It was a beautiful sunny day. Clear blue skies and a not freezing. It was apparent we weren't going to get snow in Matsumoto this time around. It was a perfect day for strolling around Matsumoto before heading to the castle though.
And stroll we did, down to the old historic merchant area of Nakamachi-dori, a street of restored Japanese inns, restaurants, sake breweries and shops. The giant samurai frogs used in parades were a favourite of Georgia's. In fact little statues in fountains or ceramic or toy frogs were everywhere, especially in Nawate-dori. I'm not sure what frogs have to do with Matsumoto? That would require, you know, research. But kawaii nonetheless.
At the main railway station we found a Mos Burger. Who knew a burger franchise could be this good? Unlike Maccas or Burger King the burgers are made to order but they're worth the wait.
I was trying to take video of Georgia in Mos Burger but she waved her hands at me and said most emphatically "No photo Daddy!". Even a two year old has her limits.
By the time we got to Matsumoto Castle, Japan's oldest, Georgy was a little cranky and tired. She'd been carrying around her bag of treasures everywhere. No amount of pleading from us could make her give it to us to carry. It is a large paper shopping bag with string handles almost half Georgia's height but she insisted on carrying it. When we walked through gate of the park and saw the moat and the castle Georgia brightened up and exclaimed "Castle!".
We tried to get photos of Georgia in front of the castle but she really wasn't cooperative. Oh well.
Okay, I am a sucker for a little research. The Matsumoto Frog Festival is a thing. It lasts a couple of days every June. I'm not sure why they have samurai frogs but for the duration of the festival and beyond everything is frog themed.