The jet black, picture-perfect Matsumoto – or ‘Crow Castle’ – dominates an open plain, puncturing the white snow of the Nagano landscape. The castle was built by the Ogasawara family around 1592, making it the oldest Japanese castle still standing. It features a storied inner keep and a fascinating collection of armour and weaponry. When you’re done admiring the intricate wood and stone work, your guide will take you to a local wasabi farm where you can sample produce including the local favourite wasabi ice cream. If you dare.