Nestled in the heart of Japan’s Nagano prefecture, the charming city of Matsumoto and its surrounding towns beckon visitors to discover a captivating fusion of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the majestic Matsumoto Castle, a rare National Treasure, to the whimsical "Frog Street" and the well-preserved Edo-period town of Narai-juku, this day trip promises to transport you back in time while immersing you in the region’s renowned artistry and craftsmanship. With insider knowledge and seamless logistics, this guided tour offers a chance to uncover the essence of this remarkable corner of Japan, leaving you yearning to explore further.

Key Points

Nagano/Matsumoto: Matsumoto Castle and Narai-juku Day Trip - Key Points

  • This day trip from Nagano/Matsumoto covers the rich history and natural beauty of the region, including the iconic Matsumoto Castle and the well-preserved Narai-juku post town.
  • Matsumoto Castle, a National Treasure of Japan, features a striking black-and-white facade and a 6-story tower that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.
  • Nawate-dori, or ‘Frog Street,’ in Matsumoto provides a whimsical atmosphere with frog-themed shops, traditional sweet shops, and artisanal craft stores.
  • Narai-juku, an Edo-period post town, showcases beautifully preserved architecture and offers opportunities to immerse in the town’s history and cultural legacy.
  • The tour includes hassle-free transportation, knowledgeable guides, and admission tickets, making it a convenient way to explore the top attractions in the region.

Tour Details

Nagano/Matsumoto: Matsumoto Castle and Narai-juku Day Trip - Tour Details

This day trip from Nagano/Matsumoto lets you explore the region’s rich history and natural beauty.

Covering the highlights in just one day, it provides a flexible and hassle-free way to experience some of the area’s top attractions.

You can book now and pay later, and there’s free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance.

The tour lasts a full day, giving you plenty of time to explore the iconic Matsumoto Castle, stroll down the charming Nawate-dori (‘Frog Street’), and discover the well-preserved post town of Narai-juku.

With a knowledgeable guide, transportation, and admission tickets included, all you need to worry about is enjoying the journey.

Tour Highlights

Nagano/Matsumoto: Matsumoto Castle and Narai-juku Day Trip - Tour Highlights

Matsumoto Castle, a National Treasure of Japan, stands as the centerpiece of this captivating day trip. Visitors can ascend the iconic 6-story castle tower, marveling at the historical guns and artifacts housed within.

Nearby, the charming Nawate-dori, nicknamed ‘Frog Street’, beckons with its quaint shops and traditional atmosphere.

The highlight, though, is Narai-juku, a well-preserved post town that offers a glimpse into Japan’s storied past. Strolling along its picturesque streets, travelers can almost feel the pulse of history, imagining the weary travelers who once made this same journey.

This day trip promises a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, from the grandeur of Matsumoto Castle to the quaint charms of the historic post town.

Matsumoto Castle

Nagano/Matsumoto: Matsumoto Castle and Narai-juku Day Trip - Matsumoto Castle

Towering impressively at the heart of the city, Matsumoto Castle‘s stunning architecture and rich history captivate visitors from around the world.

Its distinctive black-and-white facade, a striking contrast against the surrounding landscapes, has earned it the moniker ‘Crow Castle’ and cemented its status as a National Treasure of Japan.

Ascending the castle’s impressive six-story tower, guests are treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the charming streets below.

Along the way, they’ll discover historical artifacts, including ancient firearms, that provide a glimpse into the castle’s storied past.

Exploring Matsumoto Castle’s well-preserved interiors and immersing oneself in its captivating history is an unforgettable highlight of any visit to the Nagano/Matsumoto region.

Nawate-dori (‘Frog Street’)

Nagano/Matsumoto: Matsumoto Castle and Narai-juku Day Trip - Nawate-dori (Frog Street)

Winding its way through the charming streets of Matsumoto, Nawate-dori, affectionately known as ‘Frog Street’, captivates visitors with its whimsical atmosphere and intriguing array of shops and eateries. Frog statues, paintings, and decorations adorn the street, lending it a delightful and quirky character. As you stroll along, you’ll discover traditional sweet shops, artisanal craft stores, and cozy cafes, each offering a unique glimpse into the city’s rich heritage. The vibrant street is a must-visit for those seeking a truly immersive cultural experience in Matsumoto.

