Matsue, Japan

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Matsue, Japan

Region: Shimane

Geographic Coordinates: 35.470800, 133.052000
Temperature Range: -10.0°C to 35.0°C (14°F to 95°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 201802
Language: Japanese

Matsue is a charming city situated in the Shimane prefecture of Japan. It sits on the banks of Lake Shinji and is surrounded by mountains, Offering breathtaking views and a tranquil atmosphere. Matsue’s well-preserved samurai district, Stunning gardens, And historical landmarks make it a popular tourist destination. One of the main attractions in Matsue is the Matsue Castle, Also known as the Black Castle because of its dark exterior. This castle was built in 1611 and has been designated as a National Treasure of Japan. Visitors can explore its interior which includes exhibits showcasing samurai armor and weapons.

The Adachi Museum of Art is another must-see attraction in Matsue. The museum boasts an impressive collection of Japanese art including paintings, Ceramics, Sculptures, And calligraphy. Its garden has been recognized as one of Japan’s best gardens for several years by a prominent gardening magazine. Matsue also offers visitors beautiful natural scenery to enjoy such as Lake Shinji-ko Park where they can take boat rides or walk along scenic paths while enjoying views across Lake Shinji.

For those interested in history or culture tourism should not miss out on visiting Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum which showcases works from this Greek-Irish author who lived most part his life in Japan writing about Japanese folklore tales. In addition to these attractions mentioned above there are several other cultural sites worth visiting such as Yakumo-an tea house where you can experience traditional tea ceremony or Shimane Art Museum where you will find contemporary art exhibitions from both local artists as well as international ones.

Overall with its rich history combined with modern amenities make it an excellent destination for tourists looking to experience authentic Japanese culture while enjoying natural beauty at every turn making it one of Japan’s hidden gems that should be explored by all travelers who visit this country!

Important Landmarks

  1. Matsue Castle
  2. Adachi Museum of Art
  3. Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine
  4. Lake Shinji
  5. Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum
  6. Matsue Vogel Park
  7. Tamatsukuri Onsen Hot Spring Village
  8. Matsue History Museum
  9. Shimane Art Museum
  10. Yuushien Garden

Primary Industries

  1. Tourism: Matsue boasts many historical landmarks, including the Matsue Castle and the Adachi Museum of Art, which attract a large number of tourists.
  2. Agriculture: The fertile land around Lake Shinji supports rice cultivation, fruit orchards, and vegetable farms.
  3. Fishing: The Sea of Japan provides a rich source of seafood for local consumption and export.
  4. Manufacturing: Several manufacturing companies in Matsue produce electronic equipment, machinery parts, and textiles.
  5. Education: Several universities and colleges in Matsue offer courses in various fields such as medicine, engineering, agriculture, etc.
  6. Service industry: There are many restaurants, hotels, shops providing services to tourists visiting this city.
  7. Transportation industry: As it’s located on the coast, transportation industry plays an important role here. Port facilities for cargo vessels, ships carrying passengers, etc. are available here.

Noteable History

  1. Matsue Castle is a historic landmark built in 1611 and one of the few original castles remaining in Japan.
  2. Lafcadio Hearn, a British writer, lived in Matsue during the late 1800s and wrote extensively about Japanese culture.
  3. Horio Yoshiharu was the founder of Matsue Castle and a powerful feudal lord who ruled over the area during the early Edo period.
  4. The Shimane Prefecture Earthquake struck Matsue and surrounding areas in 2000, causing significant damage to buildings and infrastructure.
  5. Izumo Taisha Shrine is one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines located outside of Matsue city.
  6. The Yatsuka-mura Incident was a tragic event that occurred in 1945 when American forces mistakenly bombed a village near Matsue, killing over 100 civilians.
  7. Lake Shinji is Shimane Prefecture’s largest lake known for its beautiful sunsets and as a popular destination for fishing.
  8. Katsushika Hokusai was an acclaimed ukiyo-e artist famous for his iconic Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series depicting Mount Fuji landscapes.
  9. Adachi Museum of Art is one of Japan’s most renowned museums featuring an extensive collection of contemporary Japanese art alongside traditional Japanese gardens.
  10. The Yuki-onna Festival is an annual winter festival held in Matsue that celebrates local folklore surrounding yuki-onna (snow women) through parades, performances, and cultural events.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Matsue Castle is a historical castle built in the 17th century, known as the black castle due to its dark exterior.
  2. Adachi Museum of Art is a museum that features a vast collection of Japanese art and gardens with breathtaking views.
  3. Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum is dedicated to the life and works of Lafcadio Hearn, an Irish writer who lived in Japan and wrote extensively about Japanese culture.
  4. Shimane Art Museum showcases contemporary Japanese art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations.
  5. Matsue History Museum explores the history and culture of Matsue through interactive exhibits and artifacts.
  6. Yakumo Koizumi Memorial Hall is dedicated to Yakumo Koizumi (Lafcadio Hearn), where visitors can learn about his life and literary works.
  7. Lake Shinji-ko Park overlooks Lake Shinji-ko with stunning views of Mt. Daisen in the background.
  8. Matsue Vogel Park is an aviary park featuring a wide variety of exotic birds from around the world.
  9. Meimei-an Tea House offers visitors an authentic tea house experience where they can participate in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies in a peaceful setting.
  10. Matsue Castle Town Area – The historic area surrounding Matsue Castle has many traditional shops selling local crafts like pottery or lacquerware as well as restaurants serving up regional specialties like soba noodles or wagashi sweets made from rice flour or red beans.

