Throughout Japan’s Warring States Period (1467â€“1603), many of the country’s magnificent feudal fortresses were destroyed. Numerous others that survived into the 20th century were strategically bombed by World War II air raids.
Thankfully however, four castles remain remarkably intact and have been declared National Treasures of Japan.
Matsumoto Castle – The “Crow Castle”, replete with a brilliant ebony exterior, is one of the most venerable landmarks in Japan. The second floor of this Nagano Prefecture point of interest contains a truly exception weapons museum.
The narrow windows of Matsumoto Castle allow visitors to admire fabulous views of the Japanese Alps and Matsumoto City. The immediate scenery is idyllic as well, as koi fish and swans swim in the moat below.
Local city government bought the castle after the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century and still own, maintain and cherish the landmark. Summer time in Matsumoto Castle brings a Taiko (drum) Festival as well as a Takigi Noh, a classical musical drama performed by torch light. Winter visitors enjoy the snow as it falls on the castle roofs.
Matsumoto Castle is a short walk from JR Matsumoto train station. Superb Nagano hotels are less than two hours away.
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