Matsumoto (松本市) is Nagano Prefecture’s second largest city after Nagano city, is a gateway to the Japan Alps for skiing and hot springs in the winter and hiking and walking in the mountains of Shinshu in the summer.
Matsumoto enjoys cooler weather in Japan’s sultry summer. In winter, when it snows, there is a number of interesting hot spring resorts in and around Matsumoto including Yokota, Asama and Utsukushigahara all to the east of Matsumoto Castle.
The city is also a good base for trips into the Japanese Alps, e.g. to Kamikochi, Norikura or the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route.
As of 1 October 2016, the city had an estimated population of 241,102 and a population density of 246 persons per km². Its total area was 978.47 square kilometres (377.79 sq mi).