I took a stroll around downtown Matsumoto to visit some of the many Matsumoto’s spring water wells. Just underneath much of Nagano Prefecture lies a subterranean aquifer. Much of this pure natural spring water is tapped by the many wells around the city.
Small treasures around each corner
In Matsumoto there are around 20 such public wells and dozens more private wells scattered all over the city. Each well, large and small, has its own character. Many of them are picturesque and easily accessible. Clear spring water bubbles up from these wells during much of the year.
Prehistoric waters and a centuries old tradition
The aquifer is eons old and the quality of the spring water in this region has been noted as far back as recorded history. Wandering samurai and travelers have been known to bathe in pools of natural waters for centuries. Drinking water wells began to be dug in Matsumoto as far back as the Edo Period (1603-1868).
A fresh clean respite from the fast-lane
Locals and travelers alike regularly drink water from the wells. Many local people swear it enhances the taste of soups and teas verses tap water. It’s not unusual to see people lining up at a well to load large bottles of water for use at home. So be sure to have your own small canteen or water bottle handy for those rest stops at a well!
Visit Matsumoto’s spring water wells
Good locations to begin exploring are Matsumoto Station, Matsumoto Castle and The Matsumoto City Art Museum. A Matsumoto Spring Water Excursion Map is available, but it’s in Japanese only. Want to avoid going it alone? Your Welcome-Matsumoto guide can incorporate the stand-out wells into your guided tour!
Guided Tour in English or French
Please note: The natural spring water from these wells is untreated. If you have a medical condition or health concerns, please consult with your doctor before drinking untreated water.
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