How to travel between Matsue and Tokyo

By JR daytime trains

Take the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen from Tokyo to Okayama (200 minutes by Nozomi, 240 minutes by Hikari, multiple trains per hour) and transfer to a JR Yakumo limited express train to Matsue (2.5 hours, one train per hour) or Izumo (3 hours, one train per hour). The one way fare is slightly under 20,000 yen.

The Japan Rail Pass fully covers the journey if Hikari trains are used between Tokyo and Okayama, but the pass is not valid on Nozomi trains.

By JR night train

The "Sunrise Izumo" night train operates daily between Tokyo, Matsue and Izumo. One way fares including berth fee, start around 22,000 yen.

Japan Rail Pass holders have to pay around 10,000 yen additionally for using a berth, except when using so called "nobi nobi" compartments, which can be used for free with the pass. Nobi nobi compartments are small spaces of carpeted floor to lie down. They are popular and often book out in advance.

By air

JAL operates multiple flights per day between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Izumo Airport (flight time 90 minutes). The regular one way fare is about 34,000 yen, but by using a discount offer, you can usually fly for around 15,000 to 24,000 yen. Air passes can be even cheaper. Izumo Airport is a 30 minute bus ride from Matsue Station (1050 yen) and Izumoshi Station (720 yen).

ANA operates multiple flights per day between Tokyo and Yonago Airport. Flight time is 75 minutes. The regular one way fare is about 33,000 yen; however, discount tickets are usually available for between 15,000 to 24,000 yen. Yonago Airport is a 45 minute bus ride from Matsue Station (1000 yen).

By highway bus

Matsue and Izumo are connected with Tokyo by a night bus, operated daily by Ichibata Bus and JR Chugoku Bus. The one way ride takes 12 hours and costs 11,600 yen to Matsue and 12,000 yen to Izumo Taisha. The route is also served by discount bus companies such as Willer Bus with tickets available from around 6,000 yen. If used effectively, the Japan Bus Pass can reduce the cost for the bus trip to around 3,000 yen. Online reservations can be made through Willer.

Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.

Getting around

Matsue is served by two railway companies: Japan Railways (JR) and Ichibata Railways. JR Matsue Station is a regional transportation hub, located two kilometers south of Matsue Castle, while Ichibata Railways connects Matsue with neighboring Izumo and Izumo Taisha from its terminal station, Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Station, one kilometer west of the castle.

Transportation within the city is provided by Matsue City Bus and Ichibata Bus. Convenient for tourists is the "Lake Line" loop bus, which connects the two railway stations with all of the city's major tourist sights. Buses operate every 20 minutes. A single ride costs 210 yen, while a one-day pass is available for 520 yen.

Good walkers can explore the city's main sights entirely on foot. It takes about 30 minutes to walk from JR Matsue Station to the castle or about 15 minutes from Ichibata's Shinjiko Onsen Station.