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Matsue
松江
—  City  —
松江市 · Matsue
City view from Matsue Castle

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Location of Matsue in Shimane
Matsue is located in Japan
Matsue
Coordinates: 35°28′N 133°3′E / 35.467°N 133.05°E / 35.467; 133.05
Country Japan
Region Chūgoku
Prefecture Shimane
Area
 - Total 530.21 km2 (204.7 sq mi)
Population
(2005)
196,093
Website City of Matsue

Matsue (松江市 Matsue-shi?) is the capital city of Shimane Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan. As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 196,093 and a population density of 369.84 persons per km².

Matsue sits between Lake Shinji and Nakaumi, along the banks of the Ohashi river connecting the two. Due to the prominence of the lakes, the river and canals in the city-scape and scenery it is sometimes called the "water city". Nearby Izumo Taisha is recognized as one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan and is ranked second in importance only to Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture.

Contents

Culture

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Universities in Matsue

  • Shimane University [1]
  • Shimane Prefectural Women's College (junior college) [2]

History

The city boasts Matsue Castle, the "black castle" or "plover castle", one of the few remaining medieval castles in Japan. The castle grounds include a winding path through mixed forests of bamboo, shrubs and trees, many of which are very old and identified by species. Surrounding the grounds and the castle park is the old moat, "horikawa".

Author Lafcadio Hearn taught in Matsue from 1890-1891. His house is now a museum about his life, and a popular tourist attraction in Matsue.

Municipal timeline

Sister cities

Street of Matsue
Matsue with Lake Shinji on the left


External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Matsue (松江) [1] is the capital of Shimane prefecture, Japan.

Get in

By plane

Izumo Airport (出雲空港, IZO) fields flights to major Japanese cities and is about 30 minutes away by car. Direct bus service to Matsue train station. The airport in Yonago, to the east just across the prefectural boundary, is also a viable option and even fields a solitary flight to Seoul.

By train

Matsue is on the San'in Main Line, which runs along western Honshu's Japan Sea coast, starting in Kyoto and passing through Tottori and Matsue on its way to Shimonoseki. Frequent Trains run from Okayama to Matsue before continuing to Izumo, departing every hour from 0700 until 2130 daily taking approx 2 hrs 30 mins, costing 5360 yen.

  • Use the Matsue Walker Bus it runs in a loop around all of the major attractions, every 30 mins, 300 yen for an unlimited pass.
  • Take a boat trip around the moat of Matsue Castle - hop on and hop off the boat at various points. Fun for kids.
  • Matsue Castle, 1-5 Tonomachi, 085-221-4030. Open from 8:30 AM to 5 PM (Closes at 5:30 PM from October through March). The castle keep is one of only twelve original castles left in Japan, dating back to 1611 when it built. Inside the castle you'll find an impressive array of original artifacts from the Matsudaira clan including original armor, swords, and helmets. The top of the castle offers a great view of Matsue City and Lake Shinji. Entrance fee is ¥550. Foreign visitors can enter for half price with passport or Alien Registration Card.  edit
  • Lafcadio Hearn Residence (小泉八雲旧居). The residence of the famous Irish writer. He spent only 15 months here, but during that time he married a Japanese woman, naturalized and adopted the Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo and started his career writing about Japan.  edit
  • The Shimane University Old Okudani Lodging, 140 Okudani-cho, [2]. Open from 10 AM to 5 PM. Closed Monday-Friday. The lodging which were constructed for a German teacher of Matsue senior high school. The building was built in Europeanness at wooden 2 stories in 1924. Admission fee is free.  edit
  • Matsue Vogel Park, 52 Ogaki-cho, 085-288-9800, [3]. As one of the largest greenhouses in the entire world, Vogel Park has an impressive variety of flowers and greenery. Interestingly enough, it is also an aviary housing many different species of birds. Entrance fee is ¥1500. Foreign visitors receive a 30% discount..  edit
  • Yuushien Japanese Garden, 1260-2 Yatsuka-cho, 085-276-2255, [4]. 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. This garden is unique in that it was designed so that visitors can enjoy blooming flowers during every season with the "House of Peony" producing numerous large blossoms year round. Entrance fee is ¥600.  edit
  • Shimane Art Museum, 1-5 Sodeshi-cho, 085-255-4700, [5]. Open from 10 AM to 6:30 PM. Closed Tuesdays. This gallery contains artwork by famous artists from Shimane prefecture, as well as other parts of Japan. Special exhibits often display famous European artwork. Check the website to see what special exhibits will be on display when you arrive. Entrance to the permanent exhibits is ¥300, special exhibits ¥1000. Foreign visitors receive a 50% discount with a valid passport or Alien Registration Card.  edit
  • Kamosu Shrine, 085-221-6379. Built in 1583, Kamosu Shrine is the oldest shrine built in the taisha-zukuri architectural style. The creator gods Izanami and Izanagi are enshrined together in Kamosu Shrine. It's a designated National Treasure. Entrance is free.  edit
  • Yaegaki Shrine. A shrine dedicated to marriage where visitors come in hopes of getting married and having a happy marriage.  edit
  • Buke Yashiki, 305 Kitatonomachi, 085-222-2243. Open from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM from April-September, 8:30 AM -5:00 PM from October to March. The residence of a former samurai housing many of his weapons and other artifacts. A worthwhile visit. Admission fee is ¥300.  edit
  • Matsue English Garden, 369 Nishi-Hamadasa-cho, 085-236-3030, [6]. An authentic English garden.  edit
  • Geshhoji Temple. Open from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. While the actual temple was destroyed during the Meiji Period by the government, the temple grounds contain the graves of the Matsudaira clan, including the first Daimyo, who was also the grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Entrance is ¥400.  edit

