Matsumoto (More Pictures Added)

Trip Start Dec 27, 2011
Trip End Apr 25, 2012

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Flag of Japan  , Chubu,
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On our two days off, Adam and I took a trip to Matsumoto. It was about 2 hours by train. We both enjoyed the city very much. Matsumoto is home to Japan's oldest wooden castle, which we were fortunate enough to tour! There was also a small ice sculpture festival on the castle grounds going on during the day. We were tempted again by all the festival food, but surprisingly we decided to eat our packed lunch. With our castle admission (600 yen) we received entry to the Matsumoto City Museum, which was small but interesting. Next we walked down Nawate Street, an old warehouse district that has been converted into small shops and restaurants. The street has a frog theme, which we are not entirely sure of the meaning behind it. All we know is the frog is the God of Defense and you can find at least one type of frog trinket in every shop. We found our new favorite bakery, Sweet (est. 1913), on this street. We went back 3 times it was so delicious! We also visited a famous shop that makes silk screened hand towels. These are very important in Japan since it is rare to find a washroom with paper towel or a hand dryer. Instead people carry around their own handkerchief to dry their hands.
We also visited a Timepiece Museum, which has Japanese largest pendulum clock. It had a lot of interesting clocks and pocket watches, with even more interesting translations. 
After a rest at the hotel, we went walking around the city to find an enormous 7-11. It was 9 floors! It contained everything from a pharmacy to clothing to a grocery store. We seemed to arrive just as they had put the 50% off stickers on all of the sushi and tempura. Of course we took advantage of this!
Our second day in Mastumoto we enjoyed a complimentary breakfast at the hotel. There was a choice of Japanese or Western style. Adam chose the Japanese breakfast, which was fish, miso soup, scrambled egg, carrot and burdock root salad, rice with nori, and green tea. I wasn't feeling like fish at 8 am, so I went with the Western style, which was toast and jam, a roll, scrambled eggs, ham, cabbage salad, and orange juice. After breakfast we went to the Parco department store and shopped around a little. There was 6 floors to get through, so it took us a couple of hours. We walked around the city until it was time to catch the train back to Obuse. 

 We only have a week and a half left in Obuse, then we are off to Nagoya. I think we are both pretty excited to move on to the next stop on our itinerary!

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lavona on

The Castle looks amazing. Just to think of the time era it was built and the tools they would of used ...remarkable . I would like to be able to see the inside too. Thanks again for sharing with us.. Love Mom J

Brad on

Hello guys! finally got some time to write something to you. Recieved the letter and blow fish! the kids liked them very much, i hung them from string in each of there rooms. sounds like you guys are enjoying your time there and obviously seeing some awesome things. Binky thought that apple bear was wow wow wubzy lol. anyway thanks for the letter and ill talk to you later.

britadam on

Hey B, glad the letter and the fish found you guys! 'Wow wow wubzy' hahaha oh that Blake is a funny girl. Mom told me about 'grandpa brush hair'. Too funny! That apple bear mascot is everywhere. I will post some more pictures of it later. I haven't figured out what it is a mascot for yet.

Auntie Joanne on

It looks like you are having an amazing trip - lots of new and interesting experiences for sure! I should join you - it looks like a good way to lose weight :-)!
Continue to take care and enjoy your experience of a lifetime!

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