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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 and for 700 yen one way. 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
      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, 23 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, 23 km from the accommodation.
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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. There is a hot spring bath, evening entertainment and a 24-hour front desk. At the ryokan, all rooms include a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. All guest rooms at Hotel Gyokusen feature air conditioning and a wardrobe. An Asian breakfast is available every morning at the accommodation. At Hotel Gyokusen guests are welcome to take advantage of a sauna. Matsue Castle is 9 km from the ryokan, while Matsue English Garden is 14 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 17 km from Hotel Gyokusen.
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    • Green Rich Hotel Matsue Station Across - Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana
      Mid-range
      Green Rich Hotel Matsue Station Across - Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana features accommodation in Matsue near Shimane Art Museum and Matsue Castle. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the hotel. Green Rich Hotel Matsue Station Across - Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana offers a sauna. Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum is 2 km from the accommodation, while Lake Shinji is 3 km from the property. The nearest airport is Yonago Airport, 16 km from Green Rich Hotel Matsue Station Across - Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana.
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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. 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. All rooms have a shared bathroom, slippers and bed linen. Guests at Hotel Ichibata can enjoy a buffet or a ? la carte breakfast. The accommodation features a spa and wellness centre which includes a hot tub. Guests at Hotel Ichibata will be able to enjoy activities in and around Matsue, like fishing. Lake Shinji is 4.1 km from the hotel, while Matsue Castle is 1.4 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 23 km from Hotel Ichibata.
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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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    • Tamai Bekkan
      Mid-range
      Located in Matsue, within 5 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 set 7 km from Shimane Art Museum, 9 km from Matsue Castle and 14 km from Matsue English Garden. Kamosu Shrine is 9 km from the ryokan and Yaegaki Shrine is 9 km away. Guest rooms in the ryokan are equipped with a flat-screen TV. Each room comes with a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. An Asian breakfast is available daily at Tamai Bekkan. The accommodation offers 3-star accommodation with a sauna. Tamatsukuriyu Shrine is less than 1 km from Tamai Bekkan, while Tamatsukuriyu Shrine is a 10-minute walk away. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 17 km from the ryokan.
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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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    • International Hotel Tamatsukuri
      Mid-range
      Set in Matsue, 3.5 km from Lake Shinji, International Hotel Tamatsukuri offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a shared lounge. Offering a garden, the property is located within 8 km of Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum. The accommodation features luggage storage space and free WiFi. At the ryokan, the rooms come with a balcony. Featuring a private bathroom with a bidet and slippers, some units at International Hotel Tamatsukuri also feature a lake view. All guest rooms will provide guests with air conditioning, a safety deposit box and a flat-screen TV. The accommodation offers a buffet or Asian breakfast. Shimane Art Museum is 6 km from International Hotel Tamatsukuri, while Matsue Castle is 7 km from the property. The nearest airport is Izumo Airport, 16 km from the ryokan.
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