VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Marvelous Matsumoto, Japan

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Marvelous Matsumoto, Japan

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Welcome to virtual vacation video series where we can explore destinations from the comfort of our homes.

Join us as we take a short virtual journey to Matsumoto, Japan.

The great thing about this destination is that it is easily accessible from Tokyo and most of U.S. military bases in the Kanto Plain with about a three-hour drive.

Matsumoto is an elegant castle city in the central basin of mainland of Japan, surrounded by beautiful plateaus and the towering Japanese Alps. It is home to rich history and culture, hot springs and tasty local foods all packed into the city center which makes it a great place for walking and sightseeing.

Some of the must-see spots in Matsumoto include:

  • Matsumoto Castle — This black castle with a 5-fold, 6-story donjon tower is the oldest in the nation still in its original condition. This stately landmark backdropped by the Japanese Alps was completed in 1614. Today, it is registered as a national treasure and considered one of Japan’s three most beautiful castles, along with Himeji and Kumamoto Castles.

Kaichi School Museum — Founded in 1873, Kaichi School is one of the oldest elementary schools in the nation. Designated as an important cultural asset of modern architecture and preserved as a museum, the museum displays various old textbooks, diaries and certificates, along with the building’s architectural facts. Pose as a student in the museum’s restored classrooms decked with original desks, chairs and blackboards.

  • Nakamachidori and Nawatedori Streets — Go back in time with a stroll down the historic Nakamachidori and Nawatedori Streets. This district is home to clay warehouse buildings preserved as landmarks and now converted into shops and restaurants. Take a break from all the walking inside a café or a souvenir shop.

While you're there, don't forget to sample local soba buckwheat noodles, as they are extremely well-grounded with a beautiful transparent white color and pleasant aroma. A local delicacy “sanzokuyaka” is a sort of fried chicken, marinated in broth made from garlic, ginger, soy sauce and mirin for a couple of days before it is fried.

I hope you enjoyed a look at Matsumoto through my travel photos and that it's inspired your next trip. Stay safe and get ready to travel with us in our next video. Thanks for watching!

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