|English Name||Matsumoto Castle|
|Castle Condition||Original main keep|
|Designations||Top 100 Castles, has National Treasures, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Main Keep Structure||5 levels, 6 stories|
|Artifacts||tenshu, Inui Kotenshu, Watariyagura, Tsukimi Yagura, Tatsumi Tsukiyagura|
|Features||main keep, gates, turrets, water moats, stone walls, walls|
|Access||Matsumoto Station, 15 minute walk|
|Location||Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 14' 19", 137° 58' 8"|
|Year Visited||1992, 2002, 2009, 2015|
|Visits||August 1992; May 13, 2002; April 11, 2009|
Next to Himeji-jo, Matsumoto-jo is the next best extant castle main keep in Japan. Built by Ishikawa Kazumasa and his son Yasunaga in 1590, Matsumoto-jo is designated a National Treasure. After Hideyoshi took Odawara he stationed Ishikawa Kazumasa in Matsumoto to govern his eastern provinces. The history of Matsumoto-jo actually begins with a castle called Fukashi-jo which was built by Shimadachi Sadanaga in 1504. That castle was attacked and captured by Takeda Shingen in 1550.
This was the first large castle and first original extant castle I ever visited. I was so impressed it sparked my future interest in castles.