• Area
  • TouristSpots
  • SouthernArea

Matsumae Has Longest History and Longest Cherry Festival in Hokkaido

May 9th, 2014

MATSUMAE

Matsumae (松前) is adjacent to Fukushima located in the southernmost tip in Hokkaido and is locateed in the southwestern part of Hakodate city. It takes about one and a half hours from Hakodate city to the Matsumae town by a car. The Matsumae had an only feudal clan in Hokkaido. Because people have been lived in Matsumae since the 1400s, it is a rare town with a longest history in Hokkaido.

Matsumae Castle
Matsumae

Hokkaido was called Yezo (蝦夷地), and Ainu people lived in most of Hokkaido at that time. In very large Hokkaido, only Matsumae developed as a place that Yamato people (和人 * old japanese) lived in. Matsumae became rich by trading with the Ainu people, and 30,000 people seemed to live in Matsumae in the golden age. The area of Oshima Peninsula (渡島半島) was called Matsumae feudal clan until the Meiji Restoration. By the way, Mr. Shinpachi Nagakura (永倉新八), famous member of Shinsengumi (新撰組 * They faced tragedy by the Meiji Restoration (明治維新)), was former Matsumae clansman.

Tsugaru Channel
Matsumae

Speaking of Matsumae, Matsumae Castle (松前城) and Cherry Trees are famous and Matsumae-zuke (松前漬け * Matsumae Style Pickle). The Matsumae-zuke is a local dish in Matsumae. Many families eat it with rice at the breakfast. It is the sticky fermented food that chopped kombus, dried squids, herring roes, chopped carrots are soaked in soy sauce. In addition, Matsumae Tuna Sanshoku Rice Bowls (松前マグロ三色丼) using a tuna landed in Matsumae become new noted product recently.

Matsumae-zuke
Matsumae
Old Temple
Matsumae

Events

Matsumae Cherry Blossom Festival (松前のさくらまつり) is the five best popular in the famous places for cherry blossoms in Hokkaido. It is attractive to be seen with various cherry trees for one month. It may be unusual to be held as a festival event.

Kechimiyakuzakura Cherry Tree
Matsumae

Matsumae Cherry Blossom Festival

The Matsumae town has the long history for a little less than 600 years and is known for seeing beautiful cherry trees. 250 kinds of 10,000 cherry trees are planted around the Matsumae Castle (Fukuyama Castle), and all trees seem to have each wooden name tags. Matsumae people will cherish a cherry trees. Cherry blossoms can be seen from late April to late May. Article is here

Matsumae Castle
Matsumae Cherry Blossom Festival

Atmosphere of Matsumae Cherry Blossom Festival Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Matsumae Cherry Blossom Festival

Tourist Attractions

Matsumae was a center of former Hokkaido. Because the matsumae has a long history, there are many history inheritances. Many historical tourist attractions including Matsumae Castle and Matsumae Cemetery are built only in Matsumae.

Forest of Hinoki
Matumae

Matsumae Castle

Matsumae Castle is the northernmost Japanese style castle in Japan and was built in 1606. The official name is Fukuyama Castle (福山城). Kakizaki family (蠣崎氏) kept the castle for many generations as a lord. In case of entering the Matsumae Castle, tourists must pay admission. Documents about Matsumae are displayed at the castle, and people can know about Matsumae in detail.

Matsumae Castle
Matsumae Castle
Fukuyama Castle Monument
Matsumae Castle

Atmosphere of Matsumae Castle Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Matsumae Castle

Admission fee Adult: JPY 360. Elementary and junior high school students: JPY 240. Infants: JPY free of charge.
Parking lot Free of charge * It is charged a fee only during a period of Matsumae Cherry Tree Festival
Business hour 09:00-17:00
Regular closing day From early December to early April
Telephone number +81-139-42-2216
Home page Home page is here

Matsumae Feudal Clan Mansion

A castle town is built around Matsumae castle. Matsumae Feudal Clan Mansion (松前藩武家屋敷) is a theme park reproduced samurai residences (武家屋敷), Merchant Houses (商家) and Shipping Agency (廻船問屋) Houses in Edo period. In case of entering the Matsumae Feudal Clan Mansion, tourists must pay admission. There are Matsumae Cemetery that successive generations feudal lords are resting in peace, and temples such as Houdou-ji (法幢寺) that Matsumae clan's family temple line.

