Matsumoto City is only about 1.5 hours by train from where we stayed in Hakuba, so on a day off from skiing we headed down to check it out. The most famous sight is the castle, which is one of the finest specimens in Japan, still the original structure, unlike many others which are reconstructions following fire or war. Indeed, I was told that by the time this castle was built in the late 16th century, peace came and it never saw battle. Unfortunately, we were too late for snow cover and too early for green grass, so it was not the best conditions for majestic photos. But nevertheless a worthwhile visit.