When I plan a visit to Japan, I search for interesting places at several different sites off of the beaten track. Usually, other people take photos of castles, temples, or other famous buildings, but then I have no idea what is in the surrounding area. So when it's my time to visit those places, I find beautiful sights to see like ponds with fish and turtles, big trees, flowers and so on.
Matsumoto is not a big city and it’s easy to travel on foot. The Castle is located not far away from the Matsumoto Station. Heading to the Castle, I enjoy the sight of old houses and nice neat streets. The Castle is surrounded by a spacious garden with sakura, fuji, and other blooming trees. The moat around the castle is inhabited by turtles, koi (carp), ducks, and swans. Some swans have nests right near the Castle. There are benches to sit down and to feast your eyes on the sight of the Castle and mountains in the background. It’s one of my most favorite places in Japan.