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Matsumoto (松本市) is a city in Japan located in the Nagano Prefecture. It is designated a special city, which means it has a population of more than 200,000. Matsumoto is delegated a subset of functions that are usually delegated to core cities. The city is located near the center of the Japanese Archipelago and is also a central city of the region.

This area is known as a model area for international tourism. A majority of the economy is based on tourism so a big part of the economy is tertiary markets such as the service industry.

Matsumoto plays a central role in local industries, commerce and even culture. The textile industry was very big up until 1920. It is now a precision machinery industry and it is represented by Seiko and Epson. The other major industries are precision and agricultural equipment, furniture, apples, tomatoes, grapes, celery, and lettuce.


Ieyasu founded his Shogunate in Edo in 1603. This was a major turning point in Japanese history. He created Japan as it would be for the next 265 years. To preserve the integrity of the social and political structure he attempted to close out the world to Japanese borders. There were increasing pressures to remove the isolation from the outside world. Finally the pressure caused the government to collapse and in 1867 the Tokugawa Shogunate collapsed and full sovereignty was restored to the Emperor in the Meiji Restoration of 1868. The modern prefecture system was developed during this time.

In 1871, Matsumoto became the capital of the Chikuma Prefecture. In 1879 the prefecture office of Matsumoto was burnt down and half of Chikuma merged with the Nagano Prefecture. Since that time Matsumoto have had a strong rivalry against Nagano City, the capital of Nagano. The competition between the two cities have caused Matsumoto to stay modernized and in touch with economic Japan. This city is sometimes known as the second capital of the prefecture.

Points of Interest

  • Matsumoto Castle is also called Crow Castle because of its black walls and spreading wings. This castle is known as a National Treasure of Japan. Tours of this castle are offered. Parts of this castle have been restored and reconstructed to their original splendor.
  • Asama Spa is located at the foot of Utsukushigahara Heights and offers a great view of the Northern Alps. A group of poets called the Araragi School was organized here, so this is a popular spa visited by literary men. The hot springs reaches a temperature of 42 Celsius with over 51 hotels to choose from.

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