Top things to do in Matsumoto

Top Choice Castle in Matsumoto

Matsumoto-jō

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. The striking black-and-white three-turreted donjon (main keep)…
Top Choice Japanese in Matsumoto

Matsumoto Karaage Center

This wildly popular 4th-floor (above Midori in the station building) shrine to karaage (deep-fried chicken) is a must, with tender, juicy boneless chicken waiting to melt in your mouth. Try the local speciality, San…
Top Choice Izakaya in Matsumoto

Shin-Miyoshi

Head to Shin-Miyoshi (New Miyoshi), established in 1999, to try everyone's favourite Nagano delicacy: horse meat. The first Miyoshi restaurant got going in 1899, and there are brilliant historical photos on the wall…
Top Choice Bar in Matsumoto

Eonta Jazz Bar

If you like jazz, it doesn't get any better than Eonta, a tiny 15-seater upstairs, directly above Katsu Gen restaurant. The friendly owner has been running his bar since 1974 and likes his jazz, chosen from over 400…
Top Choice Cafe in Matsumoto

Healthy Penguin Cafe

This cute little cafe on a tiny side street off atmospheric old Nawate-dõri gets rave reviews for plates such as smashed avo toast (¥700) and cinnamon French toast (¥750). Desserts, plus organic coffees, teas, wine …
Top Choice Craft Beer in Matsumoto

Matsumoto Brewery Taproom

Tasty local brews, highlighted by the Awesome! Pale Ale, can be enjoyed in a delightful two-storey taproom in a lovely old building in Nakamachi. There's a second location on the 3rd floor of the new Media Building …
Top Choice Glass in Matsumoto

Chikiri-ya Art & Craft Shop

Glass and pottery aficionados will find this wonderful boutique on Nakamachi-dōri a must.
Izakaya in Matsumoto

Shizuka

This wonderfully traditional izakaya (pub-restaurant) serves favourites such as oden (a stew comprising fishcakes, tofu, vegetables and eggs simmered in a kelp-flavoured broth) and yakitori (grilled skewers of meat …
Ramen in Matsumoto

Menshō Sakura

Miso and ramen fans shouldn't go past this purveyor of fine noodles in a cute little building opposite the Richmond Hotel. Miso-rāmen and black Kuro-miso rāmen are the specialities of the house: both are rated highl…
Tonkatsu in Matsumoto

Katsu Gen Honten

If you're into tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet), try to find this place a block south of the southeastern corner of Matsumoto Castle park. There's a black pig on the sign hanging outside, plus an English menu. An o…