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I have passed my 50th post on Japan, but still has not written anything about my favourite business hotel chain. My #1 is Super Hotel, business hotel chain. Many branches have mini-onsens and are located near the train stations. Double bed rooms starts at JPY5,500! They have special rates for 30 days+ stays. (all love from me)

Stark with moat and a red bridge. This is the Matsumoto-jo, also known as the crow castle. Coincidently, tons of big (fat) crows can be spotted in the vicinity. The dark colour comes from a combination of wood and stone.

Matsumoto castle is an original keep from 1500s! It is only damaged by earthquake and neglect (was tilting like Pisa), but it is all good now. It is listed as a national treasure of Japan. Madness to think that at some stage the Japanese considered demolition.

There are only 12 original castles in Japan: