Keep your eyes open as you walk around town and you’ll see some interesting, appealing, eye-catching architecture, from a century and further in the past. Go inside some of these buildings and you’ll see even more detail. Finding yourself inside one of these beautiful traditional buildings you might think the atmosphere, the setting, the view of the hidden garden outside, all of it is absolutely perfect. Nothing could be better. But then a traditional feast is served, and you find that the food here in Matsumoto can be every bit as amazing as the architecture. Let us show you what we mean.
A Beautiful Old Neighborhood, Inside & Out
The Agetsuchi-machi neighborhood, east of Matsumoto Castle, is a feast for the eyes; the buildings lining the streets take you back in time, to the Japan of a century ago and across the globe to the towns of old-style Europe. Now pick a building and step inside. You never know what you might find – but odds are it’ll be something special.
A Feast of the Senses
Recently we went for a traditional Japanese lunch in a beautiful Japanese building there in Agetsuchi-machi, and could not have been more pleased. For someone who has been in Japan a while it can be difficult to be surprised by lunch, but the food, coupled with the setting, was something to savor.
The ingredients one might expect to see among the many courses of a traditional Japanese meal were there: tofu, miso, vegetables, fish and tea. Yet as each meticulously crafted dish was placed on the table we would sit and take in the subtle aroma and marvel at the simple beauty – such a trademark of the Japanese way. It can feel something of a sin to ruin such works of art by eating them. Relishing each dish, each heavenly bite, we found ourselves able to forgive.
And There’s More Right Around the Corner
Even if you’ve taken in all that this Agetsuchi-machi district has to offer, there is plenty more in town to explore as you walk off your feast. Along the old merchant street of Nakamachi-dori there is the iconic Kurassic-kan, former residence of a sake brewer and a prime place to see an example of Japanese structural architecture up close.
Half a block away is the Matsumoto Scale Museum, with some architectural treats hidden out back. Remember too to look up once in a while as you walk the streets of town – you’ll spot examples of Kamban-chiku “billboard facades” on buildings from a century ago, when importing Western architectural ideas was all the rage.
And of course, there is that very symbol of Japanese architecture, the historical, visual centerpiece of town, that National Treasure called Matsumoto Castle. Many visitors will head straight there upon arrival in town – and this is certainly justifiable. But by doing so it’s easy to miss so much of the other good stuff – and good food – there is to be had here. This includes the sake and miso makers that are hiding in plain sight.
So take some time to explore the eye-catching architecture of Matsumoto Agetsuchi-machi, the merchant row called Nakamachi-dori, and the side streets in between. Or save yourself some time – and find yourself sitting down to an amazing traditional feast in a fantastic setting by clikcing the bellow link. We’ll make sure you don’t miss a thing.
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