Things to Do in Matsumoto: Fun Cultural Activities in Nagano

The city of Matsumoto offers much more than just a tour of its historic castle.  The walls of this fortress date back to feudal times and contain a spirit that still has an imprint on the city’s cultural life today. Be amazed by the rich gourmet history of the area! Miso, Soba, Sake, Samurai and Taiko drumming, these foods and activities of Matsumoto will emersed you with the local atmosphere. Discover the best things to do during your stay in the city of Matsumoto!

Matsumoto Castle Tour and Samurai Experience

The Matsumoto Castle Town was built around its historic castle. The history of this feudal era is closely linked to Samurai lore. For example, the residences closest to the confines of Matsumoto Castle were primarily owned by the highest ranking Samurai. Discover the history of Matsumoto Castle Town through its Samurai traditions and try this ancient style of martial arts for yourself!

Matsumoto Castle Tour and Taiko (Japanese Drums)

Matsumoto Castle is one of the last remaining original castles in Japan and the Taiko-mon gate was once the main access to the interior of the fortress. As the name suggests, this is where a Taiko drummer was stationed to transmit messages from inside the castle’s walls. Nowadays, Taiko remains a vital part of Japanese culture and you can learn to play this traditional instrument here in Matsumoto yourself!

Handmade Soba Making and Wasabi Experience

Soba is a local gourmet specialty. Many restaurants feature these famous buckwheat noodles on their menu. Although Wasabi is commonly paired with sushi, it also goes very well with Soba. Place yourself in the shoes of a Japanese Soba Master and later try your own delicious creation with freshly hand-grated Wasabi! This is one of the best things to do in Matsumoto! 

Local Sake Brewery Tour & Tasting

In order to make a high-quality sake, we need two important elements: rice and water. In Matsumoto, agricultural land is a vital resource and fresh water is abundant thanks to the surrounding mountains. Combine this with a favorable climate and local sake breweries are able to offer the highest quality sake. Tour the traditional Kametaya Sake Brewery and enjoy a sake tasting with the brewery’s bottling manager!

Local Miso Brewery Tour & Lunch

To know what to do in Matsumoto, you sometimes just have to ask yourself what you want to eat! Miso is a condiment commonly consumed by the Japanese on a daily basis. And more than half of Japan’s miso production comes from Nagano Prefecture. The Ishii Miso Brewery is one of the last in the country to make miso in an entirely traditional way. Discover these artisanal techniques and enjoy a 100% authentic miso lunch!

To explore all the tours and cultural activities available in Matsumoto:

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