Bridge & Tenshu
One of the most noticeable features of the castle is the red bridge that contrasts the dark color of the castle. The bridge leads to the Uzumi-mon entrance. The swans were a nice touch to add some white to the mix, but I wasn't fast enough to get them before they entered the shadowy area.
Matsumoto-jo is a National Treasure of Japan. Built in 1504 by Shimadachi Sadanaga of the Ogasawara clan, it served as a base for various lords until the Meiji Restoration. Although the gates and outer castle structures have been rebuilt or taken down all-together, the inner walls and main keep remain in tact. This makes Matsumoto-jo one of the most special castles in Japan--a true original. It is known as the Black Crow Castle, for it's dark color, a comparative moniker to the White Heron Castle, Himeji-jo.
Matsumoto-jo. Matsumoto, Nagano.