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 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.

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 ginseng. Locally produced ginseng tea and other products are also available for sale.

In addition to occasional events, Yushien holds evening illuminations multiple times during the year, especially during the winter months when the grounds are lit up with tens of thousands of LED lights strung into an array of designs.

Getting there and around

Yushien Garden is located about ten kilometers east of central Matsue on Daikonshima Island, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge. The garden can be reached every 1-2 hours by Matsue City Bus number 70 from Matsue Station in about 50 minutes. The one way fare is 700 yen one way, but note that the 2-day bus pass for Matsue is available for only 1050 yen and covers the ride. Get off at Yatsukacho Yushien-iriguchi (ERu) from where the garden can be reached in a five minute walk. To get back to Matsue, take bus number 10.

How to get to and around Matsue

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Hotels around Matsue

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    • Matsue Guesthouse
      Budget-friendly
      Matsue Guesthouse is set in Matsue, 2.5 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, 3.6 km from Lake Shinji, as well as 25 km from Atagoyama Park. 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. The guest house is located in a geothermal area, with a number of hot springs nearby for guests to relax in. Mizuki Shigeru Road is 25 km from the guest house, while Hirata Honjin Memorial Museum is 26 km away. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 24 km from Matsue Guesthouse.
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    • KIAN the guest house
      Budget-friendly
      KIAN the guest house, a property with a garden, is set in Matsue, less than 1 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, 4.3 km from Lake Shinji, as well as 25 km from Atagoyama Park. This 2-star guest house offers a concierge service and a housekeeping service. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. The guest house is located in a geothermal area, with a number of hot springs nearby for guests to relax in. Mizuki Shigeru Road is 25 km from the guest house, while Hirata Honjin Memorial Museum is 25 km away. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 25 km from KIAN the guest house.
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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. Speaking English and Japanese at the 24-hour front desk, staff are always at hand to help. Lake Shinji is 3.8 km from the accommodation, while Atagoyama Park is 25 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 24 km from Onyado Nono Matsue Natural Hot Spring.
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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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    • Fukumakan
      Mid-range
      Counting an almost 200-year history, Fukumakan features Japanese-style rooms and freestanding cottages, some overlooking Miho Bay. Bicycle rentals are available, and the hotel offers a free shuttle to/from Yonago Airport and JR Sakai-Minato Station. Fukumakan is only a 1-minute walk from Miho Jinja Shrine, and a 20-minute drive from the Mizuki Shigeru Road. JR Sakai-Minato Station is a 20-minute drive, and Yonago Airport a 30-minute drive away. All accommodations have a tatami (woven-straw) floor and Japanese futon bedding. Amenities include air conditioning and an LCD TV, while some rooms have a fridge and an attached bathroom. Yukata robes are provided. Fukumakan, a registered property of the Japan Ryokan Association, features a hot public bath, drinks vending machines and free parking. Pets are allowed upon advance requests, at extra charge. The hotel offers Japanese dishes for breakfast and dinner. Meals are served at the dining room.
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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. Among the facilities at this property are a tour desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. 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 shared bathroom with a bidet. At Hotel Ichibata the rooms include bed linen and towels. The accommodation offers 4-star accommodation with a sauna, hot tub and hot spring bath. Guests at Hotel Ichibata will be able to enjoy activities in and around Matsue, like fishing. Lake Shinji is 4 km from the hotel, while Atagoyama Park is 23 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 25 km from Hotel Ichibata.
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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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