Japan – Nagano, Matsumoto, and Nagoya

The next stops on my Japan trip were Nagano (for one night), Matsumoto Castle, and Nagoya. I stayed in Nagano for the evening after visiting the Jigokudani Monkey Park. I stayed in a very swanky hotel right at the Nagano train station. I had quite a bit of work to do that evening and I wanted to be close to the train station for the next day. I did a time-lapse video of the sunset and was pretty impressed how it turned out.

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The next day I boarded a train towards Nagoya but made a stop in Matsumoto. Matsumoto is one of Japan’s top four castles to visit, and during this trip I visited all four! Masumoto is unique because it’s a black castle, also known as the “crow castle”. The amount of engineering detail that went into the castle is breathtaking. They accounted for everything that you could possibly conceive, even earthquakes. Not bad for late 1500’s engineering! The castle still stands to this day, surviving multiple earthquakes, and World War 2. Over the years the castle was ruled by the 23 lords of Matsumoto representing six different daimyō families.

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After soaking up this magnificent castle I continued on my journey to Nagoya. My two favorite things about Nagoya was the Toyota Museum, and the MAGLEV museum. I actually learned that Toyota is one of the largest manufacturer’s of the automatic loom; apparently they started out as a textile machine company. Nagoya impressed me in some aspects, but disappointed me in other aspects. I was disappointed about the dirtiness of the city, and overall grungy feel to the city. It felt like the Las Vegas of Japan in a way.

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The next stop in my trip was Kyoto, one of my favorite stops of the entire trip. Stay tuned!