Mastumoto Castle (also known as Crow Castle, because of the black walls) is a gorgeous 400 year old over National Treasure situated in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan. It is also, like the name suggests, a castle. It has several unique aspects: wooden interior, stone exteriors, and horrifically scary stairwells.
Things to remember about Matsumoto Castle in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan:
1. Inside the courtyard of Matsumoto Castle is an Azalea tree that sprouted from a seed that was carried into space by Chiaki Mukai, a medical doctor (and the first Japanese woman in space). Since her hometown was near the Matsumoto Castle, she donated the seed. Since then, it’s grown up to be a rather lovely tree.
2. There was a Japanese wedding taking place when we were at Mastumoto Castle. This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in Nagano Prefecture, let alone Japan.
3. There was a samurai (I think) involved in the wedding ceremony. I had to wonder, was he the best man? Because he definitely was not the groom.
When I showed my fiancé the pictures I took of the Japanese wedding, he agreed. When we have our Japanese ceremony, there is going to be a samurai incorporated.
I’m so glad I got to see this.
4. You have to take your shoes off in the front entrance and walk around the slippery wooden floors of the castle in your socks. So make sure you wear socks. You don’t want to be “that guy” with the smelly bare-feet that leave sweaty footprints on the routinely polices dark, hardwood floors.
The entire Matsumoto Castle interior was made out of gorgeous, dark, polished wood.
5. Follow the signs. There is a right way to explore Matsumoto Castle. Just follow the signs. If you want to see an area, but the sign is pointing away, just deal with it. They are pretty strict about not wandering off on your own, if you try, a staff member will find you.
6. Look out any of the gun windows. It was pretty cool.
7. Admire the historical artifacts on display. My favorite was this armor.
8. Try not to slip and die on the horrifically steep, cramped stairways.
Look at this. Isn’t it terrifying? Especially if you’re wearing slippery socks…
9. Seriously, try not to die. The steps are surprisingly slippery and somewhat un-even. There are a total of six floors, to that’s at LEAST 12 stairways.
10. Once you finish the castle, you can go feed the fish and take pictures of the castle.
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