Exclusive Gala Dinner
at Matsumoto Castle
Dinner Dates: 16-17 October 2023
Embark on a 3-night tranquil retreat to Karuizawa and Matsumoto featuring an exclusive once-in-a-lifetime dining experience at one of Japan's National Treasures, Matsumoto Castle.
Brought to you by Michi & Co.
Japan has hundreds of castles scattered throughout the country, but, only five are designated National Treasures of Japan; and Matsumoto Castle is one of them. The castle maintains its original wooden interiors and external stonework. While it was built during the Warring States Period in the 1590s, the castle has never seen a battle.
While appearing as a 5-storey building on the exterior, the castle is a 6-storey building, the oldest surviving castle of its kind. Another unique character of Matsumoto Castle is its black paneling, painted in lacquer which needed to be repainted every year. The Gala dinner at the castle marks the first event of such to be held at the historic site.
The Exclusive Gala Dinner (16-17 October 2023)
This outdoor dining experience aims to create interaction with the city of Matsumoto and to contribute towards the upkeep of the magnificent Matsumoto Castle. The gala is set in the Honmaru Garden area overlooking the castle. It features a gourmet Japanese-French fusion meal prepared by Michelin-starred chefs: Shinichiro Takagi (left) who runs and owns Zeniya, a legendary Kaiseki restaurant in Kanazawa, Japan; and Cedric Bechade (right) of L'Auberge Basque in Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle, France.
Bringing you an unforgettable dining with the best organizer in the industry, Dining Out. Their recent project includes a 2-night pop-up restaurant at Kiso-Narai valley, set in the town's main street with the local residents taking parts in delivering a full experience.
Visit Karuizawa's highlights to see the magnificent view of autumn season. This charming town also features beautiful eateries and shops.
Kumoba Pond/Shiraito Fall
Lunch at Gaflo Café
Old Town Stroll
"Unwind & Relax"
Indulge in retail therapy and enjoy a moment of peace in Hoshino Resort's onsen. Alternatively, visit a nearby onsen town which boasts the largest amount of naturally occurring hot spring water in Japan.
Karuizawa Shopping Plaza
Onsen Time in
Tombo no Yu (Hoshino Resort)
Day Trip to Kusatsu Onsen
"Exclusive Dinner at Matsumoto Castle"
Step into old Japan, enjoy a sensation dining experience with meals prepared by Michelin star chef at one of Japan’s great heritage sites.
Sake Brewery/Miso Factory
Gala Dinner at
16-17 October 2023
DAY 1: Explore Karuizawa
Located an hour by Shinkansen just northwest of Tokyo, Karuizawa (Nagano prefecture) is 1000 metres above sea level offering a cool alpine climate and is amongst Japan’s most popular resort towns. This charming town features charming shopping districts and eateries, spots for scenic views and is within a short distance of one of Japan’s most famous hot spring towns, Kusatsu Onsen. Karuizawa is among the best areas nearby Tokyo to enjoy koyo (changing colours of leaves in autumn). The history of Karuizawa dates back to 1886 when a Canadian missionary visited the town and was mesmerised by its beauty so much so that he became an advocate for the town, introducing it to his colleagues. Karuizawa is a mix of European style and Japanese charm resort town.
Enchanting Views of Autumn
Karuizawa’s autumn foliage typically begins a little earlier than Tokyo, its peak season is in the middle of October. Take a tranquil stroll along the Kumobaike pond and absorb the enchanting views of the autumn foliage with the colours of the leaves reflected in the lake’s glassy water. Fed by underground volcanic water rising to the surface and known as the ‘Waterfall of White Threads’, a visit to Shiraito Falls offers a stunning view of the surrounding forest covered in autumn-coloured foliage.
Lunch at Gaflo Café
Located in a flower field, the Gaflo cafe offers the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the autumn foliage.
Image source: https://pikyosama.exblog.jp/32097882/
Explore Old Town
Find local gems at Old Karuizawa Ginza Street, originally a post town along the Nakasendo road between Kyoto and Tokyo during the Edo period now lined with traditional and trendy boutique shops.
Dinner at Harunire Terrace
A small and stylish dining and shopping area. The shops feature a timber structure, blending in with the surrounding forest setting.
Image source: https://girleatworld.net/karuizawa-travel-guide/
DAY 2: Unwind & Relax
Retail Therapy & A Dip in Tombo no Yu Onsen
Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza is among Japan’s largest outlet malls housing a wide variety of stores from fashion and luxury brands to household and outdoor goods. Expect to find a mix of goods at regular and discounted prices.
Take a Relaxing dip in Tombo no Yu Onsen at Hoshino Resort. Immerse in an open-air bath with breathtaking views at a stylish and modern natural hot spring. Also featuring an indoor bath with large glass windows providing views of the tranquil surrounding, this facility offers the perfect spot to unwind from the day.
An Afternoon at Kusatsu Onsen
Take a short drive from Karuizawa to one of Japan’s most famous hot spring towns, Kusatsu Onsen. Located in the mountains of Joshinetsu Logen National Park, Kusatsu Onsen boasts a spectacular landscape and an ideal getaway from the bustling cities of Japan.
DAY 3: Exclusive Dinner at Matsumoto Castle
Located southwest of Nagano city and the second largest city in Nagano prefecture, Matsumoto is well known for its iconic castle. The city not only offers a multitude of historical sights and traditional crafts but also a growing art and dining scene.
Unpack & Check-in at Matsumoto Marunouchi Hotel
Located in the cultural heart of Matsumoto and a stone's throw from Matsumoto castle. The retro-looking restaurant building was built in 1937 as the Japan Kangyo Bank. In 2003, the building was saved from being demolished thanks to the campaigns by local residents. The exterior of the building was preserved with a modernised and updated interior and registered as a cultural property in 2007.
Image source: https://www.matsumoto-marunouchi.com/
An Afternoon at a Local Sake and Miso Brewery
Operating since the 19th century, embark on a tasting tour at sake and miso breweries.
Nagano is Japan's second-largest producer of sake. Sake produced in Matsumoto's sake breweries uses traditional methods involving producing small batches of sake with a level of quality only time and close attention can control.
At the entrance of the sake brewery is a sphere ball, called sugidama. As the brewing season begins, sake makers pluck sprigs of green cedar and cut them into a sphere to hang outside the establishment. The rate at which sugidama turns brown coincides with the length of the sake maturing process. Passers-by will know when the new sake is ready.
Miso has a long-standing history in Japanese culture, more than 1300 years. It is an indispensable seasoning for Japanese. Visit one of the few remaining miso breweries that crafts its miso in the traditional way using wooden barrels. One will be greeted with rows of 100-years old cedar fermenting barrels and can expect to taste Miso ice-cream!
Exclusive Gala Dinner at Matsumoto Castle
(16-17 October 2023)
A once-in-a-lifetime experience, held at one of the five castles designated as National Treasures of Japan. A sensational dining experience with meals prepared by chef Shinichiro Takagi, a two-Michelin star chef.