Matsumae Feudal Clan Mansion
Matsumae Feudal Clan Mansion
Matsumae Cemetery
The Matsumaes Cemetery
Matsumae Cemetery
The Matsumaes Cemetery

Atmosphere of Matsumae Feudal Clan Mansion Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Matsumae Feudal Clan Mansion

Admission fee Adult: JPY 360. Elementary and junior high school students: JPY 240. Infants: JPY free of charge.
Parking lot Free of charge * It is charged a fee only during Matsumae cherry tree festival
Business hour 09:00-17:00
Regular closing day From November to early April
Telephone number +81-139-43-2439
Home page Home page is here

Tasty Foods

The Pacific spreads over in front of Matsumae, and fresh fishery products are landed. It is known for fishing the tuna, the sea urchin, the squid and the abalone, and dishes are famous for using those.

Matsumae Tuna Sanshoku Rice Bowls

Speaking of Tuna, Oma town in Aomori prefecture is famous in Japan, but the tuna is caughted in Matsumae town locaed in Oma town across Tsugaru strait. Tuna sanshoku (マグロ三色丼 * Sanshoku means three kinds) bowls is appealed to tourists in Matsumae town, and visitors can eat that meal at 3 restaurants. I visited Urasato (浦里) this time. Urasato is a Japanese-style restaurant. An owner was a former sumo wrestler, and the sumo wrestler's stew (Chankonabe) is a noted dish, too. Furthermore, the visitors seem to eat a ramen planned by TV program. Article of Urasato is here.

Tuna
Matsumai Sanshoku Rice Bowl -Urasato-

Matsumae Tuna Sanshoku Rice Bowls and Atmosphere of Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Matsumae Tuna Sanshoku Rice Bowls

Matsumae-zuke (Matsumae Style Pickle)

Matsumae-zuke is a local speciality dish in Matsumae feudal clan period and is a sticky fermented food that chopped kombu, dried squids, herring roes, chopped carrots are soaked in soy sauce. The Matsumae-zuke goes well with rice and sake.

Matsumae-zuke (Matsumae Style Pickle)
Matsumae Style Pickle
Matsumae-zukeya
Matsumae Style Pickle

Matsumae-zuke is found on Amazon.

Onsen

Hot springs have gushed out since the Matsumae feudal clan period and have an old history. It is said to be the southernmost hot spring in Hokkaido. There are Matsumae Onsen Rest Center (松前温泉休養センター) and Yano Onsen Ryokan (温泉旅館矢野) in the Matsumae, tourists can take a daytrip bath in those hot spring facilities.

Matsumae Onsen

Matsumae Onsen Rest Center is a public bath in Matsumae town located the southwestern part of Hakodate city. Hot springs were discovered 150 years ago, and a feudal lord of Matsumae Castle seemed to take a bath, too. Takedabishi that was surely a family crest of Matsumae family mounted on a wall at a bathhouse. Interior decoration was Japanese-style design with Japanese roof tiles. There are 1 large indoor bath, 1 cold bath and 1 sauna at the bathhouse. The large indoor bath is the size that about 15 people take a bath. I visited this facility at noon on weekdays, but about 8 local people took a bath. Article is here

Matsumae Onsen Rest Center
Matsumae Onsen

Accommodations

Refer to following websites for the accommodations in Matsumae.

Onsen Ryokan Yano(温泉旅館 矢野)
Tanbaya(丹波屋)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Ryokan Yokohamaso(旅館よこはま荘)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Ryokan Miura(旅館みうら)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Minshuku Hamabe(民宿はまべ)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Booking.com

Comment

Comment