Posted by: lindsaygoes | April 8, 2009

Nagano and Matsumoto

After spending the day in Narita I met up with Nicole at the airport and we managed to navigate the train system and get to our youth hostel in Tokyo for the night.

The next day we headed to Nagano and with the help of a friendly local managed to find our hotel. Then we headed for the Zenkoji temple. On the way we popped into a tiny Japanese restaurant for lunch. There wasn`t any English menu, just some Japanese writing on a white board so we used our Japanese phrase for `Your recommendation please` until they understood that we would like some food and we ended up with a really fantastic, and pretty cheap meal.

After that we found the temple. Every seven years they bring out a replica of a Buddhist statue and we arrived during this festival so there were loads of people at the temple, which made it quite interesting.Temple statues

The next day we made a day trip to Matsumoto where we visited the Matsumoto castle,  which was lovely with cherry blossoms in the surrounding gardens. All the stair cases in the castle were very steep and narrow, which made it a little tricky to get around in  parts! We also found a 100 yen shop and had lots of fun buying stuff in there.

Matsumoto castleToday we got a couple of trains (including a bullet train) to Kyoto and then a bus to our hotel. For some reason, whenever we leave a train station for the first time, we manage to go out the wrong exit, so we keep having to go back in, find an information office and get directions!

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