Matsumoto Castle and Museum
Matsumoto was another day full of blessings. I got up a little late, but still managed to catch the desired train to get my journey started. From Hakone is was about 4 hours journey total. It was pouring rain as we neared Matsumoto and I was worried that it would rain all day. However when I stepped off the train the rain had cleared and the sun was coming out full force.
Arriving in Matsumoto
I exited the train station to walk to my hostel. I was staying a nice little joint just outside of the main square. However when I arrived no one was there. A sign was up telling me that I could store my bags at the museum and store my luggage there. As I rolled back to the castle and museum area and found the lockers inside. I was minding my own business searching for coins in my purse when one of the employees came up to me and said they would store my bags for me, free of charge! Gratefully I handed over my stuff. I got lucky one more time because the castle and museum were free that day!
I started out making my way through the museum. It is full of beautiful ancient artworks and statues. They have a miniature than shows you what Matsumoto looked like hundreds of years ago, as well as a timeline of the history of the city. After checking out all the artifacts I decided to head out into the sun and see what the castle was all about.
The Matsumoto castle is so beautiful! It’s this stunning wooden structure surrounded by beautiful green grass and tons of flowers, encircled by a large moat and what seems like a very large zen garden. (I totally rolled my suitcase through and ruined the zen…oops)
I walked around the outside, to the line that was formed to go inside. There is a wait time, as they only allow a certain number of people in at a time. I worried a bit that it would be hours – since it was free and all today, but I was next up within 30 minutes. Upon entrance they ask you to take your shoes off and they offer you a plastic bag to store them in. Then you go inside and take the tour around the wooden interior, climbing the steep stairs, sometimes at a 60 degree angle and as tall as 41 centimeters apart. It is no longer furnished, but it’s really cool to see the layout and walk on the perfectly smoothed wood.
On the way out some Japanese geishas invited me to participate in having some tea and treats with them. Excited to have some tea, I sat down with them and chatted about my home and theirs. They served snacks and extra tea to whomever wanted it. It was such a lovely experience. That is one of my favorite
You can read along my whole Japanese itinerary here!!
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