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Chugoku | Shimane Prefecture

Matsue

Matsue is the capital city of Shimane Prefecture and is home to one of the twelve original castles in Japan.

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Matsue

Built in 1611, the Matsue Castle has withstood fires, earthquakes, and anti-feudal battles through its years. It stands as one of only a dozen original standing castles in Japan, built with thick black walls as a fortress for battle. Historic samurai armor, swords, and helmets are displayed inside the castle. Visitors can experience an extensive view of the city from the top floor of the castle tower, as many samurai did 400 years ago. The castle is beautifully preserved, surrounded by forests, shrines, and temples.

The castle grounds are recognized for its tranquil atmosphere, and is among one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots. It is suggested to visit here, Matsue Jozan Park, during spring to admire its cherry trees, camellias, azaleas, and Japanese apricot trees. Autumn leaves in November are quite a sight as well. While roaming the castle grounds, you may bump into an occasional ninja or samurai, which makes for an amusing photo opportunity. Visitors can also enjoy a ride on a sightseeing boat around the castle’s moats, which depart every 15-20 minutes from numerous castle departure points.

Things To Do in Matsue

photo of Matsue Castle

Chugoku | Shimane | Matsue

Matsue Castle

The Matsue Castle is renowned for being one of the twelve original standing castles in Japan, and for its elegant black exterior.

photo of Adachi Museum of Art

Chugoku | Shimane | Matsue

Adachi Museum of Art

Adachi Museum of Art is located in the city of Yasugi and the Zen gardens in the museum have won annually for being one of the best Japanese gardens in the country.

photo of Lake Shinji

Chugoku | Shimane | Matsue

Lake Shinji

Lake Shinji is situated in the northeast of Shimane, surrounded by the Shimane-hanto Peninsula on the north, the Izumo Plain on the west and the Matsue Plain on the east.

photo of Tamatsukuri Onsen

Chugoku | Shimane | Matsue

Tamatsukuri Onsen

Tamatsukuri Onsen, known as “the baths of the gods”, is one of the oldest hot springs in Japan. It is renowned for its rejuvenating properties found in the water.

photo of Shinjiko Onsen

Chugoku | Shimane | Matsue

Shinjiko Onsen

The Matsue Shinjiko Onsen is a hot springs resort for Lake Shinji and has a free footbath (ashiyu) at the station.

photo of Horikawa Moat Boat Cruise

Chugoku | Shimane | Matsue

Horikawa Moat Boat Cruise

The Horikawa Sightseeing Boat trip takes you along the many moats and canals that flow through the city’s narrow streets.

photo of Matsue Samurai District

Chugoku | Shimane | Matsue

Matsue Samurai District

Historic buildings, former samurai residences, traditional Japanese style tea houses, and more can be found in the Matsue Samurai District.