Matsumoto Castle, National Treasure of Japan
Frequently asked questions


About tours of Matsumoto Castle

  • When is it open for visitors?
    8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (last entry at 4:30 p.m.)
  • Is the only entrance the Kuromon Gate?
    The only entrance to the castle grounds is the Kuromon Gate, on the south side.
    It isn’t possible to enter from Uzumibashi Bridge (the Red Bridge), but you can proceed as far as the crank in the middle.
  • Is the Taiko-mon Gate not opened?
    It is opened to the public (free admission) 3 times a year, in Spring, Summer, and Autumn.
  • Is the admission fee discounted for those with disabilities?
    Upon showing the certificate of disability, the individual and one caregiver are admitted for free.
  • Do you lend out wheelchairs?
    Wheelchairs can be borrowed at the Kuromon Gate ticket sales location, as well as Kaichi Parking Area and Otemon Parking Area.
    The number of chairs is limited, so they cannot be reserved ahead of time.
  • Is it possible to enter the Tenshu in a wheelchair?
    Matsumoto Castle Tenshu is the same as when it was built during the Warring States period, and therefore no barrier-free renovations have been done.
    We are sorry, but entry to the Tenshu by wheelchair is not possible.
  • Are there restrooms for those with disabilities?
    There is one restroom for those with disabilities on the castle grounds, and two in Matsumoto Castle Park.
  • Are there restrooms in the Tenshu?
    Please note that there are no restrooms in the Tenshu.
  • Is there anywhere to leave baby strollers?
    Strollers may be left at the management office or at the entrance to the Tenshu.
  • Can I enter with a pet?
    Pets are forbidden in the paid admission areas (the castle grounds and the tower), even if in a cage or carrier.
    Pets are allowed in Matsumoto Castle Park, which is outside the moat perimeter.
  • Are there places to eat and drink outdoors?
    Eating and drinking are forbidden on the castle grounds.
    If eating a packed lunch, please use Matsumoto Castle Park, outside the moat perimeter.
    Please take your trash back home with you.
  • Is smoking forbidden in the castle tower?
    Because Matsumoto Castle is a priceless wooden structure, the use of open flames is prohibited.
    As there is a smoking area located next to the management office, please refrain from smoking in other locations.
  • How long is the tour?
    The time varies depending on how crowded the Tenshu is, but when the castle is empty, from entering the Tenshu until leaving it, a tour will take 30 – 40 minutes. When crowded, it will take about 60 minutes.
    However, during Golden Week, or around O-bon, when the castle is very crowded, entry is restricted, so there may be long waiting times before entering the Tenshu.
  • Is there a guide?
    From the middle part of April until the end of October, volunteer guides (Matsumoto Castle Guide Group), and volunteer interpreter guides (Alps Language Service Association) are available in Matsumoto Castle Park.
    Please request their assistance understanding that they are completely volunteer organizations.
    Matsumoto Castle Volunteer Guides
  • Is there a place to leave luggage?
    There are coin-operated lockers on the castle grounds. Please use these for smaller bags.
    Larger bags can be left at the shop. (Please remove valuables and breakable items.)
  • Is there an elevator in the castle tower?
    Matsumoto Castle’s tower is one of the few remaining extant castle towers in existence and is registered as a national treasure.
    Therefore, no renovations which would change the structure have been done.
    As a building designed for warfare, the stairways, as well as being narrow and steep also have high risers, so, with deepest apologies to those with weak legs, and senior citizens, we ask your understanding for there being no elevators or escalators.
  • When is the castle closed?
    December 29 – 31.

About the use of Matsumoto Castle Park

  • Are sales allowed in the park?
    As it is a public area, profit-making activities are not allowed, with the exception of government functions.
  • Is a permit required to ask for donations in the park?
    Yes, a permit is required.
    The Matsumoto Castle management office will review the activity and will give permission only after judging that it will cause no problems.
  • I’d like to have an event at the park.
    Please apply to the Matsumoto Castle management office.
    After investigating, a permit will be granted if there are no problems.
  • Is it permitted to ride bicycles in the park?
    It is forbidden to bring bicycles onto the castle grounds.
    Bicycles are permitted in Matsumoto Castle Park, outside the moat perimeter. However, so as not to inconvenience others in the park, or those passing through, please dismount and push them. Please be considerate and safe.
  • How many cherry blossom trees are there in the park?
    Including the moat perimeter, there are about 300.
  • Is it possible to have a cherry blossom viewing party in the park?
    It is possible, within reason, in the areas that are not fenced.
    However, because the use of open flame is forbidden in the park, barbecuing is not permitted.

Other questions

  • What time is the castle tower lit up? Is there a certain season?
    From sundown to 10:00 p.m. The tower is light up all year round.
  • Is there a parking lot?
    There is no free parking, but the Kaichi Parking Area (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Otemon Parking Area (7:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.) are the nearest parking lots. Both are about 5 minutes’ walk from Matsumoto Castle’s Kuromon Gate.
  • I’d like to know more about sightseeing in the area around Matsumoto Castle.
    Please contact Matsumoto City Tourism Information Center. Tel. 0263-39-7176
  • Are there rental bicycles?
    There are free rental cycles called “Suisui Town”. There are some (5) at the Kaichi Parking Area.
    Please fill out the application form available at each facility. (Reception open from 9:00 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m.)
  • Are there always armored greeters?
    They are available on the castle grounds for photographs, and to guide guests, every day from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Where is stamp for Japan’s 100 Famous Castles?
    It is on the castle grounds (paid-admission area) at the entrance to the management office.
  • Please use the pictures on this homepage.
    Except for pictures of collections, no permission is needed to download and view pictures privately, but please don’t post them on another homepage, a blog, or on the web.
    Permission is required for use in the media or for commerce (TV, magazines, merchandise, etc.).
    Please submit an application form (freestyle) and proposal to the Matsumoto Castle management office.