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A day trip to visit major tourist spots in Matsumoto 《Special article to explore Chubu & Hokuriku areas from Shinjuku by express bus 1/3》

The city of Matsumoto lies between the Northern Japan Alps and Utsukushigahara plateau thus allowing people to enjoy scenery of the mountain ranges from anywhere in the city. Behind Matsumoto castle stands the Northern Alps and with this castle in the center, the city stretches wide from south to north with many preserved historical storehouses. In addition, Matsumoto is a tourist-friendly city with lots of charming streets and museums gathered right by Matsumoto station. In this article, we will show you a tour to fully enjoy Matsumoto in one day.

“National Treasure Matsumoto Castle”; an icon of the city
“National Treasure Matsumoto Castle”; an icon of the city

1. Access to “Chubu & Hokuriku areas”

Even from Tokyo, “Chubu & Hokuriku areas” including locations in this article are easily accessible. That said, taking “Three-Star Japan Alps Line”; a highway express bus service is a must-checkout way to get around. After leaving from Shinjuku, a bus drives through Chuo Expressway and take you to Chubu & Hokuriku areas. Traveling by bus is cheaper than taking Shinkansen and some passes are combined with unlimited ride ticket for a local bus in your destination city. The fact that you can leave your big luggage in a trunk and travel comfortably is another bonus of taking a bus. Utilize an express bus pass and have a smart and fun trip! (more information about the great-value highway bus ticket at the end of this article).

A great-value express bus from Shinjuku
A great-value express bus from Shinjuku

2. A day trip to explore major tourist spots in Matsumoto

在新宿搭乘7:05發車的高速巴士,約10:23抵達松本車站。松本的旅程,就在前往國寶松本城這裡開始!

Destination #1: National Treasure Matsumoto Castle

  • Recommended Access: About 8 minutes from Matsumoto station by “Town-Sneaker”; a tour bus in the city
  • Time schedule: Arrive at 10:40 am /Stay for 1 hour

One of the castles designated as National Treasures. The oldest among the existing fivefold sixth floor castles in the country. Surrounding area is maintained as a park and the castle looks splendid with the Northern Alps in the back.

The castle that has weathered nearly 420 winters. It continues to attract visitors.
The castle that has weathered nearly 420 winters. It continues to attract visitors.
OPEN

National Treasure Matsumoto Castle

Tel
0263-32-2902
Address
4-1 Marunouchi, Matsumoto City, Nagano[MAP]
Business Hours
8:30 am - 5:00 pm (Last admission 4:30 pm)
Closed
The end of year (12/29 to 12/31)
Admission
610 yen for Adults ※Common ticket with Matsumoto City Museum
WEB
URL(English)

Destination #2: Izakaya Ippo

  • Recommended Access: Walk for about 5 minutes from National Treasure Matsumoto Castle
  • Time Schedule: Arrive at 12:00 pm/Stay for 1 hour

An izakaya restaurant offering local dishes and local sake from Matsumoto. Their famous Sanzoku-yaki is fried chicken thighs marinated in secret miso sauce and flavored with ginger known for being crispy outside and juicy and sweet after a bite.

“Sanzoku-yaki”: a soul food in Matsumoto
“Sanzoku-yaki”: a soul food in Matsumoto
OPEN

Izakaya Ippo

Tel
0263-36-8484
Address
4-10-17 Ote, Matsumoto City, Nagano[MAP]
Business Hours
11:30 am - 1:30 pm (L.O.), 5:30 pm – Midnight
Closed
Every Sunday
Accepted credit cards
American Express / JCB /Visa
WEB
URL(Japanese)

Destination #3: Nawate Dori

  • Recommended Access: About 5 minutes’ walk from Izakaya Ippo
  • Time schedule: Arrive at 1:05 pm/Stay for 1 hour

A street that replicated Edo-period streetscapes when Matsumoto was a castle town. A popular place for a stroll and fully absorb nostalgic atmosphere with nearly 50 vendors along a walk selling traditional toys, antiques, dagashi (cheap candies and sweets) besides food & drinks.

“Nawate Dori”; a frog themed town
“Nawate Dori”; a frog themed town
OPEN

Nawate Dori

Tel
0263-33-0833 (Nawate Commerce Club Office)
0263-35-7737 (Nawate Dori Co-op Association)
Address
Ote, Matsumoto City, Nagano[MAP]

Destination #4: Nakamachi Dori

  • Recommended Access: Walk for about 3 minutes from Nawate Dori
  • Time Schedule: Arrive at 2:10 pm/Stay for 1 hour

A street that descends scenery of 400 years old historical castle town to this day with its lining white walls and kuro-namako (geometric pattern) storehouses. Many shops along the street specialize in folk crafts and handicrafts. At Nakamachi Kurassic-kan; which is a landmark of the street, various events such as play and yose (traditional entertainment centered around Rakugo) are often held.

“Nakamachi Dori” with storehouses
“Nakamachi Dori” with storehouses
OPEN

Nakamachi Dori

Tel
0263-36-1421 (Nakamachi Shopping District Promotion Association)
Address
Chuo, Matsumoto City, Nagano[MAP]
WEB
URL(English)

Destination #5: Matsumoto City Museum of Art

  • Recommended Access: About 10 minutes’ walk from Nakamachi Dori
  • Time schedule: Arrive at 3:20 pm/Stay for 1 hour

Opened in 2002, the museum has a collection centered around artists associated with Shinshu area. A large tulip field sculpture at the entrance of the building is by an artist, Kusama Yayoi. This museum is also a place for locals to get together.

“The Visionary Flowers” by Yayoi Kusama; an avant-garde artist from Matsumoto
“The Visionary Flowers” by Yayoi Kusama; an avant-garde artist from Matsumoto
OPEN

Matsumoto City Museum of Art

Tel
0263-39-7400
Address
4-2-22 Chuo, Matsumoto City, Nagano[MAP]
Business Hours
9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Last admission 4:30 pm)
Closed
Every Monday, open every day in August
Admission
410 yen for Adults
WEB
URL(English)

After visiting Matsumoto City Museum of Art, get on the “Town-Sneaker” tour bus and head back to Matsumoto station. There are many accommodations around the station, so make sure to book a room.

3. Introducing great-value high way express bus pass to travel to Chubu & Hokuriku areas from Shinjuku

3-1.Three-Star Route Shinjuku Ticket

With this pass, you can travel to Shinshu Matsumoto and Hida Takayama from Shinjuku. Then, from there, you can further travel to either Kanazawa or Toyama by transferring an express bus and such. The pass is valid for 7 days. For your convenience and even greater value, there is also an option to purchase a pass that comes with a local bus ticket.
Pass Price: Adult ¥8,560/Child ¥4,280

Three-Star Route Shinjuku Ticket
Three-Star Route Shinjuku Ticket

3-2.Three-Star Alps Unlimited Ride Pass

A pass valid for 7 days that allows you to travel from Shinjuku to Shinshu Matsumoto and Hida Takayama, and also to Toyama and Kanazawa by transferring an express bus and such. In an applicable area in Shinshu Hida, you will have unlimited access to local buses. In addition, this pass comes with discount bonus for various tourist spots in the area.
Ticket Price: 12/1 to 3/31 Adult ¥15,000/Child ¥7,500
          4/1 to 11/30 Adult ¥16,900/Child ¥8,450

Three-Star Alps Unlimited Ride Pass
Three-Star Alps Unlimited Ride Pass

Find out details about the pass from the official website listed below.

URL(English)

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