanks muchly!
Thanks to all of those who've worked on this site to provide so much information about Matsumoto. I will be moving to Matsumoto next month to teach English, and I've found more useful and interesting information here than I've been able to find anywhere else, including guidebooks. Keep up the good work!

25 2007/8/4 Guitar shops in Matsumoto
Hi! Are there any guitar shops in Matsumoto? I dreadfully need it!!! I'll be there for business trip on Sep 07. Please email me if there is. Thanks a lot

Note of webmaster: Lee,

I’ve asked around and apparently Matsumoto has a few good musical instrument shops and a guitar specialty shop as well as a factory. The guitar specialty shop is "Guitar Shop SPECIALS their web site is and the store is a 5 minute walk north of the station. Matsumoto also has the Fujigen Guitar factory which has an online shop and they may
sell guitars directly in the factory.

There is also an instrument shop on the 5th or 6th floor of Parco (see the shopping section for details). This is a chain store called Shimamura. There is another one near the station. To get there, take Ekimae-dori (see the map) straight east out of the Matsumoto train station. In the second block from the station there is a Tully’s coffee and a fountain and then you will find a specialty foods shop called Treasure Market. The shop is on the second floor above Treasure Market and it is called Oguchi Gakki.

Best of luck and let us know if there is anything else we can do to help with your trip.


24 2007/7/17 Thanks
I will be going to Matsumoto next week to teach English. your site has given me a lot of valuable info.

Thanks very much !

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