Japanese Culture Experience Days
Join us for an immersive experience in Matsumoto City! This year, there are 12 chances to try a wide range of different cultural activities. See more about the event days here.
Free Wi-Fi Now Available Along Nakamachi Street
Requiring no registration, Nakamachi’s free Wi-Fi gives you unlimited access from 6:00 to 12:00 midnight. (Service may be unavailable in certain areas. Not for gaming.) SSID: nakamachistreet
Updated English Map and Outdoor Area Guide Map
View and download the updated version of Nakamachi’s guide map, which now includes five additional shops. You’ll also find a large-scale wall map for easy viewing in front of the Nakamachi Shopping Street Promotion Association Office located about halfway down the street.
A new service has started from October 22th! Grab some cool stickers when you go to Nakamachi Street after visiting Matsumoto Castle (hold on to your admission ticket stub)! You can get the first sticker by simply showing your ticket stub at Kurassic-kan or at the Nakamachi Shopping Street Association Office. You can get the other versions when you purchase/use a service or get a bite to eat and show your ticket stub at participating shops.
The campaign will last until stickers run out. See more information on this flyer:
and List of places where you can get these stickers.
During the Edo period (1603-1867) in Japan, Nakamachi Street was located in the center part of the castle town of Matsumoto City thus denoting its name: “Naka” – meaning in or center, and “machi” – meaning town. It was located on the old Zenkoji Kaido, a route connecting Zenkoji Temple to Nagoya and Kyoto and prospered as the main business district where wholesale dealers sold their goods (mainly sake brewers and kimono merchants). Many of the historical buildings found in Nakamachi used to function as storehouses. These buildings are called kura or dozo and some are more than a 100 years old. (See the section on “Kura” for more details).
Presently, Nakamachi has a variety of shops including folk art shops, craft shops and restaurants, and cafes, as well as the Kurassic-kan, which was once a sake brewery building, and the Scale Museum which is housed in a former scale shop. Many of the restaurants allow you to try more local fare.
While you will find that many shops are open into the early evening, please note that a number of shops are closed on Wednesdays. The street runs parallel to Nawate Street, which has the large frog statue at the entrance.
- Hours: 10:00 – 17:00
- Winter Hours: Nov. to Mar. 10:30 – 16:00
The Matsumoto Scale Museum
- Hours: 9:30 – 17:00
- Closed on Mondays and Dec. 29 – 31
- Admission: ¥200 (free for elementary and junior high students)
This small, homely shrine is tucked away on a narrow side street toward the eastern end of Nakamachi. When a big fire broke out in and around Nakamachi, this shrine was believed to have stopped the flames from going beyond it, thus the shrine is considered to house the guardian deity of Nakamachi.
Located across the river from Nakamachi, Nawate Street is a car-free zone lined with small eateries and quirky shops where you can buy trinkets and Japanese-style snacks. The street retains its Edo-style atmosphere and is popular with tourists. You will also find Yohashira Shrine along this street. While many of these shops are also closed on Wednesdays, the atmosphere of the old buildings and shrine makes it worth walking down.
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Nagano Prefecture’s first bean to bar chocolate shop and specialty coffee roaster. Opened in February 2018. In the summer, also doubles as a Japanese-style shaved ice specialty store that uses natural ice. 1F COFFEE STAND & COFFEE ROASTER 2F CHOCOLATE FAC...
Closed: 2nd and 4th Wed & Thu
A cafe and bric-a-brac store that serves rich, aromatic coffee and generous soft muffins that are definitely worth trying.
Run by a three generation team of mother, daughter, and grandson (still only two years old) that uses seasonal ingredients to cook home- style food. Besides local Matsumoto dishes, Ayana also boasts a range of Japanese mushroom and sansai (edible wild plant...
Closed: Sun & lunch on Mon
This Japanese-style bar is located in a traditional kura-style building and serves seasonal fish and local specials such as sanzokuyaki (Matsumoto-style fried chicken).
