1-Day Matsumoto Castle & Local Food Experience Tour

1-Day Matsumoto Castle & Local Food Experience Tour


Not operating until April 2021


8:45 - 18:30

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station


Adult (13+) 18,800 JPY
Child (6-12) 14,800 JPY


*For residents of Japan eligible for offers under the national ‘Go To Travel’ campaign, we can package this tour with accommodation and/or provide the same itinerary as a private tour or charter. If you would like to arrange any of those options, please contact us at to discuss*.





  • Experience Japan and Nagano’s renowned food culture, starting with a visit to the beautiful Daio Wasabi Farm, where you can stroll and choose your own ‘wasabi’ and challenge your perceptions of this subtle and versatile plant
  • Learn to make ‘soba’ (buckwheat noodles) with a guided lesson and lunch, where you’ll put your fresh wasabi to immediate and delicious use!
  • Visit one of the region’s oldest and most renowned ‘sake’ breweries, Kametaya and enjoy a guided tour of the historic building and tasting
  • Stroll Matsumoto’s quaint ‘Frog Street’, a cute shopping street of food vendors, craft and antique stores leading to Yohashira Shrine – a popular ‘power spot’ dedicated to four Shinto deities
  • Explore Matsumoto Castle, a registered National Treasure and one of the last remaining castles in Japan


*This tour is limited to groups of 2 people and more.




Japan’s food culture is renowned throughout the world and as one of the country’s primary agricultural regions, there’s no better place to get hands-on and indulge in the local cuisine than Nagano!


Starting at JR Nagano Station at 8:45 (the guide will be there from 8:30), your guide will quickly have you on your way toward Azumino, a beautiful rural area in the valley below the dramatic Northern Alps. First stop is Daio Wasabi Farm, to enjoy (and perhaps be surprised!) by the subtlety of flavor and versatility of use for real wasabi. This beautiful farm is as famous for its serene setting – featured in the Kurosawa Akira film ‘Dreams’ – as it is for the peppery flavor of its wasabi. You’ll have the chance to stroll and choose your own wasabi, and if so inclined try wasabi chocolate, ice cream or even beer!




With wasabi in-hand you next head for lunch and hands-on experience of soba-making. ‘Soba’ (buckwheat noodles) is synonymous with the region and very satisfying to make for yourself! You will be guided through kneading, rolling, and cutting your own noodles before combining them with your freshly grated wasabi.




After lunch you will head to Kametaya Brewery to sample yet another of Nagano’s most acclaimed products, ‘sake’. As Japan’s most famous drink, the world of sake is complex and steeped in history which is best experienced right where it’s produced, at one of the region’s oldest and most acclaimed breweries. You will tour the historic family homestead before enjoying a guided tasting experience.




The final stop of the tour takes you to Matsumoto City and its famous castle. Your guide will first take you along ‘Kaeru Michi’ or ‘Frog Street’, a cute shopping precinct of food vendors, craft and antiques stores, and adorned with countless frog statues, memorabilia, and merchandise. Once home to an army of raucous croaking frogs the street fell silent in 1959 when a large typhoon forced the frogs to take refuge on higher ground. They never came back and in their silent absence, locals decorated the street with countless frogs, a tradition that continues to this day.




Your guide will allow you time to explore the street before meeting at Yohashira Shrine. A rare example of a Shinto shrine dedicated to four deities, it is considered a ‘power spot’ with special ability to grant all wishes. From the shrine it’s a short walk to the iconic Matsumoto Castle.




More than 400 years old and a registered National Treasure, Matsumoto Castle is one of Nagano’s most impressive cultural sites, known for its structural beauty set against a splendid mountain backdrop. You will be guided into the castle grounds as your guide reveals the history and features which make it so lauded, before giving you time to explore for yourself (including ascending all the way to the top of its six storeys, should you choose to!).


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Meeting-up with your guide you will board the tour bus and begin your journey back toward Nagano, with the tour schedule to conclude where it began, at JR Nagano Station between 18:00 and 18:30.


08:45 Meet-up with your guide at JR Nagano Station. The meeting point is in front of the Information Board, directly opposite the shinkansen ticket gates. From there you will board the tour bus and begin your journey toward Azumino.
10:15 Arrive at Daio Wasabi Farm, where you will have time to stroll and enjoy the beautiful setting before picking your own wasabi to use at lunch.
11:00 Depart Daio and head toward your soba-making/lunch venue.
11:15 Enjoy a guided, hands-on soba-making experience followed by lunch.
13:15 Make your way toward Kametaya Sake Brewery.
14:00 Arrive at the brewery and be guided around the historic building before enjoying a tasting, led by your guide.
14:30 Depart the brewery and head toward Matsumoto for the final stop of the tour.
15:00 Arrive at Matsumoto’s famous ‘Frog Street’ and stroll the food vendors and stores toward Yohashira Shrine. From there your guide will lead you to Matsumoto Castle to explore the castle and grounds.
16:45 Meetup with your guide and begin the journey back to Nagano.
18:00-18:30 Tour concludes at JR Nagano Station.



  • Transportation from Nagano Station to Matsumoto Castle, other attractions, and back to JR Nagano Station
  • Entry to Daio Wasabi Farm and fresh wasabi for use at lunch
  • Soba-making experience including lunch
  • Sake tasting
  • Entry to Matsumoto Castle
  • English-speaking guide



  • Additional food, snacks, and drinks
  • Shinkansen/bullet or other train tickets


Other Information:

  • Please wear suitable shoes for walking.
  • There is no obligation to enter the castle but if you wish to do so, please proceed with care. Staircases leading to the top are steep and visitors are required to remove their shoes. Walking on the stairs in socks can be slippery and in winter, will be cold. Guests who are mobility impaired or elderly are welcome to join this tour but should not enter the castle or attempt to climb to the top.
  • Infants (0-5) are free of charge therefore lunch is not provided for them.
  • The itinerary is based on the traffic conditions being optimal. We will adjust the schedule according to traffic conditions and pace of the group on the day of the tour.
  • The tour application deadline is 2 days before the tour at 17:00.


Google Map

JR Nagano Station

Kurita, Nagano-shi, Nagano, 380-0921, Japan


What time of the bullet train should I ride to arrive in Nagano on time? What time does the bullet train depart back to Tokyo after the tour?

The start and finish of the tour are arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. See below for specific timetables on the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station.


Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagano Station:

Tokyo: 06:28 – Nagano: 08:06 – Hakutaka
Tokyo: 06:52 – Nagano: 08:38 – Asama
Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)*


*You can still take 07:20 – 08:43 train since JR Nagano Station isn’t big at all and there is only one Shinkansen ticket exit. The tour meet-up is just after the Shinkansen ticket exit so please come straight up to there.


Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station:

Nagano: 19:08 – Tokyo: 20:52  – Asama
Nagano: 19:38 – Tokyo: 21:16  – Hakutaka

(Travel Agency License No: Nagano 2-562)
Snow Monkey Resorts Tours
Nagano City Kurita 1015-7, NK Copo 202, Nagano, 380-0921 Japan
Tel: (81)26-219-6256
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara

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