As one of the oldest original castles in Japan, completed in the early 1590s, Matsumoto Castle is a star attraction in Nagano Prefecture. It sits proudly at the centre of town, with the spectacular backdrop of the Japanese Alps. The iconic black and white tower is a marvel of Sengoku Period (Warring States Period) architecture and modern preservation techniques. Though it appears to have five stories, there is actually a secret sixth floor built in to disguise the number of troops inside. It’s a true one-of-a-kind.