Matsumoto Castle
Matsumoto Castle
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksCastlesScenic Walking Areas
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
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  • amyeof
    Oahu, Hawaii41 contributions
    Matsumoto Castle
    My ancestors resided in Matsumoto Castle during the Tokugawa, Ieyasu era so it was a very person visit for my son and I. I appreciated that there are many docents inside the castle as it has steep stairways and they controlled the enter/exit way. I was bit anxious climbing down the stairs, but no one rushed me or told me to hurry. They provided plastic bags for our shoes and had benches to sit on to put them back on after the tour. Outside, we luckily saw a re-enactor with our family mon (crest) on his flag and we eagerly requested a photo with him (attached). I would highly recommend visiting this National Treasure of Japan (one of the few original standing castles in Japan).
    Visited December 2022
    Written December 26, 2022
  • Carol C
    1 contribution
    Worth the trip from Hakuba
    Impressive castle on approach, a couple of acting Samurai in the queue to the castle which was fun, happy to have photos with the visitors and play along. Lots of staff directing the single file waiting visitors, shoes off we were instructed ( which was tricky as it’s winter and wet) once inside it’s all timber and dark, some interesting displays of firearms used once in the castles defence. No swords which we thought was odd. The stairs up the 6 levels are very steep, not for everyone as coming down was a bit of a challenge. I came down backwards like you would on a ladder. I’m glad we went and it’s a beautiful old castle with much history. Surround by snow capped mountains & pristine gardens There are voluntary guides at the front gate and I regret not using one. It would be good to have some stories to go with the castle Easy walk from the train station and loads of quaint shops and bars surround the castle grounds. Worth the 1.5 hour train trip from Hakuba.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written February 18, 2023
  • Jason H
    142 contributions
    interesting
    beautiful castle and considered a national treasure of Japan. worth a visit if you are in the nagano area. b the steps inside the castle are extremely steep though. not suitable for those with mobility difficulty. shoes are also not allowed and you will be given a plastic bag to carry your shoes along.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written February 25, 2023
  • gpants1
    Sydney, Australia132 contributions
    A beautiful well-preserved part of Japan’s history
    One of only 20or so original castles left in Japan. Beautifully maintained and now that restrictions have lifted entrance into the castle is available with ticket purchase. The climb on the almost verticals stairs inside is challenging and not recommended for people with physical disabilities. The views from the top are extraordinary. We also had a free English volunteer guide to the grounds. She was excellent.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 14, 2023
  • Crofton M
    Airlie Beach, Australia2,051 contributions
    Impressive that has never been badly damaged
    This the black castle - one of 10 remaining fuedal castles. It is made from wood with steep stairways to defend against intruders. Don't go if you can't climb stairs. It is impressively preserved after several hundred years
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 22, 2023
  • Steve L
    Hucknall, United Kingdom554 contributions
    Real Japan - Incredible Building
    We enjoyed Mount Fuji but we’re looking for something that made us feel we had found Japan, well we don’t need to look anymore as we have found it. The minute you see the Castle you know you are looking at something special and it is definitely that. Inside the castle you have to take off your shoes but the wooden building is smooth so no splinters. I preferred to keep my socks on. The steps are certainly a challenge but if you take your time and rest between floors reading the English translations then it’s possible to do. The last flight of steps to the 5th floor are the least challenging but worth it for the view. If you come to Japan then try to see one of its impressive Castles and this one gives you that feeling that you have seen something Japanese.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 20, 2023
