Matsumoto Castle:Matsumoto Castle is one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan's original castles. It is a "hirajiro" - a castle built on plains rather than on a hill or mountain. Matsumoto Castle is unique for having both a secondary donjon and a turret adjoined to its main keep. The castle structures, in combination with their characteristic black wainscoting, give off an air of grandeur and poise.
Lake Suwa:The lake is located in the heart of Suwa and is the largest lake in Nagano Prefecture. Whether walking, cycling, or jogging, the lake provides a relaxing backdrop. In spring, the lake is surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms, while summer sees it lit up by fireworks above. In warmer months, lake activities include pleasure cruises, amphibious bus tours, fishing, and more.
Takayama Jinya:The Takayama Jinya served as the local government office headed by the officials dispatched from Edo (present day Tokyo). The building complex was in official use until 1969 and is now open to the public as a museum. It includes various nicely maintained tatami rooms that once served as offices, conference rooms, guest rooms and residential space. There is also an interesting interrogation room. Beside the main building stands a large storehouse built in the 1600s. Known as the biggest traditional rice storehouse in Japan, it now functions as a museum, showcasing belongings and official documents of past local leaders, old maps of the Hida Region and historic town plans.
Sanmachi Suji:The Sanmachi Suji District consists of three streets in the heart of Takayama’s old town, which lies just to the east of the Miya-gawa River. The streets are lined with traditional houses, shops, restaurants, sake breweries and cafes. These three quaint streets are among the most picturesque in Japan, and if you mentally Photoshop out a few electrical wires and other tourists, you can imagine what Japan looked like around the turn of last century.