Matsue City is the capital city of Shimane prefecture and is located on the northern edge of the prefecture on the Shimane Peninsula. It is also the largest city in the Sanin region, which lies on the Japan Sea side of the Chugoku region.
The city is easily accessible by air from either Yonago Kitaro Airport in Tottori Prefecture or Izumo Enmusubi Airport in Shimane Prefecture and has rail service from the Sanin and Izumo lines.
Matsue is very much defined by the presence of waterways, lakes and the sea. Shinji and Nakaumi are two mixed freshwater and saltwater lakes that give the city its decidedly lakeside atmosphere with picturesque promenades.
The canals surrounding Matsue Castle, which had been used as moats, are like arteries that run from the heart of Lake Shinji. A canal cruise will present the city to you from its best angle. For yet another perspective of the city, take a cruise of Lake Shinji.
This historic city boasts many wonderful attractions, including Matsue Castle, one of only 12 original castles remaining in Japan.The city has a selection of other historical and cultural attractions as well, including several samurai residences that are open to the public, Lafcadio Hearn’s (Koizumi Yakumo) residence and the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, a peony garden and a number of beautiful shrines and temples.
Vogel Park, one of the largest indoor gardens in the world, is another popular tourist destination. Situated on the northern bank of Lake Shinji, the park features flowers such as begonias and fuchsias, as well as bird performances, including a falcon show and a penguin parade.
At the outer edge of Matsue is one more defining body of water, the Japan Sea. Here, you will find the historic fishing town of Mihonoseki, which is famous for its shrines, slate-covered lanes and lighthouse. Explore this fascinating section of the city with views of Miho Bay and the Japan Sea.