Matsumae Castle, Hokkaido 松前城 北海道 | Japan Luxury Travel Agency

Cherry Blossoms Season at Matsumae Castle
Matsumae Castle, located at Matsumae Park, is Japan’s northernmost castle. In 1854, the castle was expanded and renamed Matsumae Castle. It had three towers, 15 gates, and a 25-cannon armory. The park also features a great variety of historic ruins all hinting at Matsumae’s storied past.

The castle is one of the best places to experience cherry blossom season, during the months of April and May, with around 10,000 trees and 250 different varieties of cherry blossoms. Many of these cherry blossoms descend from a 200 year old Kechimyaku Sakura (bloodline cherry) also found on the grounds.

Matsumae has a longer-than-usual blooming season, with the delicate pink and white blossoms appearing from late April through late May. During this time, Matsumae Castle hosts a cherry blossom festival complete with delicious festival foods.

Matsumae Castle
Walking through the grounds of Matsumae Castle feels like stepping into another world. The scent of salt water and seasonal flowers mingle in the air. The castle sits atop a hill, giving a commanding view of the entire Matsumae area. From its upper reaches, you can see all the way to Aomori , 20 kilometers away across the Tsugaru Strait.

History of Matsumae Castle
Matsumae Castle is a former castle town just west of Cape Shirakami, the southernmost point of Hokkaido. Only 20 kilometers across the Tsugaru Strait from Aomori, Matsumae was the northern limit of Japan during the Edo Period and the sole feudal fief on the otherwise wild, untamed frontier of Hokkaido.

Matsumae Park
In Matsumae Park, you can see many historic ruins from throughout the history of Matsumae, many of which were built before the castle itself. Hogenji Temple, one of the most ancient temples in Hokkaido , features an impressive gateway. Aunji Temple uses the original Matsumae Castle gate as its entrance.


General Information
Address: Matsujo, Matsumae-cho, Matsumae-gun, Hokkaido, Japan 049-1511
Telephone: 0139-42-2216
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 April 10 to December 10
Close during winter


Ease of Access
Matsumae Park is located in the southern part of Hokkaido, and it can be accessed from Kikonai Station followed by a bus ride. To get to Matsumae , take a bus from Kikonai Station (95 minutes). You can get to Kikonai on the Hokkaido Shinkansen or the South Hokkaido Railway. Buses will take you directly to Matsumae Park, and the castle area is then easy to explore on foot. There are also three direct buses per day between Hakodate Station and Matsumae.


Price/ Entrance Fees

¥360 Adults / ¥290 Group (10 or more)
¥240 Students / ¥190 Group (10 or more)
Free for Children