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Sitting on the sparsely populated Daikonshima Island in the middle of brackish Lake Nakaumi outside central Matsue is Yushien Garden (Ru, Yūshien, also commonly romanized as Yuushien), a large garden most celebrated for its peony flowers. Established as a private garden in 1975, the 40,000 square meter grounds feature several traditional landscape garden elements, including a central pond, waterfalls, streams, stone lanterns, a rock garden and a variety of seasonal flowers.

Yushien's main attraction, however, is its meticulously tended collection of 250 types of bulbous-blossomed Japanese peony flowers. Thanks to carefully timed planting, visitors can see the peonies flower year round in dedicated indoor and outdoor displays. The garden is probably most spectacular in spring, when patches of peonies scattered throughout the grounds burst into bloom, and an annual Peony Festival is held from late April through May. The garden is nice in winter too when traditional straw coverings are placed over individual plants to shelter them from snow.

An indoor peony display

After strolling along the garden's circuit path, visitors can relax in a cafe with a nice view over the central pond or head to the information center near the entrance which features exhibits on Daikonshima Island's history of growing peonies as well as Korean gingseng. Locally produced gingseng tea and other products are also available for sale.

In addition to occasional events, Yushien annually holds a winter illumination in which the grounds are lit up in the evening with tens of thousands of LED lights strung into an array of designs. The illumination usually takes place in late November and December.

Japanese winter peonies under traditional protective bamboo coverings

Access

Yushien Garden is located about 10 kilometers east of central Matsue on Daikonshima Island, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge. The garden can be reached by most Ichibata Matsue-Sakaiminato Shuttle Buses from Matsue Station, (25 minutes, 700 yen one way, every 1-2 hours). Many of these buses also stop at Matsue Shinjiko Onsen and Matsue Castle.

How to get to and around Matsue

Hours & Fees

Hours

9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30), longer hours during illumination events

Closed

No closing days

Admission

800 yen (50% off for foreign visitors)
Page last updated: January 18, 2017