Matsumoto is one of the two towns that is connected to Kamikochi. The city is positioned at a height of 600 meters above sea level and it offers a clean air and comfortable climate when you compare it to the area around Kyoto and Tokyo. The town has a very central position, offering several touristic locations in close reach. Matsumoto is also famous for its soba (buckwheat) noodles and also for Sanzoku-yaki(a fried chicken seasoned with garlic and a few other ingredients) and also is it known for Oyaki (filled fried bread buns). All of these can be found all over town in the street towards the castle, in Nawate-street (often referred to by foreigners as ‘frog street’ because you can see frogs statues everywhere) and Nakamachi, a street where you can find many buildings that used to were used for storage. These buildings are recognizable by there diagonal black/white squares pattern.
Azumino on the other hand is often not very known by foreigners, but very well known by Japanese. It is the country side near Matsumoto and is known for its wasabi, beautiful scenery and cycling environment. It also houses several art houses and a lot of individual crafters of all kinds: glass, leather, wood etc. Azumino is a very relaxing environment and a day spent in Azumino is definitely not a day wasted!
Want to see what Matsumoto and Azumino have to offer? Check out the articles on the left!