Discover Matsue

Matsue Japan Map LocationLocated in southwest Japan, in Shimane Prefecture, Matsue is certainly one of the most beautiful place  in Japan.

In japanese :   松江

 Pronounced:
« mat-sue-eh »

 Literal meaning:
« the pine (matsu) bay (e) »


The city of Matsue has been established around its castle. Built in 1611, this castle has one of the remaining twelve historical watchtowers of Japan.

The castle has never experienced war and came has come through the ages to us unscathed and looks as it was originally.


A true castle town, Matsue has many moats and canals throughout the city to protect the castle.

They can be cruised thanks to the Horikawa Sigthseeing Boat.There are three separate boarding points, where you can hop on and off freely using a one-day ticket


Because of its many waterways and its location between Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi, Matsue is refered to as the « City of Water ».

The Sea of Japan is also very near – less than 8 kilometers (5 miles). Lake Shinji offers a great variety of scenery throughout the day.


  • Sunset on Lake ShinjiLake Shinji Sunset, Jizo Statue, Matsue, Japan

From the shores of Lake Shinji, you can enjoy what is considered the most beautiful sunsets in Japan.

Everyday, the shores becomes full with both amateur and professional photographers who try to immortalize the breath-taking view.


Matsue is certainly most known by foreigners thanks to the writer Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), who came and work here in 1890 as an english teacher. One of the first foreigners to obtain Japanese nationality, his life in Matsue had a great impact on his written work.


The Japanese-style house Lafcadio Hearn used to live in is still intact and is open to public. It is located on Shiomi Nawate Street, which is one of Japan’s most beautiful street.

It is home of many things to visit, among which a  finely preserved samurai residence.


  • Meimei-an Tea HouseMeimei-an Tea House  - Matsue, Japan

Accessible from Shiomi Nawate Street, Meimei-an is Matsue most famous tea house. It has been built at the request of the 7th Matsudaira Lord, Fumai.

The place offers a beautiful view on Matsue Castle.


  •  Tea and wagashi cultureWagashi et thé vert en poudre (Matcha).

Matsue is proud of its tea and wagashi culture. Wagashi are confectioneries traditionally enjoyed with Matcha green powdered tea.

Matsue is considered to be one the wagashi mecca of Japan, alongside the cities of Kyoto and Kanazawa.


The city and its surroundings are home to numerous shrines and temples.

Yaegaki Shrine, Miko maidens - Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, Japan

Yaegaki Shrine

Kamosu Shrine - National Trasure - Matsue - Japan

Kamosu Shrine

Matsue was called « the capital of the province of the gods » by Lafcadio Hearn. The area is indeed full with myths, but also with ghost stories.

Matsue City, Lake Shinji, Japan - Yomegashima Island, Shrine Torii

Yomegashima Island

Nature also occupies an important place, with the city being surrounded by mountains. Wild life (especially many variety of birds!) and vegetation are plentiful.

A Grey Heron by Lake Shinji

A grey heron by Lake Shinji

Matsue boasts two wonderful japanese gardens : Yuushien Garden and Adachi Museum which is located just southeast of Matsue, in Yasugi City.

Yuushien Japanese Garden (Matsue City) - Autumn foliage 1

Yuushien Japanese Garden

Surrounded by a magnificient garden, Adachi has been elected as the most beautiful japanese-style garden of Japan by the « Journal Of Japanese Garden » (JOJG) every year since 2003, and is also ranked three stars by two famous travel guides, Michelin’s Green Guide and Hachette’s Blue Guide.

Adachi Museum of Art Near Matsue Japanese Garden 1

Adachi Museum of Art

Matsue boasts also many hot springs (onsen), among which Tamatsukuri Onsen. Dating back from 1600 years ago, this place is known as the « Bath of Gods ». Tamayu river, which runs through the hot spring resort, offers free and hot footbath areas.

Tamatsukuri Onsen

Tamatsukuri Onsen is also a famous for its beautiful cherry trees avenue that runs along Tamayu River. Easy access from Tamatsukuri Onsen Station, south of Lake Shinji.

Tamatsukuri Onsen, Matsue, Japan - Beautiful cherry blossom by the river

Tamayu River Sakura Avenue

Located in the mountains of Yakumo District, in southern Matsue, lies the Abe Eishiro Memorial, which features the life and work of Abe Eishiro (1902-1984). Mr. Abe was awarded the honor of being designated as a “Living National Treasure” in 1968 thanks to his instrumental role in the preservation of traditional Japanese papermaking techniques. There, visitors can try their own hand at the art of making washi Japanese paper.

Abe Eishiro Memorial Museum - Washi Japanese Paper Museum - Workshop 1

For more info, please visit our official website
Visit-Matsue.com
as well as our Facebook Page,
Matsue City Guide.

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