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  • Writer's pictureÈric

Matsumoto castle and Wasabi farm excursion

Not far away from Nagano you can reach Matsumoto, which is home to the famous Matsumoto castle.

The castle is one of the grandest castles in Japan. It is famous for its stunning architecture as one of the country's best-preserved Hirajiro, or flatland castles, dating back to the sixteenth century. Its five-storey main tower is the oldest surviving castle tower in the nation.

Matsumoto castle by two travelling

Another cool thing from the castle is that is full of fish surrounding it. And some of the carp fishes are actually albinos, which I didn’t know they existed.

albino carp fish

That’s the main thing to see there a part from a couple of streets with handcrafted shops.

However, 30 minutes by train (included with the JR pass) from Matsumoto you can find one of the only Japanese Wasabi farms that is open to public. You can therefore visit the Matsumoto castle and Wasabi farm on the same day.

You can reach that by stopping at Otaka and taking a bus or some bikes to the Wasabi farm. We would recommend going with the bike since it’s cheaper and it’s also a beautiful ride to the farm, seeing rivers and rice fields.

Trixi riding a bike close to a rice field

The Wasabi farm is very interesting, you can see how the Wasabi grows using the stream of water from a water spring. You can also eat in the restaurant there savoring different dishes containing Wasabi, which is an experience on its own.

Wasabi farm

You can even get a Wasabi ice cream with real wasabi on it… I tried it and it was fun but the Japanese Wasabi is more spicy than the one we get in Europe in my opinion.

Èric with an ice cream at a Wasabi farm

Wasabi ice cream close to Matsumoto

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