Do

Japan's largest konyoku (mixed) onsen is Yuyu [8] in Tamayu at JR Tamatsukuri Onsen stop (10 minutes from JR Matsue).

  • Matsue Moat Boat Ride. Ride boats in the moat around Mastue Castle and neighboring canals. Pass under at least 12 bridges. You can ride all day getting on and off at Matsue Castle, the microbrew Ji Beer Kan, and Karakoro Square, making this a relaxing way to get around town. The boats feature traditional charcoal heated low table or kotatsu during colder weather and your boatman may regale you with a song about Matsue.
  • Lake Shinji, Watch the sunset over Shinjiko at Yomegashimi. (Past the Gusto restaurant on route 9). Get there slightly early to grab a good spot. Lake Shinji is the siteseeing symbol of Shimane-ken and the 7th largest lake in Japan.
  • Beehive, near Matsue the station. Follow main road - turn right at the intersection with the guitar shop - stay on the the RHS and walk a couple of blocks. Macrobiotic restaurant.
  • Daikichi, Yakitori , reasonably priced place. The Chicken Hips were great!. English menu available. 491-1 Asahimachi, near the train station on the main street.
  • Yakumo-an, Known for their Soba and Udon noodles. A great lunch spot next to the Buke Yashiki samurai house.
  • Terazuya Ryokan [9] A Japanese family run ryokan. A nice place to stay while visiting Matsue. The hosts will pick you up at the train station. Nothing fancy. Shared bathrooms. A nice shrine across the street.
  • Matsue City Hotel is a quirky but centrally located business hotel. Tel. 0852-25-4100. Although fine for a solo traveler, avoid double occupancy as the rooms are small even by business hotel standards and the so-called doubles only have one single bed. This hotel is easy to find with a large clock tower on top. The owners have sprinkled their collection of antique clocks and other furniture throughout the hotel.
  • Toyoko Inn, 498-10 Asahi-machi (It's very close to the station. From the North Exit of Matsue Station, cross the street on the left side and walk for about 2 minutes.), 085-260-1045, [10]. checkin: 4:00 PM; checkout: 10:00 AM. An affordable hotel conveniently located near Matsue Station. All rooms have a TV, and the beds are quite comfortable. Internet access is available in the lobby, as well as coin laundry. From ¥5040.  edit
  • Matsue Universal Hotel Honkan, 085-225-0001, [11]. checkin: 4:00 PM; checkout: 10:00 AM. Prices from ¥3898.  edit
  • Matsue Ekimae Universal Hotel, 085-228-3000, [12]. checkin: 4:00 PM; checkout: 10:00 AM. Prices from ¥4198.  edit
  • Business Hotel Lake Inn, 085-221-2424, [13]. checkin: 3:00-10:00 PM; checkout: 10:00 AM. Prices from ¥3700.  edit
  • Matsue Tokyu Inn, 590 Asahi-machi, 085-227-0109, [14]. checkin: 3:00 PM; checkout: 10:00 AM. Prices start from ¥8190.  edit
  • Izumo - home to Izumo Taisha, one of Japan's most holy Shinto Shrines.
  • Yasugi - The location of the famous Adachi Museum of Art, as well as many other museums.
  • Daisen - Home to the Fuji of the West, great for hiking and skiing.
  • Niimi - Famous for its two caves
  • Takahashi - A former castle town with Bitchu Takamatsu Castle, the only original mountain castle remaining in Japan.
  • Tottori - Tottori Sand Dunes (paragliding, hang-gliding, camel-riding, etc.) About 1.5-3 hours by train to JR Tottori
Routes through Matsue
ShimonosekiIzumo  W noframe E  YasugiYonago
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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English

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Proper noun

Singular
Matsue

Plural
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Matsue

  1. capital city of Shimane prefecture, Japan.

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