Every May the city of Matsumoto becomes the place to be for lovers of Japanese Crafts. For the whole months many shops put on special crafts displays, many resulting out of the collaboration with local crafts artists. The city itself is very supportive of this and even publishes a “small town walk” map and guide book, which helps tourists find all the many spots where you can see and buy many outstanding crafts products. Unfortunately both are available only in Japanese.

Besides Nakamachi street you should also pay a visit to Rokkumachi Street on the other side of the river. On Friday before the Matsumoto Crafts Fair in one of the shops there was an interesting talk show (Japanese only) with one of the leading Japanese crafts artists, Ryuji Mitani, who talked with two gallery and shop owners about the nowadays situation for crafts artists. Mitani is actually one of the founders of Matsumoto Crafts Fair, the first edition of which took place back in 1984.