In the Matsumoto Castle garden, a tea ceremony is held several times a year.
This summer, it’ll be held on August 6th and 7th, at the beginning of the free admission period for visitors wearing kimono, and also the extension period of entrance hours (8:00 till door closes at 17:30 , normally 8:30-16:30) (until August 16).
Members of the youth group of the Urasenke school of tea ceremony school wearing yukata (a kind of kimono) will serve you cold green powdered tea with Japanese cake for 500 yen. The leader of the group speaks English.
Also, there is a full-scale tea-ceremony room (tyashitsu) with a tea garden in Ikegami Hyakuchikutei, just a few minutes walk northward from the castle.
You can look inside the tea room and garden freely (9:00-17:00 except Monday) without charge when it is not used.
How about wearing kimono at newly opened Kimono & Ninja Costume Wearing & Rental Shop ‘Hanakomichi’, go to the castle, take your photo with an armored man of ‘omotenashi-tai’, enter the castle free of charge, taste cold tea at the castle garden (if you visit Aug 6 or 7), then visit the tea room in Hyakuchikutei?
This is a perfect plan to experience traditional castle culture!