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Matsue is the capital city of Shimane Prefecture, in Southwest Japan. Known as the “City of Water”, Matsue stands by the Sea of Japan where Lake Shinji and Nakaumi meet, in the middle of Shimane Peninsula.

A former feudal stronghold, Matsue is a true castle town crossed with many canals and boasts one of the twelve remaining original castles in Japan. Famous for its beautiful sunsets over Lake Shinji, Matsue also prides itself on having been the adopted home of the writer Lafcadio Hearn, who became one of the first Westerners to take Japanese citizenship under the name of Koizumi Yakumo.

As an International City of Culture and Tourism, Matsue offers great sightseeing opportunities and welcomes international tourists with significant discounts. Matsue and its surrounding areas are rich in cultural assets and historical sites, and many of Japan's most ancient legends are set in the area.

Matsue City Centre Read More

North Side


Matsue Castle

Horikawa Sightseeing

Shiomi Nawate Street

Lake Shinji


Shijimi Clam fishers

South Side


Sunset over Lake Shinji

Shimane Art Museum

Mastue City Centre is divided in two by the Ohashi River and concentrates many places of interest that are easily accessible on foot from Matsue Station, which is one kilometre away from Lake Shinji and two kilometers from Matsue Castle.

The north side is where the Castle and its surrounding moats are.There, in addition to visiting the castle, you can enjoy a cruise around it on the Horikawa Sightseeing Boat and experience old Japan on a picturesque traditional Japanese street (Shiomi Nawate Street), among many other places to visit.

The south side also hosts many Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, as well as the Shimane Art Museum, located on the shore of Lake Shinji.

Outer Matsue Read More

Matsue and its surrounding areas are rich in cultural assets and historical sites. Located South of Lake Shinji, a mere stone’s throw away from Matsue’s JR Station, is the hot spring (onsen) town of Tamatsukuri, also known as the “baths of gods”. Located along the north side of Lake Shinji are two parks, Matsue English Garden and Matsue Vogel Park, which are also easily accessible by train. The northern coastline is part of of the Shimane Peninsula and has breath taking sceneries.

Located at the eastern tip of the Shimane Peninsula is the small yet historic harbour of Mihonoseki. Daikonshima, a flat volcanic island situated in middle of Lake Nakaumi, is the country’s largest producer of peony flower shrubs and hosts the beautiful traditional Japanese Garden of Yuushien. Finally, southern Matsue is strongly linked with Japanese mythology, and you can find many Shinto shrines and historic sites here. The Ancient Province of Izumo was ruled from this area.


Koura Beach

Paved street of
Mihonoseki Harbour

Tamatsukuri Onsen

Kumano Taisha Shrine

Yuushien Japanese Garden

Matsue Vogel Park

Finally, Matsue is conveniently located near Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine (Izumo city), one of the most important shrines of Japan, and Adachi Art Museum (Yasugi city), which is surrounded by what is considered the most beautiful.

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