Matsumoto City: Discover The Historical ‘Mitsuboshi Kaidou’

This traditional city in the wild mountains of Nagano is a must-visit for foreigners looking for the consummate Japanese experience.

By 1 min read

One of the major cities along Japan’s Mitsuboshi Kaidou, or “Three-Star Road,” is Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture. Take a look at some of Matsumoto’s biggest highlights by watching our short clip introducing the city at the top.

A castle at its heart

Matsumoto Castle — also known as Crow Castle because of its mostly black exterior.

Nawate-dori and Nakamachi-dori, two beautifully preserved streets within Matsumoto’s historical districts, have been central commercial areas since the Edo period and are famed for souvenir shopping and traditional sweets.

Matsumoto is also home to two of Japan’s national treasures, Matsumoto Castle and the former Kaichi School building. Travelers can admire the five-tiered castle and view its extensive collection of artifacts, such as the first firearms used in feudal Japan.

The beautiful and remote Kamikochi.

Also worth a visit is the Matsumoto City Art Museum, which has devoted its entire collection to local artists or those influenced by the city.

The outskirts of Matsumoto are filled with a variety of scenic natural landscapes, allowing for trekking and hiking in areas like Kamikochi, one of Japan’s most famous mountainous regions. Kamikochi is open to the public from spring to mid-November but is most popular in October for its autumn foliage.

More to explore

Matsumoto and Kanazawa cities are destinations found along the Mitsuboshi Kaidou, an underrated journey packed with scenic spots, traditional Japanese culture and unique experiences.

Both cities come with their own unique charm and attractions, so it’s worth visiting them both if you have the chance. Want to learn more about Kanazawa? Check out our short introduction of Kanazawa City.

If you’re interested in exploring more, check out our full Mitsuboshi Kaidou article or watch our full tour video on the GaijinPot Youtube channel.



5 Things to Do in Japan This Spring (That Don’t Involve Hanami)

If you want to tone down the cherry blossom celebrations this year, here are five alternatives for spring activities in Japan.

By 6 min read


How Did Cherry Blossom Viewing Start in Japan?

We asked hanami revelers if they knew the origins of cherry blossom viewing.

By 3 min read


Discover Tohoku with the New JR East Pass

Non-native residents of Japan can now travel through all of Tohoku and beyond, for a discounted price previously only available to inbound tourists.

By 6 min read