Lasers Light Up Matsumoto Castle in the City’s Latest Spectacle

Lasers Light Up Matsumoto Castle event

In Matsumoto you’ll find an array of entertaining events going on throughout the year. From the Ice Sculpture Festival in winter to the summertime Bon-Bon Dance Festival, it seems there’s always something going on. Yet the good people here are always looking for new ways to spice things up, and this winter they’ve done it again. So dress warm and come out to watch as lasers light up Matsumoto Castle in the city’s latest spectacle.

Matsumoto Castle Illumination

Firing Lasers at Japan’s Oldest Castle Tower

I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about it. Maybe I’m old-fashioned (or boring), but spraying our town’s greatest treasure with a bunch of colored laser beams? I know Japan is known for its mix of old and new, but I was having a hard time reconciling this particular combination.

Until I saw it for myself.

Lasers Light Up Matsumoto Castle 2021

As far as laser light shows go it’s actually rather laid-back. For a few quiet minutes blue and white spots of light dance and drift across the castle’s façade, accompanied by music that just might put you to sleep if you were warm in bed instead of standing outside in the cold. The scene is interrupted every ten minutes by a more lively display of multi-colored lines and patterns, streaming and flashing across the imposing black and white centuries-old walls of this stately National Treasure.

Lasers Light Up Matsumoto Castle 2022

A Few Good Things to Know

The show is nicknamed 氷晶きらめく水鏡 – hyosho-kirameku-mizukagami, or “Ice Crystal Glittering Water Mirror”. Okay, so the translation isn’t quite as slick as the actual show, but with the laser-lit castle reflected in the water of the moat the scene is that much more enchanting. Your Instagram followers will be amazed!

The lights and music kicked off on December 1, 2021. And will be drawing the crowds out into the chilly air every evening straight through the end of February. The lasers do their thing for three hours, from 6:00 to 9:00pm, but with the program on an hourly loop you can show up any time without missing anything!

Lasers Light Up Matsumoto Castle winter

The show in Video

An Annual Event?

There are rumors swirling in the winter chill that we’ll be seeing lasers light up Matsumoto Castle every year, as another of the city’s annual attractions. So if you can’t make it to this year’s show, don’t despair! Keep calm and keep an eye out for the 2022-2023 version of our city’s latest spectacle.

As for the rest of the year, let us know when you’ll be in town. We’d love to show you the rest of our lively, alluring city!

Lasers Light Up Matsumoto Castle photo

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