Shop Specialty
Frog Shop Frog-themed souvenirs and trinkets
Matsumoto Confectionery Traditional Japanese sweets
Craft Workshop Handmade crafts and artisanal items

Matsumoto Castle Tower

Nagano/Matsumoto: Matsumoto Castle and Narai-juku Day Trip - Matsumoto Castle Tower

The castle’s 6-story tower rises impressively, offering visitors a unique vantage point to admire the historic structure and the surrounding landscape.

Ascending the tower’s wooden stairs, guests are rewarded with breathtaking views that encompass the city, the Northern Alps, and the serene Kamiichō River below.

Reaching the top, explorers can step out onto the observation deck and marvel at the intricate architectural details of the tower itself. From this lofty perch, the scale and grandeur of Matsumoto Castle become truly apparent.

Visitors are invited to soak in the panoramic vistas and capture stunning photographs to commemorate their ascent to the castle’s iconic tower.


Beyond the imposing Matsumoto Castle, visitors can discover the enchanting Narai-juku, a well-preserved Edo-period post town that transports them back in time.

Strolling along the town’s picturesque streets, they’ll encounter traditional merchant houses, quaint shops, and beautifully preserved architecture that evoke the atmosphere of a bygone era.

Lined with ancient zelkova trees and traditional inns, Narai-juku offers a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage.

Visitors can explore the town’s artisanal workshops, where skilled craftspeople create intricate woodcarvings, lacquerware, and pottery.

The guided walk through Narai-juku allows travelers to enjoy the town’s history and appreciate the enduring legacy of its well-preserved Edo-period architecture and way of life.


This immersive day trip includes a guided tour that showcases the highlights of the region, allowing visitors to fully experience the cultural and historical treasures on offer.

The knowledgeable guide will lead you through the impressive Matsumoto Castle, a National Treasure of Japan, and provide insights into its rich history and architecture.

You’ll then explore the charming Nawate-dori, or ‘Frog Street’, and climb to the top of the castle’s six-story tower for stunning panoramic views.

The tour also includes a guided walk through the well-preserved post town of Narai-juku, giving you a glimpse into Japan’s past.

With transportation between destinations and all entry fees covered, this comprehensive package ensures a truly memorable experience.

Important Information

Travelers should prepare for reasonable walking throughout the tour, including ascent of the castle and exploration of the post town.

Weather conditions can be changeable, especially during the winter months, so appropriate attire is advised.

Unfortunately, the tour isn’t suitable for those with mobility impairments or wheelchair users due to the uneven terrain and lack of accessibility at certain sites.

However, the journey offers a unique opportunity to explore Japan’s rich history and take in the charming atmosphere of well-preserved historical sites.

With a knowledgeable guide leading the way, visitors can expect an engaging and memorable experience exploring the highlights of Matsumoto and Narai-juku.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Book the Tour for a Private Group Only?

Absolutely! The tour can be booked for a private group. This allows you to enjoy the highlights of Matsumoto Castle and Narai-juku at your own pace with a dedicated guide for your group.

Is There an Option to Extend the Tour Duration?

The tour offers flexible booking, allowing you to extend the duration beyond the standard 1-day trip. Chat with the tour operator to customize your experience and make the most of your time exploring Matsumoto Castle and Narai-juku.

Are Discounts Available for Students or Seniors?

Yes, the tour offers discounts for students and seniors! They’ll enjoy great savings on the entry fees, making this an even more accessible and affordable way to explore Matsumoto Castle and the charming Narai-juku post town.

Can I Arrange a Pick-Up Location Outside of Nagano/Matsumoto?

Absolutely! Travelers can request a pick-up location outside of Nagano/Matsumoto. The tour provider will be happy to accommodate this request, ensuring a seamless start to the day’s exciting exploration of Matsumoto Castle and the historic Narai-juku.

Are Photography and Video Recording Allowed on the Tour?

Photography and video recording are generally allowed on the tour, so visitors can capture the stunning castle, charming streets, and historical sights to their heart’s content. However, visitors should be mindful of any restrictions or guidelines provided by the tour guides.


Enjoy the rich history and natural beauty of the Nagano/Matsumoto region.

Explore the striking Matsumoto Castle, wander through the whimsical Nawate-dori, and discover the traditional atmosphere of Narai-juku.

With ample time to experience the cultural highlights and a knowledgeable guide, this hassle-free tour offers an unforgettable day trip that showcases the area’s top attractions.

Similar Posts