Sunday, October 16, 2011


Matsumoto is about 2 hours north of Nagoya by JR train.  I was lucky to visit Matsumoto during a large city wide festival, although I had to leave for Nagoya before the closing ceremony.
My goal was to see the Matsumoto castle, but as I was walking there from the station I came upon an old school 'car' show.  There was 17 of these Japanese style festival cars along the street leading up to the castle.
From my experience in Nagoya, these cars roll around making music and noise.  Below are two of the drums used to make the music, but no one was playing today.
 Everything is very detailed, you can see the carving on the end of the handle.
Group of old men looking over each display.
From the main road, you enter the park and castle area from behind the castle.  It's a really nice park made even better with nice weather.
There were 100's of kids and parents enjoying the park and drawing the castle from different locations in the park.
 View of the back of the castle from across the moat.
 Here is a view of the castle from inside the castle grounds.  There is some renovation going on, you can see it on the lower right, that white plastic.
 This is from inside the castle looking out over the castle grounds.
 I'm not sure how useful a moat is when you build a bridge over it.
 Another view looking over the castle ground from the 6th floor, top level.
Matsumoto has the most aggressive staircase that I have found so far, it is the most difficult to walk up.  Parts of the stairs have people traveling in both directions, making for some confusion.  And you have to walk in your socks, carrying your shoes in a plastic bag.
You can see the steps below, kind of hard core.
 Me infront of the castle.
 Yep, if I was going to invade the castle, I would start by crossing the bridge over the moat.
Here are some examples of drawings made of the castle.
Below is another drawing.  Matsumoto, Kumamoto and Himeji are considered, by Wikipedia, the three premier castle in Japan, now I have been to all three!!!
If you visit Matsumoto, I would recommend this tayaki place.  Taiyaki is Japanese fish-shapped cake, typically with red bean inside (just shape like fish, not made with fish).  Taiyaki link here.

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