Matsumoto Castle tops among Japanese castles for Instagram followers

Matsumoto Castle in central Japan's Nagano Prefecture has surpassed other major castles in the country for the most Instagram followers.

Officials of Matsumoto City say the number of followers of the castle's account overtook that of Kumamoto Castle in southwestern Japan on Tuesday.

As of Friday noon, Matsumoto Castle had 28,906 followers, 584 more than its closest rival.

Built more than 400 years ago, Matsumoto Castle is known for its pitch-black exterior, and is designated as a national treasure.

Three city officials are in charge of the account, which opened in 2021. They post photos of the castle across the four seasons and of various events.

Of about its 600 posts, a photo showing the castle covered in snow has garnered more than 78,000 "likes."

Matsumoto City has been working to attract inbound tourists. A record of about 160,000 overseas tourists visited the castle last fiscal year that ran through March.

The Instagram account of Matsumoto Castle has hashtags in English, Chinese, Thai and other languages. Foreigners make up about 20 percent of its followers.

A visitor from Mexico says the photos posted on Instagram are beautiful. She also says people outside Japan will visit the castle after seeing its photos on the social media platform.