  • Ian G
    North Yorkshire, United Kingdom1,359 contributions
    Certainly worth a visit even if just quick break in train journey too or from Tokyo and the Alps
    Had 4 hours to kill between trains. Lovely small City here which would be good place to stay. Only 30 minutes on train to Kiso. Especially good base for anyone who wants a few more Western bars and restaurants than the smaller towns can offer. Castle v impressive, tricky set of staircases to navigate , slippy in socks ! Interesting history and great views. Only short walk from the Station
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 26, 2023
  • Libby in Cincinnati
    Cincinnati, Ohio1,221 contributions
    Nice views at the top...just go slowly
    WE really enjoyed the castle. The views from the top are nice, but the trick is to get there. You will need to remove your shoes before entering the castle and they will provide a plastic bag so you can carry them with you. The floors are wooden and slippery. The stairs are very steep and narrow so not everyone may make it to the top. Just take it slowly and you should be fine. There really isn't much inside the castle to see. It is more about the building's design and climbing to the top for the view.
    Visited April 2023
    Written May 14, 2023
  • MyBlueSoul
    Warrington, United Kingdom257 contributions
    Impressive original castle
    Great experience and the most complete original castle we visited while in Japan, many have been rebuilt often due to fire. Known as the black castle, there are plenty of dramatic photo opportunities in and around the site. It is treated as a holy site, so you need to take your shoes off when you enter, this is very typical of Japanese culture and shouldn't be a surprise. Some of the stairs are very steep and you're best treated them as a ladder, so best to come down facing the steps (backwards). You're warned about this before you enter. Definitely worth the visit.
    Visited April 2023
    Written June 30, 2023
  • Andy F
    Devizes, United Kingdom1,213 contributions
    Stunning & Picturesque
    The approach to the castle couldn't be more picturesque. Surrounded by a moat with loads of huge koi carp, the castle is really a wooden defensive fortress. It absolutely looks the part. We were lucky & went straight in, but as we came out there were growing queues for entry. inside it's a bit dark and gloomy, but very interesting. if you want to, you can climb all the way to the top for some great views, but be warned that the stairs are very hard work - steep, uneven and with people coming down as you go up. Not for those with mobility problems. Definitely worth a visit.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 28, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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VinnieLondon
Doha, Qatar11,713 contributions
Feb 2020 • Solo
Good train connections to get to Matsumoto with a really scenic train ride if you are coming from Nagano (1 hour). The castle is around 15 minute walk from main Matsumoto train station..easy to find. Entrance fee payable. As this is the oldest remaining wooden castle in Japan you have to take shoes off at entrance and carry with you in plastic carrier bags provided (which they recycle at end of tour). On each floor there are interesting exhibits about the castle history as well as a commentary played in Japanese and English on each floor. Great 360 degree views of Matsumoto and the surroundings mountains. As other visitors have warned the wooden steps between each floor are super steep so very challenging for the less abled. There are attendants by each staircase to monitor and help. There is a souvenir shop and restrooms outside of the castle but in the beautiful grounds. Lots of great photo opportunities from the gardens across the moat back to the castle. Beautiful historical Japanese castle. Must see as part of any visit to this region of Japan.
Written January 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

