If you’re ever walking along the big road from the station toward the Matsumoto Museum of Art, you may have noticed the unique, curvy building near the museum on the other side of the street…That would be the Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre whose design is attributed to the world-renowned Japanese architect, Toyo Ito.
Though you may not ever have the chance to come here and see a show, this building has some cool features that are worth checking out, one of my favorites being the little-known rooftop garden.
The rooftop garden is like a secret, hidden spot in the middle of the city, but it’s actually open to the public. It’s not filled with any luxurious landscaping, but it has a spacious and grassy lawn, a few lilac trees, and two commemorative sculptures. There is also a wooden bench that stretches all away around the outer edge of the rooftop, so this is a great place to relax, have a little picnic, take your lunch break, or read a book. The lilacs bloom around mid- to late April. You can also peek into one of the Centre’s rehearsal studios (though I have yet to see any performers in there), which was built on the roof floor and has a glass wall.
Perhaps best of all, the rooftop offers one of the best views you can get from the downtown area of the Japan Alps. You can also of course see the part of the city from above.
To access the rooftop, you don’t even have to go inside the main part of the building. The elevator and stairs to the top are accessible from the door directly to the left of the main entrance. You should be able to see the elevator through the glass walls.
See more info about the Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre and a map here.