Matsumoto

1. Matsumoto Castle

Location: 4-1 Marunouchi, Matsumoto. Save on Google Maps.

Matsumoto Castle was one of the main reasons why I decided to visit Nagano. It’s small compared to other castles in Japan but it’s also one of the prettiest thanks to its peaceful sprawling garden and distinctive black walls beautifully reflected by the surrounding moat.

To make your trip planning easy, I added links to the locations on Google Maps. Feel free to click/tap on the links posted. Then, use the “save” feature on the Google Maps app for easy reference. I’ve also shared photos from my Instagram feed. Feel free to use Instagram’s save feature for quick access later.

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2. Nawate Shopping Street (Nawate-dori)

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A row of small shops and food outlets with an old town Edo period feel. Nawate Shopping Street (Frog Street) is a great place to buy cheap souvenirs and try some Japanese snacks. It’s located 5 minutes on foot away from Matsumoto Castle.

3. Yohashira Shrine

Location: 3 Chome-3-20 Ote, Matsumoto. Save on Google Maps.

A traditional Shinto shrine & popular destination for viewing colorful autumn foliage. You can easily find it near the entrance of Yohashira Shrine, so don’t miss it if you’re in the area.

Nagano Essentials & Top Discounts

5-Day Nagano Pass

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JR East Nagano-Niigata Area Pass (5 Days Flexible)

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Japan Mobile Data SIM card/Pocket WIFI

Travel with ease & confidence throughout your trip. Get a data SIM card or pocket WIFI device! Access Google Maps and all your favorite travel apps. Share your travel stories instantly with all your friends. Click below and choose your pick-up location:

Japan SIM cardPocket WIFISee all discounts

4. Eat Soba Noodles at Kobayashi Soba

Location: 3 Chome-3-20 Ote, Matsumoto. Save on Google Maps.

A must-eat in Matsumoto! You can find Kobayashi Soba right next to Yohashira Shrine, along Nawate Street. This long-established family-run restaurant specializing in local cuisine, especially soba (buckwheat) noodles and tempura.

5. Eat Ramen at Mensho Sakura

Location: 1 Chome-20-26 Central, Matsumoto. Save on Google Maps.

Craving for a hot bowl of ramen? Mensho Sakura is only of the highly rated restaurants in Matsumoto that serve delicious ramen. Prices are very reasonable too!

6. Matsumoto Shrine

Location: 10-37 Marunouchi, Matsumoto. Save on Google Maps.

A quiet and picturesque Shinto Shrine found just north of the Matsumoto Castle moat. Stop by and enjoy a refreshing drink from Matsumoto Shrine bubbling cool spring water.

7. Former Kaichi School

Kaichi Gakko Primary School is the oldest school in Matsumoto and one of the country’s oldest elementary schools. It is converted into a museum with exhibits about the education system and how it developed in Japan.

8. Matsumoto City Museum of Art

Location: 4 Chome-2-22 Central, Matsumoto. Save on Google Maps.

Nagano City

9. Zenkō-ji Temple

Location: 491 Naganomotoyoshichō, Nagano City. Save on Google Maps.

The Zenkō-ji Temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Japan. Founded in the 7th century, the temple stores the first Buddhist statue ever to be brought into Japan. Train travel from Matsumoto to Nagano is 1 hour.

Karuizawa

10. Shiraito Falls

Location: Shiraito Falls, Karuizawa-machi, Nagano Prefecture. Save on Google Maps.

I first knew about Shiraito Falls when I was researching about the most beautiful waterfalls in Japan. Turns out there are two waterfalls sharing the same name. I was able to visit the more spectacular Shiraito Falls near Mount Fuji previously. This time, since I was already in Nagano, I decided to check out Karuizawa’s Shiraito Falls along with other attractions in town. Shiraito no Taki literally means “the waterfall of white threads”, which aptly describes its appearance, as multiple streaks of water drape over the surface forming what seems like a white curtain.

11. Kumoba Pond

Location: Kyukaruizawa Karuizawa. Save on Google Maps.

Kumoba Pond is famous for its beautiful Autumn foliage. Take lots of scenic pictures as you go on a 15-minute walk around the lake.

12. Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza

Location: In front of Karuizawa Station.. Save on Google Maps.

A bargain shopper’s paradise! This outdoor factory outlet mall features many high-end designer brands, sports brands, shops selling homewares and food outlets. There are over 200 shops covering a huge beautifully landscaped area.

13. Old Karuizawa Ginza Street

Location: 541 Karuizawa. Save on Google Maps.

Karuizawa’s old main street where you can find souvenir shops selling local products and cozy cafes.

What places have you added to your bucketlist? Have you been to beautiful places in Nagano that should be on this list? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Places to visit in Nagano

Nagano tourist spots, things to do in Nagano, where to go in Nagano & more.

Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

Where to Stay in Matsumoto

Click below & search recommended Matsumoto hotels/hostels/home rentals within your budget. Remember to set your min/max price, travel dates, and sort by review ratings. I often book online with these trusted booking sites below for rock-bottom prices & convenient bookings.

AgodaAirbnbBooking.com

Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

Where to Stay in Karuizawa

Click below & search recommended Karuizawa hotels/hostels/home rentals within your budget. Remember to set your min/max price, travel dates, and sort by review ratings. I often book online with these trusted booking sites below for rock-bottom prices & convenient bookings.

AgodaAirbnbBooking.com

Nagano Essentials & Top Discounts

5-Day Nagano Pass

See discounts

JR East Nagano-Niigata Area Pass (5 Days Flexible)

See discounts

Japan Mobile Data SIM card/Pocket WIFI

Travel with ease & confidence throughout your trip. Get a data SIM card or pocket WIFI device! Access Google Maps and all your favorite travel apps. Share your travel stories instantly with all your friends. Click below and choose your pick-up location:

Japan SIM cardPocket WIFISee all discounts

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