Monday, June 30, 2014

Matsumoto

After a full day at Kamocochi, we headed down the alps to the east and the Matsumoto Basin. Through a series of busses and an incredibly small train, we found ourselves in Matsumoto wandering the streets in search of our "backpacker" hostel. The first impressions of Matsumoto is it was a younger city. The walk to the hostel included seeing some nice looking restaurants, a few dance studios, bike shops and plenty of buzz. We even witnessed a scooter/motorcycle gang passing full on neon lights and music.

Nice seating at the first night's restaurant, "Booze and Foods."

Surly fatty!

Coming out of the mountains, we had a growing to do list so the next day in Matsumoto was spent doing laundry,  sending e-mails, planning more of the trip and writing post cards. In the evening, after walking around the Matsumoto castle gardens, we found an izakaya (Japanese bar) which would likely have the local speciality, sanzo kuyakee (salt fried chicken). It certainly did, as well as several curious locals wondering about the two tourists that came in on a Sunday night. We ended up having okonomiyaki for the first time as well as sanzo kuyakee. After a few drinks, the locals at the mostly empty Isakaya started talking with us. We were able to tell them that we were just in the Japan Alps and I showed the two elderly women I was sitting next to my photos on my camera. All were amused and the locals seemed pleased that we had visited such a beautiful place.

Matsumoto Castle in the day.

Matsumoto Castle at night.

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