Japan, Koshinetsu Region, Nagano Prefecture, Matsumoto, View of Matsumoto Castle, Japanese Alps and cherry tree (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)

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Matsumoto

The vibrant city of Matsumoto (松本) sits in a fertile valley, with the magnificent northern Japan Alps, in all their splendour, to the west. Formerly known as Fukashi, Nagano Prefecture's second-largest city has been here since the 8th century. In the 14th and 15th centuries it was the castle town of the Ogasawara clan and it continued to prosper through the Edo period to the present.


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