MatsumotoSeptember 11, 2017 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C
If you like wide streets and big 4WDs, don't come to Matsumoto. I'm staying in a place that is on the canal. It is on a narrow lane ("street" would be an exaggeration) that supports 2 way traffic along with cyclists and pedestrians. I will never complain about Brisbane cyclists again!
I miss the turn off to my destination because the car GPS tells me to turn down what appears to be a footpath. It is actually navigable by car (if you hold your breath). As to the left turn at the end of this footpath, there could be pedestrians, cyclists and 2 way car traffic to contend with .
Route 158 into Matsumoto is in part a narrow track through the mountains with a tree canopy, switchbacks and hairpin turns. The Kamikaze spirit lives on in the local motorists. Being a Sunday, there are many hikers out and about. Matsumoto is the most touristed town I've been in since Kawaguchiko and there are a number of other Westerners staying at the Ryokan, including a couple from Geelong.
I visited Matsumoto-jo, which is the local castle and was built in the late 16th century (like the other castles I've visited). Must have been turbulent times. The castle tour entails walking/climbing up very steep stairs to the 6th floor keep. I'm always on guard for low beams!
That evening I dine at an Indian popup eatery called Doon Shokudo Indoyama. It's a one man show owned and run by an expat Indian called Ashish. He has good reviews on Trip Advisor which appeals to the young Mittel European travellers that I see there. I have a chicken curry which he cooks while chatting. He has a brother in Orange (NSW) which surprises me.Read more