This is the right way to get to Matsumoto Castle

from Matsumoto station to Ekimae street

Fukasi 2 chome, turn left here

  When you visit Matsumoto Castle, I suggest you to come by train. Castle towers are not the only place to see. There are a lot more to see besides those. Almost every tourists visiting the Matumoto Castle by cars or tour buses parked the vehicle at the parking lot near the red bridge which was built in Showa era for tourist. The bridge itself isn't bad to see, but it is certainly not the way to get in the castle area. People who get in such way should miss a lot of fun seeing the places beside the towers. If you parked your car at the parking, at least I suggest you to walk around the moat to the east and go through the Drum Gate and Black Gate to get in. You would probably feel rich getting a lot more by this way.
 OK, then, you come by a train and get off the train at the Matsumoto station, please way out the station through the east exit. Please keep on walking two blocks till the crossing named Hukashi 2 chome comes by, in case you come by your own car, there is a tolled parking right side of the cross.
 Please turn left at the corner. This street where you are is called Honmachi street, and was one of the main streets in castle town those days. It was a merchants' town and there were whole sellers shop along this street. Now the city is trying to develop this area energetically.


a crossing with Nakamachi street

  Walking along the street for a while, you will come across a stone at the corner of the crossing with street which was one of the branch streets in castle town those day. The stone with sacred festoons is called usitunagiishi which means " a stone to tie a bull to". It was used for tying up oxen for a rest when they had been carrying salt down from the north on the old salt road.  At the civil war time, when Takeda force and Uesugi force had some battles in this area, Imagawa force which was based in Sizuoka, had the sea, stopped sending salt to Takeda because Imagawa also against the Takeda, Takeda was ruling this area and people were suffered, you see man can't live without salt. Uesugi also had sea, even though he was fighting with Takeda, he couldn't see the people suffered lacking of salt. He send salt via Itoigawa and Omachi using oxen's back. The salt got here on January 10th, 1568. A festival started to celebrate the arrival of the salt. And the festival is still held every year ever since.
 When we walk a little more, we see one more T crossing. This street crossing to Honmachi street is Nakamachi street, one of the main streets in those days. Nakamachi was a town of merchants and craftsmen. There are lots of dozo, or earth storehouse, kept in good conditions, and developing the town as the image of dozo. This street is a good place to shop suvenirs, and window shopping.

Titose bridge, viewing Daimyo street

  Now we are coming up to a big bridge, Titose bridge.The river down below is the Metoba river. After crossing the bridge the road curved L shaped, there was a outer moat paralleled to the river and the huge gate, Otemon was there. The height of the gate was about the third floor of the Bank's building in front of us.
It is fun to imagine how it was like in those days.
The street along the river to the right is Nawate street. There are small shops along the street, and cars are off limited. You can walk and have fan without bothering by the cars.

Daimyo street

  After crossing the bridge, we are now in the castle area if we were in those days. The street we are now is called Daimyo street, high ranking samurai's street. There were huge houses for high lanking samurai's along both side of the street.

Don't go straight, it's a bad idea!!

  We can see the towers of the castle from here, but please take it easy and don't make any mistakes here. Walking strait to the castle towers is not right. You have to turn right here and keep walking along the moat. Is a kind of long cut to get there, but you will get a lot of good things. Let's take the Drum Gate on our way.  
 Click the picture below to see more details about the Drum Gate.


It's all depending upon the weather and the skill of yourself.

  Did you enjoy the guide of the drum gate? We are heading to the Black Gate.
 Please have fun seeing beautiful fat carpand swans in the moat . If the weather is right, this is one of the best place to take picture of the castle towers. The picture with Mt. Jyonen is the best, I think.

carp, swans, ducks, pigeons are all at once in a moment

  Well, how did you like the scenery? The left picture is a piece once in ten years chance to take. I was so lucky, but couldn't focus well.
 let's go buy tickets and get in the main enclosure.

  swans napping in the afternoon

The Black Gate viewing from the west.
 The ticket office is in the court yard of the Black Gate. Working hour of the office is usually from 8:30 to 16:30.600yen for an adult including the entrance fee of the folklore museum.
 The Black Gate was reconstructed in 1960, and the second gate and the fence were done in 1988. When the Black Gate was reconstructed, they didn't have enough money, and lacking of the resources to build. If you knock on the pillar of the gate you will get the sound of hollow, It's only a veneer, it's not solid.
 If you notice more to the fence surrounding the gate, they look like a huge folding screen. This is also one of the defensive devices to avoid blind spots from enemy attacking.