It is a hirajiro: a castle built on plan, and not on a hilltop. A visit to Matsumoto Castle gives you an authentic experience of real Japan: it still possesses its original wooden interiors and external stonework. Its magnificence setting with the Japanese Alps in the background, and its black colour that gave it its nickname "karasuja", meaning Crow Castle, make this 400-year-old castle a symbol of Japan.
With its steep stairs and low ceiling, and with its displays of armor and weapons dating from when the castle was built in the Sengoku period ('Warring states period' of the 15th and 16th centuries), it is certainly a must-see for visitors to Japan.
Find out more about Matsumoto Castle.