Farica Dudek

Farica Dudek

Published: 17 Sep 2023

Source: Centrair.jp

Matsumoto Castle is a remarkable historical landmark in Japan that has captured the fascination of visitors from around the world. Located in the city of Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture, this iconic castle is considered one of the country’s premier historic attractions. With its striking black exterior, intricate architecture, and fascinating history, Matsumoto Castle stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Japan.

Table of Contents

Historical Significance

Matsumoto Castle, also known as the “Crow Castle,” is a historical treasure located in Matsumoto, Japan. It holds a significant place in Japanese history as one of the oldest surviving castles in the country.

Construction Year

The castle was constructed in 1504 during the Sengoku period, a time of intense warfare and political conflict in Japan. It stands as a testament to the country’s rich architectural heritage.

Impressive Black Exterior

One of the most striking features of Matsumoto Castle is its black exterior. This unique color earned it the nickname “Crow Castle,” as it resembles the wings of a crow spreading out against the sky.

Five-Storied Main Keep

The castle’s main keep, or donjon, stands five stories tall and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. It is a magnificent example of traditional Japanese castle architecture.

Original Wooden Construction

Unlike many other castles in Japan, Matsumoto Castle has retained its original wooden construction. This is a rare feat considering the castle’s age and the numerous reconstructions it has undergone over the centuries.

Impenetrable Moat

The castle is surrounded by a wide moat, which served as a defensive measure against potential attacks. Its strategic location atop a small hill provided additional protection to the castle’s inhabitants.

Home to Samurai Warriors

During the feudal period, Matsumoto Castle served as the residence of various samurai clans. It witnessed countless battles and political struggles, leaving behind a rich historical legacy.

National Treasure

In 1936, Matsumoto Castle was designated as a national treasure of Japan. This prestigious recognition highlights its historical and cultural significance to the country.

Intricate Interior Design

The interior of the castle exhibits intricate woodwork, elegant sliding doors, and hidden chambers. Visitors can explore the different levels of the keep, each offering a glimpse into Japan’s feudal past.

Commanding Views

From the top floor of the castle, visitors are treated to panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the city of Matsumoto. It is a breathtaking sight that showcases the castle’s strategic positioning.

Cherry Blossom Paradise

During cherry blossom season, Matsumoto Castle becomes a vibrant and picturesque setting. The surrounding park is dotted with cherry trees in full bloom, creating a stunning backdrop for the ancient structure.

Hosts Traditional Events

The castle grounds are often used for traditional events, such as samurai reenactments and cultural festivals. These events provide visitors with a unique opportunity to experience Japan’s rich heritage.

Movie Location

Matsumoto Castle has been featured in several movies and TV shows, further enhancing its cultural significance. Its distinctive appearance and historical charm make it a sought-after filming location.

Open to the Public

Unlike many other historical sites, Matsumoto Castle is open to the public, allowing visitors to explore its fascinating history and architectural beauty up close.

Museum Exhibits

Within the castle grounds, there are museum exhibits that delve deeper into the history and significance of the castle. Visitors can learn about the different periods the castle has witnessed and the people who inhabited it.

Symbol of Matsumoto

Matsumoto Castle stands as a symbol of the city and its rich cultural heritage. It is an iconic landmark that draws visitors from around the world, eager to immerse themselves in Japan’s fascinating past.

So there you have it – 16 intriguing facts about Matsumoto Castle. From its historical significance to its impressive architecture, this ancient structure continues to captivate and inspire visitors. Explore the castle grounds, soak in its rich history, and marvel at the incredible craftsmanship that has withstood the test of time.


Matsumoto Castle, with its rich history and architectural brilliance, stands as a remarkable landmark in Japan. From its stunning black exterior to the hidden passageways within, the castle never fails to intrigue visitors from around the world. Its unique features, such as the moon-viewing pavilion and the impressive collection of artifacts, add to its allure. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply someone looking to immerse yourself in the beauty of Japanese landmarks, Matsumoto Castle is a must-visit destination. Explore its corridors, climb its towers, and marvel at its grandeur to truly appreciate the legacy it holds.


1. When was Matsumoto Castle built?

Matsumoto Castle was built in the late 16th century, specifically in 1593.

2. How tall is Matsumoto Castle?

Matsumoto Castle’s main keep stands approximately 30 meters (98 feet) tall.

3. Can visitors explore the entire castle?

Yes, visitors are allowed to explore most parts of the castle, including the main keep, towers, and surrounding grounds.

4. Are there any guided tours available?

Yes, guided tours are available in multiple languages to enhance your visit and provide insights into the castle’s history and significance.

5. Are photography and videography allowed inside the castle?

Photography and videography are generally allowed inside the castle, but flash photography may be prohibited in certain areas.

6. Is Matsumoto Castle accessible for people with disabilities?

Efforts have been made to make certain areas of the castle accessible to people with disabilities, but due to its historical nature and architectural layout, some parts may be challenging to navigate.

7. Are there any special events or festivals held at Matsumoto Castle?

Yes, Matsumoto Castle hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including cherry blossom viewing, traditional music performances, and samurai reenactments.

8. Can I purchase souvenirs at the castle?

Yes, there are souvenir shops located within the castle complex where you can purchase various Matsumoto Castle-themed items and traditional Japanese crafts.

9. Is there parking available near Matsumoto Castle?

Yes, there are parking facilities available near the castle for visitors traveling by car.

10. What are some nearby attractions to visit along with Matsumoto Castle?

Some nearby attractions worth visiting include the Matsumoto City Museum of Art, Nakamachi Street for traditional Japanese shops, and the scenic Kamikochi Valley for hiking and nature enthusiasts.