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Sitting on the sparsely populated Daikonshima Island in the middle of brackish Lake Nakaumi outside central Matsue is Yushien Garden (—RŽu‰€, 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 (”ͺ‘©’¬E—RŽu‰€“όŒϋ) from where the garden can be reached in a five minute walk. To get back to Matsue, take bus number 10.

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Hotels around Matsue

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    • Matsue Guesthouse
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring 1-star accommodation, Matsue Guesthouse is set in Matsue, 2.5 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum and 3.6 km from Lake Shinji. 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 space for guests. The units feature bed linen. Atagoyama Park is 25 km from the guest house, while Mizuki Shigeru Road is 25 km away. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 24 km from Matsue Guesthouse.
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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 in Matsue, less than 1 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Guest house daisho oshiro asobi provides accommodation with a garden, free private parking, a shared lounge and a terrace. With a restaurant, the 1-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is situated 4.3 km from Lake Shinji. Atagoyama Park is 25 km from the guest house, while Mizuki Shigeru Road is 25 km away. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 25 km from Guest house daisho oshiro asobi.
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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. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the hotel. Lake Shinji is 3.8 km from Green Rich Hotel Matsue Station Across - Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana, while Mizuki Shigeru Road is 25 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 24 km from the accommodation.
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    • Hotel Gyokusen
      Mid-range
      Set in Matsue, 5.4 km from Lake Shinji, Hotel Gyokusen offers accommodation with a garden, free private parking and a shared lounge. Located around 10 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, the ryokan with free WiFi is also 23 km away from Atagoyama Park. There is a sauna, evening entertainment and room service. At the ryokan, each room has a desk. All rooms include air conditioning and a flat-screen TV, and some units at Hotel Gyokusen have a safety deposit box. At the accommodation rooms are fitted with bed linen and towels. At Hotel Gyokusen guests are welcome to take advantage of a hot spring bath. The ryokan can conveniently provide information at the reception to help guests to get around the area. Hirata Honjin Memorial Museum is 24 km from Hotel Gyokusen, while Mizuki Shigeru Road is 32 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 19 km from the accommodation.
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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. This 4-star 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 a buffet or ? la carte breakfast. The hotel 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 accommodation, while Atagoyama Park is 23 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 25 km from Hotel Ichibata.
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    • Tamai Bekkan
      Mid-range
      Located in Matsue, within 5.3 km of Lake Shinji and 10 km of Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Tamai Bekkan provides accommodation with a garden and free WiFi as well as free private parking for guests who drive. The property is situated 24 km from Hirata Honjin Memorial Museum, 32 km from Mizuki Shigeru Road and 32 km from Hamayama Park. The property is non-smoking and is set 23 km from Atagoyama Park. Guest rooms in the ryokan are fitted with a flat-screen TV. The private bathroom is equipped with a shower and free toiletries. An Asian breakfast is available daily at Tamai Bekkan. The accommodation offers 3-star accommodation with a sauna and hot spring bath. Gakuen-ji Temple is 33 km from Tamai Bekkan, while Former Taisha Station is 34 km away. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 19 km from the ryokan.
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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 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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