Cultural Events

  1. Matsue Suitoro (Matsue Castle Illumination) is a night-time illumination event that takes place at Matsue Castle. The event showcases beautiful light displays and traditional Japanese music performances.
  2. Horan-enya Festival is a traditional festival that takes place in February. The festival features a parade of portable shrines and dancers dressed in colorful costumes.
  3. Matsue Hikiyama Festival takes place in October, featuring large wooden floats decorated with intricate carvings and paintings, pulled through the streets by teams of men.
  4. Lake Shinji Fireworks Festival is held in August, offering a spectacular fireworks display over Lake Shinji accompanied by music and food stalls.
  5. Shimane Art Museum Exhibition: The Shimane Art Museum hosts regular exhibitions showcasing works by local artists as well as international art exhibitions.
  6. Matsue Castle Festival celebrates the history and culture of Matsue with parades, performances, and food stalls held every May or June each year.
  7. Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine Autumn Festival: This annual autumn festival takes place at the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine located near Matsue city center featuring various events such as Shinto rituals and traditional dance performances.
  8. Yabusame Archery Demonstration is an ancient form of horseback archery demonstrated at various festivals throughout the year including during the Horan-enya festival mentioned earlier on this list.


  • Izumo Soba: A type of buckwheat noodle dish that is a specialty of the Izumo region. Some popular soba restaurants in Matsue include Soba no Miya and Kura no Ki.
  • Wagyu Beef: Matsue is known for its high-quality beef, which comes from cows raised on local farms. Some popular wagyu beef restaurants in Matsue include Yakiniku Shokudo Kadoya and Gyu-Kaku.
  • Seafood: As a coastal city, Matsue has a variety of fresh seafood dishes to try. Some popular seafood restaurants in Matsue include Waraizushi Yamashita and Izakaya Minato.
  • Horan-enya: A traditional Japanese restaurant that serves kaiseki cuisine, which features multiple courses of small dishes made with seasonal ingredients.
  • Takumi-no-Sato: A restaurant that specializes in udon noodles made from locally grown wheat.
  • Cafe de Roppe: A cafe located near the historic castle ruins that serves coffee and light meals, as well as traditional Japanese sweets like wagashi.
  • Oyaki-ya Nishikawa: A shop that sells oyaki, a type of stuffed dumpling made with flour dough and various fillings such as vegetables or red bean paste.
  • Yakitori Oyaji: An izakaya-style restaurant that serves grilled chicken skewers (yakitori) along with other small plates and drinks.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Matsue Castle Park is a popular park located around the iconic Matsue Castle, offering scenic views of the castle and its surrounding moats.
    2. Lake Shinji is a large freshwater lake that offers various recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and cycling along its shores.
    3. Tamatsukuri Onsen is a hot spring resort area located on the outskirts of Matsue city, known for its therapeutic waters and traditional Japanese inns.
    4. Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum is a museum dedicated to the life and works of Lafcadio Hearn, an Irish writer who lived in Matsue during the late 19th century.
    5. Shimane Art Museum is an art museum featuring modern and contemporary art from Japan and around the world.
    6. Yushien Garden is a beautiful Japanese garden with seasonal flowers such as peonies, irises, and lotus flowers.
    7. Adachi Museum of Art is one of Japan’s most famous museums featuring traditional Japanese art and gardens that have been ranked as some of the best in Japan.
    8. Matsue Vogel Park is an aviary park with over 200 species of birds from around the world that can be viewed up close in their natural habitats.
    9. Mihonoseki Lighthouse Park offers scenic views overlooking Mihonoseki Harbor where visitors can climb up to see stunning panoramic views from atop Mihonoseki Lighthouse.
    10. Matsue History Museum showcases local history including artifacts from ancient times through to more recent history such as samurai swords used during Edo period battles.


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