The Frog Street !
Nawate Street is a small traditional style street along the bank of the Metoba River. The unique small town spirit of Matsumoto City flourishes here among the row of tiny craft stores, groceries, food stands and casual eateries. It is also a pedestrian street free of vehicles, something quite rare in Japan and more reminiscent of an old European street where one might find many walk-up shops and cafes.
With a recurring frog theme, the street’s nickname “Frog Street” comes from the local lore and the Japanese word “Kaeru”. Literally this word means “frog”, but can also mean “to buy” and “to return home”. It is said that visitors may stay and shop here at their leisure and return home safely, the street being pedestrian only and absent from the nuisance of automobile traffic!
Also on Nawate Street is Yohashira Shrine where many festivals are organized throughout the year. This street is just a few blocks away from another city highlight, Nakamachi Street.
Feel free to stroll along Nawate Street and enjoy a relaxed rural village atmosphere within the heart of the city. Here you will find warm culture and hospitality and maybe a souvenir or two!
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