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Matsue Castle (¼]é, 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 Lakeline 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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    • Onyado Nono Matsue Natural Hot Spring
      Luxury
      Set 1.7 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Onyado Nono Matsue Natural Hot Spring offers 4-star accommodation in Matsue and has a spa and wellness centre. Offering a restaurant, the property also has a bar, as well as a sauna and a hot spring bath. Private parking is available on site. All units in the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV. All guest rooms at Onyado Nono Matsue Natural Hot Spring feature air conditioning and a desk. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Speaking English and Japanese at the 24-hour front desk, staff are always at hand to help. Lake Shinji is 3.8 km from Onyado Nono Matsue Natural Hot Spring, while Atagoyama Park is 25 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 24 km from the hotel.
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    • Guest house daisho oshiro asobi
      Budget-friendly
      Located less than 1 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Guest house daisho oshiro asobi offers 1-star accommodation in Matsue and features a garden, a terrace and a shared lounge. There is an on-site restaurant, plus free private parking and free WiFi are available. The guest house has family rooms. The guest house is located in a geothermal area, with a number of hot springs nearby for guests to relax in. Lake Shinji is 4.3 km from the guest house, while Atagoyama Park is 25 km away. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 25 km from Guest house daisho oshiro asobi.
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    • Hotel Ichibata
      Luxury
      Situated in Matsue, 1.8 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Hotel Ichibata features accommodation with a garden, private parking, a restaurant and a bar. Ideally situated in the Matsue Shinjiko Onsen district, this hotel offers a spa and wellness centre. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, a concierge service and currency exchange for guests. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. With a shared bathroom fitted with a bath and free toiletries, rooms at Hotel Ichibata also feature free WiFi, while some rooms are fitted with a city view. At the accommodation the rooms include bed linen and towels. Hotel Ichibata offers 4-star accommodation with a sauna, hot tub and hot spring bath. Guests at the hotel will be able to enjoy activities in and around Matsue, like fishing. Lake Shinji is 4 km from Hotel Ichibata, while Atagoyama Park is 23 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 25 km from the accommodation.
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    • Green Rich Hotel Matsue Station Across - Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana
      Mid-range
      Situated in Matsue, 2.6 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Green Rich Hotel Matsue Station Across - Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana features accommodation with a restaurant and private parking. This 3-star hotel offers luggage storage space. The hotel has a sauna, a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi throughout the property. Lake Shinji is 3.8 km from the hotel, while Mizuki Shigeru Road is 25 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 24 km from Green Rich Hotel Matsue Station Across - Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana.
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    • Hotel Gyokusen
      Mid-range
      5.4 km from Lake Shinji in Matsue, Hotel Gyokusen features accommodation with access to a sauna, hot spring bath and public bath. The air-conditioned accommodation is 10 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum. The ryokan also offers free WiFi, free private parking and facilities for disabled guests. There is a private bathroom with bath in some units, along with slippers, a hair dryer and free toiletries. At the ryokan, some units are allergy-free. The ryokan is located in a geothermal area, with a number of hot springs nearby for guests to relax in. Guests can also relax in the garden or in the shared lounge area. Atagoyama Park is 23 km from the ryokan, while Hirata Honjin Memorial Museum is 24 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 19 km from Hotel Gyokusen.
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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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    • 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 Route Inn Matsue
      Mid-range
      A 7-minute ride to JR Matsue Train Station on the hotelfs free shuttle, Hotel Route-Inn offers rooms with a flat-screen TV, free internet and a private bathroom. Parking is free. Guests at Hotel Route-Inn Matsue enjoy air-conditioned rooms with a green tea maker and pay TV programs. Each room has a work desk, and the en suite bathroom includes a bathtub and slippers. The hotel is about 1.5 km from Matsue Castle, Shimane Art Museum and the Bukeyashiki Samurai Houses. Ao Ishidatami Dori (Blue Stone Approach) Traditional Street is 25 km away. A coin launderette are provided. Locally produced items are offered at the gift shop. NAGOMI Restaurant serves a daily breakfast buffet featuring European breads.
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    • Tamai Bekkan
      Mid-range
      Located in Matsue in the Shimane region, Tamai Bekkan provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking, as well as access to a sauna. This 3-star ryokan offers a spa experience, with its hot spring bath and public bath. The ryokan features an open-air bath and a lift. The units in the ryokan are equipped with a flat-screen TV. There is a fully equipped private bathroom with bath and free toiletries. Guests at the ryokan can enjoy an Asian breakfast. The ryokan is located in a geothermal area, with a number of hot springs nearby for guests to relax in. Guests can also relax in the garden. Lake Shinji is 5.3 km from Tamai Bekkan, while Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum is 10 km away. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 19 km from the accommodation.
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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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