Matsue(松江) is the capital of the Shimane Prefecture on the sea coast of Japan with an estimated population of 207,000. It is located on Okashi River, which is situated between Lake Shinji and Lake Nakanoumi. As there is a network of canals and rivers in Matsue’s cityscape and scenery, it is also called the “water city”.
So, what are the main attractions and must-do activities in Matsue? Here are my top 6 sites that I consider “must-visits” so please check them out.
This is the city’s main attraction and is one of the very few castles in Japan that still remains in its original wooden state, as opposed to many others that have had modern reconstructions. It was built in 1611 and is among 12 castles in Japan that remain in their original state, and is also the sixth oldest, third tallest and second largest castle in Japan.
It is located along the moats of Matsue Castle and was constructed recently in 2011 and was designed in a way to look similar to that of a samurai residence. This museum provides great insight into the 400-year history of Matsue city.
This is a must during your visit to Matsue. The boat travels through Matsue Castle’s inner and outer moats and provides an opportunity to capture a lovely glimpse of the old city, which is absolutely an unforgettable experience.
This district contains a well-preserved highly ranked samurai’s residence called, Matsue Buke Yashiki which was built in the 18th century and still remains in its exact original state. It is located along the northern road of Matsue Castle’s inner moat and thankfully it’s also now open to the public. So, for those who love samurai, what are you waiting for?
Lafcadio Hearn is a western author of Japanese culture and lived in Matsue for approximately a year in his lifetime. His former house is open to the public alongside a museum next door which is dedicated to showcasing his life and his wonderful work.
This is a teahouse which was constructed in 1779 and is one of Japan’s well-preserved teahouses. Visitors can enjoy sitting inside this traditional teahouse, sipping on some green tea while enjoying a peaceful view of the well-kept garden.
These are only six of the many attractions for you to to explore in Matsue. However, most of the six listed are centered around the main JR station and is easy to enjoy in a day or two. While you are here, do not forget to take a bite of their famous wagashi confectionery that has a long history for several hundreds of years. You will definitely fall in love at first bite!