Matsue Castle - Designated as a National Treasure This Castle Is One of the Most Popular Sightseeing Spots in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture! A Look at the Only Castle in Japan's San'in Region to Boast a Castle Tower!
Art & Architecture
Introducing Matsue Castle!
This video is titled "[Remastered] Matsue Castle - Shimane - 松江城." Produced by "TokyoStreetView - Japan The Beautiful," it introduces Matsue Castle in Shimane prefecture.
Matsue Castle is one of the 5 castles of Japan that are designated as national treasures.
The majestic castle has an aura of history surrounding it and is a popular sightseeing destination in Shimane prefecture.
In this article, we'll introduce Shimane prefecture’s Matsue Castle alongside with the video.
About Matsue Castle
Photo：Shimane prefecture・Matsue Castle
Matsue Castle, introduced in the video, is a hirayama-style castle built in 1611. Horio Yoshiharu, Kyougoku Tadataka, Matsudaira Naomasa, and Matsudaira Harusato were lords of this castle.
The castle has two names, and is often called "Chidori Castle."
Famed for the only existing castle tower in the San-in region, Matsue Castle is built on the small Kameda Mountain, overlooking the beautiful Shinji Lake.
Besides Matsue Castle, 5 more castles, including Inuyama Castle, Matsumoto Castle, Hikone Castle, and Himeji castle, are all designated as national treasures of Japan.
Matsue Castle is designated as a national historical ruin as well as being chosen as one of the top 100 cherry blossom spots in Japan and one of the top 100 beautiful cityscapes.
The History of Matsue Castle
Photo：Matsue Castle in Spring
In the Edo period (1603-1868), Matsue Castle served as the government office of the Matsue clan in the Edo Shogunate.
However, because of the ordinance of "One Domain, One Castle," in the Meiji era (1868-1912), most of the castle, besides the wooden castle tower, was dismantled.
Later on, the outer citadel tower and stone walls were reconstructed; and in the early years of the Showa era, the castle hillside area was opened to the public as a park.
At 0:39 in the video, you can see Matsue Castle at the center of Matsue Shiroyama Park.
Attached to the castle tower, there are connecting towers called Tsuke-yagura (lit. attached tower).
The brattices, paulownia staircases, and wrapping boards called Tsutsumi-ita that protected the pillars were all distinctive features of the castle.
It is said that there were many failed attempts when building the stone walls for the castle tower and there is also an urban legend that tells of men sacrificing themselves and becoming human pillars.
Things to Note When Sightseeing at Matsue Castle
Photo：Matsue Castle・Moat cruise
During the fall season, there is an illumination event at Matsue Castle, and you can see the beautiful autumn colors.
On New Year’s, the area is packed with people waiting to see the first sunrise of the year.
Every year in winter, the Matsue Castle marathon is held; we recommend checking it out if you're interested!
After visiting Matsue Castle, enjoy lunch at a café in the castle town where the samurai residences still remain, or take a cruise around the moat of Matsue Castle on the Horikawa River on a sightseeing boat.
Summary of Matsue Castle
Photo：Shimane prefecture・Matsue Castle
It takes about 1 hour to see everything at the castle, including the castle tower and connecting towers, the well, and Matsue Castle Park.
When sightseeing at the castle, be sure to get your seal stamp to commemorate your visit.
In Shimane prefecture, there are many popular tourist spots, including Shinji Lake, Izumo Taisha Shrine, and Tamatsukuri Onsen. Be sure to check them out if you have time!
◆Matsue Castle Facility Overview◆
【Address】1-5 Tonomachi, Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture
【Access】10 minutes by Lake Line Bus from JR Matsue Station, or a 20 minute walk from Matsue Shinji Onsen Station on the Ichibata Electric Railway
【Hours】8:30～18:30（Differs according to season）
【Admission fee】Adults ¥680, Elementary/Junior High School Students ¥290, Foreigners ¥470
【Parking】None. Please use a nearby coin parking lot
【Official Website】National Treasure Matsue Castle Website