Matsumoto Castle – Matsumoto, Japan - Atlas Obscura

Matsumoto Castle

This historic castle is one of the oldest and most impressive in all of Japan. 


Originally known as Fukashi Castle, Matsumoto Castle was built in the 1500s during the Eisho period in Japan. It is now the oldest six-story castle in Japan. Its scenic position against the backdrop of the Japanese Alps has made it an increasingly popular visiting place in this part of the country.

Matsumoto is found in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan and the castle holds great significance in the historical development of the country. It is known as a hirajiro, a name given to a castle strategically built on plains rather than on a hill or mountain.

Matsumoto Castle is one of five castles designated as National Treasures of Japan and is surrounded by cherry blossom trees. The wooden interior allows visitors to imagine what life was like for those who occupied this fortified site.

Features inside the castle include openings where large stones were dropped onto invading enemies, openings for archers, and a large observation deck at the top which provides a perfect vantage point over the surrounding area. The castle is surrounded by a moat which is filled with native koi fish.

Know Before You Go

The current entry fee for Matsumoto Castle is 700 yen. Visitors can walk around the outer grounds for free.

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April 21, 2023

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