phale12017
United Kingdom50 contributions
Nov 2019 • Friends
When l was told we were visiting a a castle, grey blocks of stone came to mind( l clearly wasn’t thinking logically) I was amazed to see this massive, towering wooden structure before me! Yes Japanese castles are made from wood. They have moats and tiny narrow windows for firing weapons out of and other familiar features but l have to say they are quite different from the English versions. They have a hidden extra floor that you cannot see from outside, this is just one unfamiliar feature!
We were put into groups of 5 or less and shown round by retirees who were practicing their English, what a wonderful idea! Our guide was very amusing!!
A word of warning, there are lots of steps inside, some of them steep! But make the effort, it’s well worth it!!
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

amyeof
Oahu, HI41 contributions
Dec 2022
My ancestors resided in Matsumoto Castle during the Tokugawa, Ieyasu era so it was a very person visit for my son and I. I appreciated that there are many docents inside the castle as it has steep stairways and they controlled the enter/exit way. I was bit anxious climbing down the stairs, but no one rushed me or told me to hurry. They provided plastic bags for our shoes and had benches to sit on to put them back on after the tour. Outside, we luckily saw a re-enactor with our family mon (crest) on his flag and we eagerly requested a photo with him (attached). I would highly recommend visiting this National Treasure of Japan (one of the few original standing castles in Japan).
Written December 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LadyEarl
Cary, NC169 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Just a beautiful building. The line on Sunday afternoon to get inside was over an hour so recommend, if you can, visit on a weekday. At the entrance you are given a bag for your shoes. Climbing very steep wooden steps (polished so easy to slip) in stocking feet felt dangerous so I exited quickly. Wish I’d known- I’d enjoy from the outside and not waited in line for an hour.
Written October 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carol C
1 contribution
Feb 2023 • Friends
Impressive castle on approach, a couple of acting Samurai in the queue to the castle which was fun, happy to have photos with the visitors and play along.
Lots of staff directing the single file waiting visitors, shoes off we were instructed ( which was tricky as it’s winter and wet) once inside it’s all timber and dark, some interesting displays of firearms used once in the castles defence. No swords which we thought was odd. The stairs up the 6 levels are very steep, not for everyone as coming down was a bit of a challenge. I came down backwards like you would on a ladder.
I’m glad we went and it’s a beautiful old castle with much history.
Surround by snow capped mountains & pristine gardens
There are voluntary guides at the front gate and I regret not using one. It would be good to have some stories to go with the castle
Easy walk from the train station and loads of quaint shops and bars surround the castle grounds.
Worth the 1.5 hour train trip from Hakuba.
Written February 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dynamic14
Singapore, Singapore9,837 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Walked to Matsumoto Castle from the JR station. Great piece of architecture and find yourself stepping back in time few hundred years back.

Surrounded by a moat with ducks and swan, you can just stroll around the spacious castle grounds or pay a small fee to enter the castle and walk around inside.

Our favourite photo spot is by the red bridge which offers some great photo opportunities.

Lovely place to visit.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

William S
Kobe, Japan1,280 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Matsumoto castle is beautiful and iconic. As you enter, the mountains make a wonderful backdrop. There’s an entry fee and you must remove your shoes. Do go inside to see what the interior of a castle would be like. The steps are quite steep (not for the elderly or mobility impaired) and take a bit of effort to navigate. Lots of photo opportunities through the higher openings. Having a guide would be more informative but much of the information (hight, dates, names of sections) goes in one ear and out the other. The grounds are quite nice but not extensive.
Written February 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jarmwr40
British Columbia, Canada3,125 contributions
Oct 2020
after an hour walk to the japan ukiyou museum and back, and a restorative lunch we came along here.
magnificent appearance.
known as the fukahsi castle when founded in 1550.
renovated in the early 1900's and 1950's.
one of japan's premier historic castles.
a flatland castle as not on a hilltop or amid rivers.
the wooden interior feels pleasing, has steep stairs, and there is a museum for guns and weapons on the second floor, not of an interest to me.
lovely chrysanthemum exhibit.
many cherry trees on the grounds which must be amazing in the spring.
we crossed the metoba river and ended up in a really interesting area, the nakamachi street, that had old aura storehouses lining the street.
some lovely shops, had a gelato, and a delicious almond slice at a bakery.
all wonderful.
we were here in oct. 2019 and due to covid its taken me this long to write about my experiences.
we had come here after doing the magome tsumago walk and from here would return to tokyo on our last visit to japan.
have had wonderful experiences in this country.
Written February 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Crofton M
Airlie Beach, Australia2,051 contributions
Mar 2023
This the black castle - one of 10 remaining fuedal castles. It is made from wood with steep stairways to defend against intruders. Don't go if you can't climb stairs. It is impressively preserved after several hundred years
Written March 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gpants1
Sydney, Australia132 contributions
Mar 2023 • Friends
One of only 20or so original castles left in Japan. Beautifully maintained and now that restrictions have lifted entrance into the castle is available with ticket purchase.
The climb on the almost verticals stairs inside is challenging and not recommended for people with physical disabilities. The views from the top are extraordinary.
We also had a free English volunteer guide to the grounds. She was excellent.
Written March 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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