Nakamachi Street ran through the center of Matsumoto when it was a castle town, along an important route connecting Zenkoji Temple in Nagano city with Nagoya and Kyoto. It was the main business district of the town where merchants dealing in local goods such as sake and kimono set up shop. Many of the surviving whitewashed buildings are kura storehouses, built with thick clay walls and ceramic tile roofs that protected them from being destroyed by fire. Today's Nakamachi Street is a renovated area popular with merchants selling folk arts and crafts, trendy cafes, and lively restaurants. Like the Nakamachi Street of old, it bustles with the energy of excited shoppers and those out exploring the city. Take your time window shopping and browsing inside the many unique shops of this area, where you can find small and reasonably priced souvenirs of your visit to Matsumoto.