Matsue Castle (1/4)
Buke Yashiki Room (2/4)
Gessho-ji Temple (3/4)
Tenrin-ji Temple (4/4)


A former Castle Town rich in cultural assets


Matsue is the capital of Shimane prefecture and it's often referred to as the "City of Water", due to its location between the shores of Lake Shinji, Lake Nakaumi and the sea of Japan. Originally developed as a feudal stronghold following the construction of Matsue Castle, nowadays Matsue stands as a well preserved Castle Town crossed by canals, rich in cultural assets and historical sites.

Matsue Castle

550¥ 8:30 - 18:30

Matsue Caslte is one of the only 12 original Japanese Castles that remain in their original wooden form. It was constructed over a period of 5 years starting from 1607, under command of the local lord and founder of Matsue City Horio Yoshiharu.

Having been built shortly after the unification of Japan, it was never used in battle and, thus, its preservation status is exceptional. While many of its constructions were dismantled in 1875 during the Meiji Restoration following a "one castle per province" imperial policy, its main keep was saved thanks to popular pressure and, from 1950 to 1955, the Castle was reconstructed to its full glory.

Shiomi Nawate Street & Buke Yashiki

300¥ 8:30 - 18:30

The Shiomi Nawate is a 500m long street located in Matsue's former samurai district, which runs along the castle's north moat and is lined with traditional Japanese mansions which have been carefully preserved.

The Buke Yashiki is one of the old residences in the Shiomi Nawate which can be visited, located about halfway of the street. It was built in 1730 and it's the perfect example of the typical ancient home of a middle ranking samurai during the Edo period. This particular mansion was inhabited by the Shiomi family, one of the chief retainers of the ruler of the province, and houses many of their weapons and artifacts.

Gessho-ji Temple

500¥ 8:30 - 17:30

Gessho-ji Temple, or The Temple of Moonlight is the family Temple of the Matsudaira clan, who were Matsue's longest standing feudal lords. It was founded in 1664 by Naomasa Matsudaira, the first lord of Izumo Province, to house the gravestone of his mother. The gates to the several graves located in the Temple grounds, show typical artistic features of the different periods when they were constructed and are now designed as Important Cultural Properties.

The temple also houses a massive tortoise made of stone carrying a large column on its back. According to a popular folk tale, the tortoise would wake up at night and storm the streets of the city so villagers decided to place the column on top of it so it wouldn't move again.

Tenrin-ji Temple

The Tenrin-ji Temple was founded in 1639 and its particularly well known for its view of Lake Shinji, considered to be one of the most beautiful views of Matsue and one of the best viewing spots of the Lake. The temple tower houses a bell of Korean origin which is designated as an important national cultural asset.


Okayama Station

Ltd.Exp Yakumo
150 min. 3260¥ Railpass

Matsue Station



All major sightseeing spots in Matsue are conveniently connected by the Lake Line Loop bus. A single ride costs 200Yen, while a one day ticket costs 500Yen.