Enjoying the road

After yesterdays success with the original route, today we decide to once more try to avoid the new route, as it seems more straight and less going up and down the mountains. Fortunately, this pays of quite nicely, and apart from having to go back for about 2 kilometres and taking a different road, everything else seems to work out just fine. Actually more than fine, since we end up on a nice, broad road curving through the mountains, and it seems like we're the only ones on it. A great moment to enjoy the fact that 40 km/h in Japan is entirely optional.
Today's route ends at Matsumoto, known for its castle, but along the way, we once more make a stop at one of the postal towns, similar to the one where we stayed at a minshuku before. This one however seems to have been preserved even better, and although half the stores seem to sell souvenirs, the town is a great place to make pictures and walk around.
Matsumoto itself however, is far less attractive. As an average large city in Japan, the city is build for functionality, not looks. The single exception is the castle, which lies about five minutes walk from our hotel. Since we arrive after closing time, we only get to make pictures from the outside, but in the evening, using a primitive tripod does mean I can take some nice photos.