Over 400 years old, Matsumoto Castle is a Japanese National Treasure. The castle is set beautifully over a lake and with its contrasting black and white it is one of the more popular castles in Japan.
The castle is the oldest five-storey tower or tenshu in Japan and was built for times of war. The castle has several openings for archers and firearms (the inner museum containing a large collection of firearms from the period). Along the lower storey, parts of the facade protrude at an angle providing openings for those within to drop stones on any enemies climbing the stone wall.
Later, during a time of peace, the castle was given the addition of a moon-viewing wing. With openings to the east, north and south, a vaulted ceiling and bright vermillion painted balustrades, this is the most pleasant of the castles rooms.