Saturday, January 18, 2014

Christmas Break - Matsumoto Castle


The day after skiing, Jonathan and I headed back to Tokyo and stopped by Matsumoto Castle. I still wasn't feeling well that morning. I had wanted to go to the other onsen at the hotel, but I couldn't. Though Jonathan went to the better one that morning for the first time and said that the other one wasn't nearly as nice. So I didn't really miss much, but it will would have been nice.

We ate breakfast at the hotel and I was still nauseous and couldn't eat much. For some reason anything Japanese was sounding really gross right then. So I think mostly just ate some mixed fruit. Even that wasn't very appetizing right then either. It's too bad because the breakfast was really nice and had a lot of choices.

By the time we left the hotel I was feeling quite a bit better. I think actually eating something helped. Jonathan took some pictures as we walked to the station.


Yudanaka is a small station, but they play dramatic music when the trains arrive. When you get off the train it sounds like you're arriving at a theme park or something.

We had good timing and were able to take an express train. It was only 100 yen more and it went all the way to Nagano (we would have had to switch once on the regular train) and took about 25 minutes less. Plus the train had the nicer forward-facing seats. Oh and it was Monster Hunter (a video game) themed on the outside. I've never played those games and it's not cute but I still always appreciate decorated trains. I'm surprised it was only 100 yen more.

Forty-five minutes later we arrived in Nagano. We went into a small store in the station so that Jonathan could buy some omiyage to take to school. I typically don't since I have several schools and it's too expensive to buy stuff for everyone. I bought some things for myself though. 

Country Ma'am is a common brand of cookies here and they're tasty even though I have always hated the word "ma'am." When working in stores I hated everytime I was called ma'am. Of course I know they were just being polite and it was better than many other things I've been called in retail jobs. It just seemed like they were calling me old or something, lol. I also was kind of creeped out when people called me by my name. I know it was my name tag, and again maybe they were just trying to be nice, but it was still kind of freaky, haha. And annoying when they didn't even pronounce it right.

Anyways... these were apple flavored and they were yummy. I also got a package of instant soba with Nagano's mascot on the package. Also yummy!

The next local train to Matsumoto wasn't for about an hour. There were several express trains, but we couldn't take those with our cheap (but awesome) Seishun Juhachi tickets.

I was starting to feel hungry and had seen a Lotteria in a shopping building near the station. For some reason anything Japanese was still sounding bad to me. Don't ask me why when I had been feeling nauseous a hamburger and fries seemed good but it was delicious and didn't make me feel bad.

After we finished eating, I went to the bathroom (and got distracted by a few stores on the way). While I was gone Jonathan went to a flower shop right next to the table we had eaten at. He then surprised me with some really pretty flowers! They smelled amazing, too. They smelled just like spring! Really... I have a Bath and Body Works candle called "Spring" and these smelled like that.

These flowers were bought about three weeks ago and most of them have dried out and been thrown away, but the yellow ones still look great!

The train from Nagano to Matsumoto took about an hour and a half (the express trains that we couldn't ride only take about half that time). But it was a beautiful train ride. 

We took some video during our train rides to Nagano and Matsumoto.

Our plan was to put our luggage in lockers at the station, but all of the bigger lockers were full. I was at least able to put my backpack and flowers in a smaller one, but we had to roll our luggage to Matsumoto Castle. 

Matsumoto Castle was built in the 1500s and it's still the original castle (unlike many castles in Japan), though some gates around the castle have been rebuilt.

Of course we couldn't take our luggage into the castle, so we took turns going into the castle. It's too bad that we couldn't see it together, but at least we still both got to go in. 


The last staircase to the top was really steep!

I'm glad that we were able to go there because it's kind of out the way from anywhere else I want to visit, but it's between Nagano and Tokyo so it was perfect. When I was feeling sick I thought I might have to take  shinkansen trains all the way back to Iwata the next day and skip out on Matsumoto and Tokyo. Luckily that didn't happen though!

From Matsumoto it took about five hours to get to our hotel in Akihabara. I started feeling bad again towards the end though.


  1. This: "even though I have always hated the word "ma'am." When working in stores I hated everytime I was called ma'am."

    We totally think alike, lol. I always think when people say that to me, that I'm super old and married or something, lol. I also hate to say it while I'm working, but it's either that, or sound like Jerry Lewis saying, "Heeeey, Laaaaaadyyyyy!" XD

    And I also don't like when people call me by my name because of my name tag, but then I think, "Do I know you?" It's not so bad when they do it in a friendly way, but I get creeped out if it sounds weird when the person says my name. Like some sort of pervert or something.

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