Appealing to mature tastes, this bar specializes in rum, boasting around 250 kinds. Avid jazz lovers will appreciate the music streaming from the JBL speakers while enjoying drinks.
Closed: Thu, irregular
A small cafe housed in a 100 year old kura-style building that offers black tea by the pot, hand-dripped coffee, and baked goods. Matsumoto honey & lemon soda, alcohol, and other drinks are also available. Check out the historical building from the inside a...
Closed: Tue. & Wed.
Our shop sells mainly tableware from different regions of Japan, as well as bags, illustrated postcards, cloth, and folk crafts from other countries. These handmade arts and crafts are great for personal, everyday use or to give as gifts.
Closed: Wed in Jan & Feb, New Year’s Day
Relax in the restaurant with its local, Matsumoto folk furniture. Enjoy a meal with chestnut rice or a cup of tea while you take in the Japanese moss garden and its pond. As souvenirs, the chestnut sweets are recommended.
Inspired by the concepts of art and a fun lifestyle, this shop sells craftwork, paintings, and other items by young artists.
Closed: Sun. night & Mon.
Enjoy Italian food made using a delicious combination of local vegetables and Italian ingredients.
Closed: Open year-round
This shop sells natural stone accessories and Japanese-made made glass accessories.
Free Rental Cycle
Free bicycle rental is available at Sui Sui Town in the Nakamachi “Kuranoaru” Parking Lot near Kurassic-kan (see the location on the map). Rental hours from 9:00 to 20:00.
Events & Festivals
Ameichi (Candy Festival): Nakamachi's portable shrines go around the streets of Matsumoto. Held on a weekend in early or mid-Jan.
Tenjin Festival: Fukashi Shrine's lively annual festival where traditional wooden floats, including those from Nakamachi, parade through the streets. July 24th and 25th.
Matsumoto Bon Bon: Tens of thousands of people dance on the streets of Matsumoto. The first Sat. of Aug.
Shimin (Citizens’) Festival: A colorful festival with a samurai procession, vehicle free streets, and plenty of street stalls. Nov 3rd. We also held "Japanese Culture Experience Day" in 2018.
Farmers from around Matsumoto bring seasonal vegetables, flowers, fruit and fruit juice, edible wild plants, and mushrooms to this morning market. It is very popular as the produce is both fresh and inexpensive and the farmers give the market-goers tips on cooking and pickling.
In 1888, most of Nakamachi burnt down in a big fire. In response, many fire-resistant kura buildings were built to protect the town from fire, which employed a traditional fireproofing method that involved creating very thick walls, anywhere from 20 to 30 centimeters. The walls were treated with a number of layers of mud on the inside, but beautifully designed with a white, mortar grid pattern on black tiles known as namako kabe. While most buildings were used as storehouses, some were occasionally used for residences as well. Even today, many such buildings remain around the Nakamachi area.
Matsumoto has an abundant supply of natural ground water and several old wells can still be found in the city. There are a few wells in Nakamachi and the surrounding neighborhoods including the hand-pump well at Kurassic-kan. The water is safe for drinking. You can check the locations on the guide map, available to download below!
A traditional, Japanese-style bar that serves a variety of food.
This is a small side dish served to all customers at izakaya-style pubs/bars before ordered items are served. It is most often charged for and is a common Japanese practice that functions as a kind of cover charge. It can create trouble for foreigners who don't understand why they have been charged for what they haven't specifically ordered. However, do note, although they may not appeal to everyone’s tastes, even if declined, the charge will still be required as a part of Japanese pub culture.
Buckwheat noodles, famous in Nagano. They can be served as hot noodles, with trimmings such as tempura or edible wild plants, or served chilled on a basket as “Zaru Soba.”
Literally translating to "bandit chicken," sanzokuyaki is a local dish with marinated, chunky, deep-fried chicken.