Matsumoto Castle, in Matsumoto city in Nagano Prefecture, is among Japan’s most beautiful castles and along with Hikone Castle, Himeji Castle and Inuyama Castle, is designated as a National Treasure. It also known as the “Crow Castle” because of its black exterior. Matsumoto Castle is the oldest existing castle in Japan and one of Japan’s premier historic castles. It has six floors, including the obligatory hidden floor where the samurai soldiers rested and kept their food and powder supplies. Visitors to Matsumoto Castle must take off their shoes as they climb up the steep wooden stairs.