Okay if you follow me on any social media platform, you know how much I talk about Nagano.
"Oh, Nagano is the best"
"I love Matsumoto"
"Best place in Japan!"
Since you've heard how amazing Nagano is, I'm sure you're booking your flights as soon as possible to visit this cute little city in the middle of Japan.
So, before you plan your trip, here are a few places to add to your to-do list in Matsumoto, Japan.
#1: Matsumoto Castle
Matsumoto Castle is one of the most famous castles in Japan. As the oldest surviving castle in the country, it's an amazing place to learn more about Japanese history. You can wander around outside of the castle, or take an inside tour, where you can learn more about the castle's history while viewing artifacts, artwork, and clothing related to the castle.
This castle is an amazing place to visit all year round, and it's highly recommended by anyone who visits. This should definitely be at the top of your list!
#2: Nawate and Nakamachi Street
A few kilometers away from the castle we have Nawate and Nakamachi Street. These streets are amazing places to shop, relax, enjoy Japanese culture, and eat delicious food.
I find myself walking these streets almost every time I'm near the castle. I love viewing the unique shops, and tasting different sweets every time.
Nakamachi Street is lined with unique traditional shops, all these shops are white in color, with black roofs, which gives the street an elegant and aesthetic look.
Nawate Street, which I often call 'the frog street' because there are many statues of frogs, is a fun street filled with shops that sell fun trinkets and delicious Japanese treats, like taiyaki.
#3: Hakuba Village
Located in the mountains, Hakuba Village is a huge tourist attraction. The 1998 Winter Olympics were held in Hakuba. There are beautiful famous ski resorts with amazing snow in the winter, which attracts people from all over the world (especially Australia: there are so many Australians who come to Hakuba in the winter to ski!)
If skiing isn't really your thing, Hakuba is still an amazing place to visit all year long! You can enjoy hiking, or enjoy the rivers and lakes in the mountains.
I tried stand up paddle boarding in a lake near Hakuba, and it was so much fun, with such a beautiful view!
#4: Atera Valley
Maybe a two-hour drive from Matsumoto is Atera Valley. This valley is breathtaking! With beautiful mountains and rivers with the clearest water, and waterfalls.
I'm pretty sure this is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. It is really cold though, so make sure to go on a hot and sunny day in the summer so you can enjoy swimming.
Another beautiful mountain area is Kamikochi. It's an amazing place to view the mountains, lush green forests, and crystal clear waters, or enjoy hiking along the mountains.
Kamikochi is a must-see and is a very popular tourist attraction in Nagano.
Now, time to get started planning your trip to Nagano! These 5 activities are just some of my favorite things I've experienced living in Matsumoto so far, but there are seriously so many more activities to do and things to see.
Can't wait to see you here :)