Nawate-dōri, a few blocks south from the castle, is a popular street for a stroll. Vendors along this riverside walk sell antiques, souvenirs, and delicious tai-yaki (filled waffles in the shape of a carp) of varying flavours. Look for the big frog statue by the bridge.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Matsumoto attractions

1. Matsumoto Timepiece Museum

0.08 MILES

Home to Japan's largest pendulum clock (on the building's exterior) and over 300 other timepieces, including fascinating medieval Japanese creations, this…

2. Matsumoto-jō

0.31 MILES

Must-see Matsumoto-jō is Japan's oldest wooden castle and one of four castles designated National Treasures – the others are Hikone, Himeji and Inuyama…

3. Matsumoto City Museum of Art

0.41 MILES

This sleek museum has a good collection of the work of Japanese artists, many of whom hail from Matsumoto or whose art depicts scenes of the surrounding…

4. Kaichi School Museum

0.59 MILES

A few blocks north of the castle, the former Kaichi School is both an Important Cultural Property and the oldest elementary school in Japan, founded in…

5. Japan Ukiyo-e Museum

1.97 MILES

Housing more than 100,000 woodblock prints, paintings, screens and old books, this renowned museum exhibits but a fraction of its collection. The museum…

7. Dai-ō Wasabi-Nōjo

7.95 MILES

Fancy some wasabi wine or ice cream? This farm, a 15-minute bike ride from JR Hotaka Station, is a must for wasabi-lovers. An English map guides you among…

8. Rokuzan Bijutsukan

9.01 MILES

Ten minutes' walk north from JR Hotaka Station, Rokuzan Bijutsukan showcases the work of Meiji-era sculptor Rokuzan Ogiwara (1879–1910; aka the 'Rodin of…