Highlights of the Rainy Season
Rainy season is in full-swing in Matsumoto, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to enjoy sightseeing in the city. While it can get quite hot and humid, the frequent showers bring refreshing cool air and shade. Here are some of the perks of visiting and things to do during the wetter period of the summer.
- Rice paddies
Although rice paddies can be found throughout the country, here, you can see the paddies filled with water against the backdrop of the Japan Alps. Try renting a bicycle and exploring the countryside areas.
You’ll find these pink, purple, and blue flowers blooming throughout the city, but also in places like Hosenji Temple pictured below.
In addition to a few of the regular exhibits, you’ll find three floors of polka-dot artist Yayoi Kusama’s work on display in her exhibition All About My Love running until July 22.
- Soba making
Schedule a session to roll out your very own soba noodles. Places like Takagi offer soba-making lessons. Traditionally served chilled in the summer, soba noodles are the perfect thing for a hot, muggy day.
If you’re not afraid of getting wet, the surrounding highland areas are covered with new foliage. Explore areas like Utsukushigahara Highlands, Norikura Highlands, or Kamikochi. Be careful when doing serious mountain climbing as heavy rains can cause landslides in certain less-maintained areas.
- Hot Springs
Great for a dip any time of year, a hot spring bath may be especially welcome in the evenings, which are still cool thanks to high altitudes. Check out Asama Hot Springs or Utsukushigahara Hot Springs.
- Taiko Drumming
Held indoors, taiko drum workshops will teach you the basics of taiko drumming and you’ll even be treated to a performance by members.
- Brewery Tours
Take a tour of a sake brewery or miso manufacturing location.
- Pop up booths and exhibits of local handmade goods in Kurassic-kan
Handmade bags, bamboo crafts, and other items are often on display in the traditional storehouse that is over 100 years old. There is also a cafe next door.
Other Useful Info:
- To cut down on walking, but save money consider a discount all-you-can-ride bus ticket.
- Be aware that it could be clear one minute and pouring the next or lightly drizzling throughout the day.
Bring extra pairs of shoes or proper rain footwear. Drying agents can also be picked up at drug stores, like American Drug, convenience stores, and other stores.