Hokuriku Shin-Etsu / Chubu

Travelling and Walking around Shinshu Towns

Allow us to introduce you to a sophisticated and refined tour of Shinshu’s top historical and cultural sights. Interact with Japan’s samurai warrior past in Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan’s national treasures and oldest castles with over 400 years of history. Walk the mercantile streets of Matsumoto’s Nawate-dori and get up close and personal with the work of Yayoi Kusama at the Matsumoto city museum of art. And explore Narai, one of the largest post towns of the Nakasendo road, also known as “Narai Senken” or “Narai of a Thousand Houses.”

Travelling and Walking around Shinshu Towns

Complete Process :One night and two days
Tokyo Station
Travel Time:About 186 min

TrainTrain:About 186 min

Narai Station
Travel Time:About 3 min

WalkWalk:About 3 min

Narai-juku Post Town along Nakasendo Main Roadpic
Soba : 6 restaurants、
Goheimochi & Oyaki
: 7 shops
Travel Time:About 67 min

TrainTrain:About 45 min

BusBus:About 22 min

Asama Onsen Hot Springpic
inn Asama Onsen Hot Spring
Travel Time:About 18 min

BusBus:About 18 min

Matsumoto Castle, Japan’s National Assetpic
Nawate-dori Streetpic
Enjoy the specialties Shinshu Buckwheat
SobaRestaurant: 30 shops around Matsumoto St. and Matsumoto Castle.
Nakamachi-dori Streetpic
Kaichi School Museum, Japan’s Important Cultural Propertypic
Matsumoto City Museum of Artpic
Travel Time:About 7 min

BusBus:About 7 min

Matsumoto Station
Travel Time:About 181 min

TrainTrain:About 181 min

Tokyo Station

map open


Introduction to Spots
Narai-juku Post Town along Nakasendo Main Road
The post town of Narai, also called Narai-juku, was an important place for travelers along the Nakasendo trail which connected Kyoto to the new capital during the Edo period. Many travelers rested here after crossing the difficult mountain passes of the Kiso Valley. Narai-juku and southern Tsumago-juku are both designated as important districts for the preservation of historic buildings, and walking through them make travelers feel as if they’ve slipped back in time to the Edo era.
Narai-juku is also famous for its traditional lacquerware, and you can find over 30 shops selling original lacquerware goods from crimson chopsticks and jet black bento boxes to wooden beer mugs and coffee cups.
 ・Website URL: http://www.naraijuku.com/ (Japanese)
Asama Onsen Hot Spring
During the Edo period, Asama Onsen was constructed as a bathing facility and villa for the lord of the Matsumoto domain and his many vassals. During the Meiji period onward, the Asama Onsen Hot Spring area became popular with many famous Japanese writers and artists such as Shiki Masaoka, Sachio Ito, Takehisa Yumeji, Akiko Yosano, Wakayama Bokusui and Katai Tayama.
・Website URL: http://www.asamaonsen.com/ (Japanese, English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean)
Matsumoto Castle, Japan’s National Asset
This castle is one of the oldest in Japan with a history of over 400 years. It is five stories tall with six floors (one of which is ‘secret’) and painted in monochromatic black and white. It stands proudly in front of the Northern Japanese Alps, and in April of every year the garden’s 300 cherry trees bloom spectacularly. In addition to the masterful architecture and beautiful scenery, visitors can enjoy taking commemorative photos with the castles resident Samurai.
・Website URL: http://www.matsumoto-castle.jp/splash (Japanese, English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean)
・Location: Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Nawate-dori Street
A short five minute walk away from Matsumoto Castle is Nawate-dori, a street which faithfully recreates the atmosphere of Matsumoto’s castle town during the Edo era. There are 50 shops along the riverside street that sell antiques, traditional toys and delicious snacks like Taiyaki, fish-shaped pancakes filled with bean paste.
・Website URL: http://www.nawate.net/ (Japanese)
・Location: Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Nakamachi-dori Street
On the other side of the river from Nawate-dori is Nakamachi-dori street, lined with beautiful warehouses that showcase Namako-kabe walls (a lattice design of square tiles joined with raised plaster). This street features 120 different shops from antique furniture dealers to chic restaurants and cafes. On Sundays and holidays, the Kura-chic-kan hosts a morning market.
・Website URL: http://nakamachi-street.com/shopsearch/ (Japanese, English)
Kaichi School Museum, Japan’s Important Cultural Property
This building erected in 1876 was one of Japan’s oldest elementary schools. It was the first imitation western-style building from the Meiji period to be designated as an important cultural property. The educational materials stored in the school are said to be the best in Japan in terms of both quality and quantity, and you can see the classrooms as they looked when they were used during the Meiji period.
・ Website URL: http://youkoso.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp/wordpress_index-p_193-htm
(Japanese, English, French, Germany, Russian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean)
・Location: Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Matsumoto City Museum of Art
Matsumoto City is home to the internationally-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama and her polka dot works can be seen throughout town and in a permanent exhibition here at the Matsumoto City Museum of Art. Prominently displayed outside is an installation of hers titled “Maboroshi-no-hana (Visionary Flowers).” Other artists featured in the museum include the calligrapher Shinzan Kamijo and painter Kazuo Tamura, who deeply loved the mountains of this prefecture.
・ Website URL: http://matsumoto-artmuse.jp/ (Japanese)
・Location: Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan