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Matsue Castle (], Matsuejō) is one of only a dozen original castles in Japan, meaning that its main tower has survived to this day through fires, earthquakes and the anti-feudal demolitions of the Meiji Period. It is sometimes called the "black castle" after its darkly-colored, austere exterior.

Matsue Castle was completed in 1611, a few years after the last decisive battle of feudal Japan. In 1638, the fief and castle were reassigned to a branch of the Matsudaira clan, relatives of the ruling Tokugawa. Perched atop a hill and surrounded by a moat and thick walls, the castle was built to withstand a war, though, thanks to the timing of its construction, it never actually saw a battle. Major renovation works were undertaken in the 1950s to further preserve it, and the interior of the main keep now houses a museum displaying period arms and artifacts.

In addition to touring the castle's main keep and grounds, visitors can also enjoy a river boat cruise around the castle moat. The boats, which depart every 20-30 minutes from a handful of departure points around the castle, are driven around the moat and narrow canals that form the Horikawa River by boatmen and boatwomen who share about the history of the area (in Japanese only, although audio recordings in other languages are also available).

Getting there and around

Matsue Castle can be reached in a 30 minute walk from JR Matsue Station or in a 15 minute walk from Ichibata Dentetsu's Matsue-Shinjiko-Onsen Station. The castle is also connected with both train stations by the "Lake Line" loop bus.

How to get to and around Matsue

Hours and Fees

Matsue Castle

Hours

Closed

Admission

Castle Moat Boat Cruise

Hours

Closed

Admission

Hotels around Matsue

Top rated in Matsue
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    • Matsue Guesthouse
      Budget-friendly
      Set within 2.5 km of Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum and 3.7 km of Lake Shinji, Matsue Guesthouse features rooms in Matsue. With a shared lounge, the 1-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The accommodation offers a shared kitchen, and luggage storage for guests. The units feature bed linen. Shimane Art Museum is 1.5 km from the guest house, while Matsue Castle is 1.8 km away. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 17 km from Matsue Guesthouse.
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    • Guest house daisho oshiro asobi
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Matsue, less than 1 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Guest house daisho oshiro asobi provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a shared lounge and a garden. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The accommodation features a shared kitchen and free WiFi throughout the property. Guests at the guest house can enjoy a ? la carte breakfast. Lake Shinji is 4.4 km from Guest house daisho oshiro asobi, while Matsue Castle is 500 metres away. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 17 km from the accommodation.
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    • Onsen Guest House Aobato no Su
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Onsen Guest House Aobato no Su offers accommodation in Matsue, a few steps from Tamatsukuri Onsen. Free private parking is available on site. All rooms include a flat-screen TV. Every room is fitted with a shared bathroom. You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property. The ryokan also offers bike hire. Lake Shinji is 4.1 km from Onsen Guest House Aobato no Su, while Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum is 8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Yonago Airport, 22 km from the property.
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    • Hotel Gyokusen
      Mid-range
      Set in Matsue, 5 km from Lake Shinji, Hotel Gyokusen offers accommodation with a shared lounge, free private parking and a garden. Around 10 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, the property is also 8 km away from Shimane Art Museum and offers free WiFi. The accommodation features a hot spring bath, evening entertainment and a 24-hour front desk. An Asian breakfast is available every morning at the ryokan. At Hotel Gyokusen guests are welcome to take advantage of a sauna. Matsue Castle is 9 km from the accommodation, while Matsue English Garden is 14 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 11 km from Hotel Gyokusen.
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    • Dormy Inn Express Matsue
      Mid-range
      Dormy Inn Express Matsue offers modern accommodations with wired internet access, an iPod docking station and free welcome coffee. Guests can refresh in the bathtub while watching the TV monitor in the en suite bathrooms. JR Matsue Train Station is a 5-minute walk away. The air-conditioned rooms feature carpeted floors, a flat-screen TV with a DVD player and a fridge. Green tea can be enjoyed using the electric kettle and sleepwear is provided for all guests. The en suite bathroom comes with slippers and a hairdryer. Matsue Dormy Inn Express is a 5-minute drive from Matsue Castle and a 15-minute drive from Kamosu Shrine. Former Yakumo Koizumi Residence is a 10-minute drive away. Massages can be requested for an extra cost and free-use washing machines are on-site. English speaking staff can be found at the 24-hour front desk. Hatago restaurant serves a breakfast buffet. Complimentary noodle soup is offered in the dining room between 21:30 and 23:00.
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    • Matsue Excel Hotel Tokyu
      Mid-range
      Located just a 3-minute walk from JR Matsue Station, Matsue Excel Hotel Tokyu provides simple guest rooms fitted with modern amenities. Free in-room wired internet is provided. All guest rooms are non-smoking at this hotel. Guests can smoke in a designated smoking booth. The hotel features banquet facilities, and drink vending machines can be used. Rooms at Tokyu Matsue Excel Hotel come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a small fridge and an electric kettle. An air-purifier is also provided in the room. Izumo Airport is a 30-minute limousine bus ride from the station. Matsue Castle can be reached within a 5-minute drive, and historic Izumo Taisha Shrine is a 1-hour drive away. On-site Restaurant Mosoro offers a Japanese and Western breakfast buffet, a buffet lunch and dinner. Casual set meals and a la carte menus are available for dinner.
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    • Hotel Ichibata
      Luxury
      Situated in Matsue, 2.4 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Hotel Ichibata features accommodation with a restaurant, private parking, a bar and a garden. This 4-star hotel offers a concierge service and a tour desk. The property has a hot spring bath, free WiFi throughout the property and a 24-hour front desk. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a buffet or a ? la carte breakfast. Hotel Ichibata features a spa and wellness centre which includes a hot tub. Guests at the accommodation will be able to enjoy activities in and around Matsue, like fishing. Lake Shinji is 4.1 km from Hotel Ichibata, while Matsue Castle is 1.4 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 16 km from the hotel.
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    • Ryokan Yukeikohan Suitenkaku
      Mid-range
      Ryokan Yukeikohan Suitenkaku is a 5-minute walk from Shinjiko Onsen Station and an 8-minute drive from JR Matsue Station. It offers Japanese-style accommodation with 2 public baths and free parking. Guest rooms feature tatami (woven straw) mat with traditional futon bedding. Each room is equipped with a fridge, electric kettle and a flat-screen TV. The lobby area has a personal computer for guestsf use. Free use of massage chair is provided. Breakfast and dinner are served in the dining room. Japanese dishes are on offer. Yukeikohan Suitenkaku Ryokan is within a 10-minute drive of the Matsue Castle, Matsue History Museum and the Jozan Inari Shrine. Izumo Airport is a 36-minute drive away.
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    • Ten Ten Temari
      Mid-range
      Boasting Japanese-style rooms with views of Lake Shinji-ko, hotel Ten Ten Temari offers a traditional Japanese experience, with hot spring baths and Japanese cuisine. A salon offers massages and beauty treatments on site. Free WiFi is available at the lobby and in the guest rooms. JR Matsue Station is a 10-minute taxi ride away, while Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Station is a 8-minute walk from the property. A convenience store is situated right beside the property, no more than a 30-second walk away. Air-conditioned rooms feature shoji sliding paper screens and low furniture, from which guests can gaze out over the lake. They sleep in traditional futon bedding on the tatami (woven-straw) floor. Rooms feature a flat-screen TV, a refrigerator, a high-tech toilet and an en suite bathroom which comes with a hairdryer. Temari Ten Ten has spacious natural hot spring baths for shared use. The hotel is fitted with drinks vending machines. Please noted that guests are unable to choose a room type according to availability. Please call Ten Ten Temari if you have a special request in a room type. A Japanese-style breakfast is served at the property. Ten Ten Temari is a 13-minute walk from the Gessho-ji Temple, and it's around a 5-minute drive from Jozan Inari Shrine, Matsue Castle and the historical Yakumo Koizumi Residence. Adachi Museum of Art is a 45-minute drive away, while the Izumo-taisha shrine can be accessed in 60-minutes via train and walk. Guests with a car can drive to Tottori Sand Dunes in approximately 2 hours.
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    • Matsue Urban Hotel
      Mid-range
      Matsue Urban Hotel is a 3-minute walk from JR Matsue Station and a 10-minute drive from Matsue Castle. It offers modern accommodation with a restaurant, massage services and rooms with free wired internet. Guest rooms offer both air-conditioning and heating facilities. Each room is equipped with a fridge, a flat-screen TV and a pot with tea bags. The en suite bathroom comes with toiletries and a bathtub. The hotel has a coin-operated laundrette. Humidifier and air freshener can be borrowed from the front desk. Bicycle rental is available for guests who wish to explore the area. The on-site restaurant serves Western buffet dishes for breakfast. Hotel Urban Matsue is a 15-minute drive from Shimane Art Museum and a 25-minute drive from Aikanagisa Park. Izumo Airport is a 40-minute drive away.
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