The small town of Matsumoto is tucked high in the Japanese Alps, on the roof of Japan. Until quite recently in the 20th Century Matsumoto was one of Japan's most isolated towns, often inaccessible for much of the winter season.
Thankfully these days Matsumoto is easily reached all year round, and it has become one of the country's most cosmopolitan cities. Matsumoto is fast becoming a leading centre for the arts, and is also the site of the first Elementary School in the country. The Matsumoto Castle is a wonderful piece of 16th Century design, although - be warned - the ceilings are low and the steps are steep, so a little care and attention is needed! The soba and buckwheat noodles in town are famously delicious, served either hot or cold.