The Water Lantern Festival in Matsue City

visit west japan, visitwestjapan, shimane prefecture
Photo | Shimane Prefecture Tourist Gallery
Matsue City
September and October

Lantern festivals are held all over Japan in various forms and are generally associated with good fortune. Many cities employ these festivals as a way to promote interest in historic areas, either alone or as part of some greater celebration.

The Water Lantern Festival, called Matsue Suitoro in Japanese is a month long event held from the middle of September until the middle of October, where the canals of central Matsue City are illuminated by traditional paper lanterns on the weekends and on national holidays.

Decorated with the calligraphy of local school children and other volunteers, they give off a warm glow that adds to the already incredible ambiance of what is considered one of the most beautiful townscapes in Japan.

The lanterns are placed on the paths that follow the canal past many of the highlights of the area such as Shiomi Nawate Street and Matsue Castle. If you would like to give lantern-making a try, there is an area within the castle complex where you can.

You will see people and supplies spread out over the floor, including lantern frames, thin pieces of what paper, black paint and brushes. Find a spot where you can get to work on creating your own beacon of good fortune.

About the Area

Matsue is the vibrant capital city of Shimane Prefecture that has been shaped by its feudal heritage as a castle town and its unique location on Lake Shinji, Lake Nakaumi and the Japan Sea. The city center is dominated by the presence of Matsue Castle and its surrounding canals. This area is also a cultural zone as it is home to museums and historic quarters. One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of the city is from the water and there are several cruise companies that make this possible.

Access: Take the Super Yakumo Express train from JR Okayama Station to JR Matsue Station. Matsue Castle is about a 30 minute walk from Matsue Station.

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee