A Guide in the first enclosure
 Well, we past the black gate and we are now in the first enclosure. If you look to the right, you see some plant there. That's a space azalea from the seed taken to the space ship Colombia by a Japanese first woman astronaut, Tiaki Mukai in1994. The city of Tatebayasi asked to take the seed with her because she is from the same Gunma prefecture.
 Matsumoto is one of the the cities started the movement of planting flowers in town. The mayor of Matsumoto took part in the conference of this movement in Tatebayasi city and he was given the plant grown from one of the seeds from the space. And it was planted here in April of 2000.

 The stone statue beside the azalea is the one load Tadanao Mizuno sent to the temple where the forth Shogun Ietuna were laid. It was broken while the movement of destroying old things in Meiji era, but they move the pieces to Matsumoto Castle and here it is. It was a wise choice to keep at least the castle towers which was also sold once to a citizen for burning wood.
 If you look at the stone wall to your right. You see two men on it. They are the people who saved the Matsumoto Castle from destroying and kept them through Meiji and Taisyo era. The castle towers were sold by an auction in 1872, and were priced about 235ryo. once. The person the left side of the stone, named Ryozo Ichikawa, walk around not only in Matsumoto but also Tokyo and Osaka area and collected enough money to buy back the towers. And then he planned to have expositions at the Matsumoto Castle five times from 1873 through 1876. Those fairs were quite successful and he could raise the money to buy the towers back.
 Another person is Unari Kobayasi, who was a principal of a high school and gave his energy to restore the castle towers from the devastation. He and the then mayor of Matsumoto Mr. Kosato, established the foundation keeping the castle towers well. They ask the people donation to restore the damaged towers. The first big renovation had been done for about 10 years, since 1903.
 Thanks for their effort the towers of the Matsumoto Castle have been
kept in good shape till now.

Ryozo Ichikawa Unari Kobayashi
 The house to your right is an office and a souvenir shop for the Matsumoto Castle. There was a stable in Edo era, about the same place where it is. There was also a riding ground at the northern part of the enclosure. It was unique to have the places like those in the first enclosure of a castle.
 Well, now we are able to see the castle towers right in front of us. You've already noticed that there is a line on the grasses drown by some clay roof tiles. This is telling you the place where the huge house for Daimyo and his family. Unfortunately it burn down in 1724 and never rebuilt. 
 The northern westerly part of the enclosure, there is a flower garden of peony.There is one particular tree named Ogasawara peony. It was hard to point which one is, but they say it is a white one and is very small because of its pureness. I can't actually these days, it is gone.
 This Matsumoto area was once conquered by Takeda force from Yamanashi Prefecture. It began in 1550 and the then load of this area was Ogasawara and had his Castle at the mountain of the eastern part of the area. He had a good peony plant in his castle and he was afraid of the mess of the battle and transplanted them to the garden of Tosenji Temple in. The monk of the temple asked Kunesita family to keep the root of them and they have been keeping them in good conditions since then. After the major renovation of the Matsumoto Castle in 1959, one of the root was transplanted here. We call it "Ogasawara Peony". The Takeda ruled this area for 33 years. After losing the battle of Nagashino in 1775, the Takeda quickly lost their power and they were pushed back, then Ogasawara came back to their old place.

It is worth while to see the flowers in May.
 Well, the cherry tree the right front is called Komatunaginosakura, or a cherry tree tying a horse. When the construction of the castle towers were almost finished, a famous Castle daimyo of Kumamoto castle, Kiyomasa Kato once visited the Matsumoto Castle. The then lord of Matsumoto, Yasunaga Isikawa, welcomed him with dignity, because both his father Kazumasa and Kiyomasa were good men of Toyotomi. He decided to give a horse to Kiyomasa as a gift, and brought two horses to tied them to the tree. He asked to choose one of the horses, one looks pretty nice but very wild and not uncomfortable to ride on the other looks ugly but very mild to ride comfortably. Yasunaga was interested in which horse will be chosen by Kiyomasa, but he was clever enough to say I can't just pick one of them since you've chosen two of them, why not take two of them and took them with him and left home. The cherry tree now you can see is the second generation of Komatunaginosakura.