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Getting around

Matsue has an efficient Lake Line bus, which runs a set route around the city’s attractions every 20 minutes from 8.40am to 5.40pm. One ride costs ¥200, but a day pass is only ¥500 and includes discounts on many attractions. The Walker loop bus follows smaller loops around the downtown area, taking in the sights, and leaving Matsue station about every 30 minutes. One trip is ¥150 and day passes are ¥400. Lake Line buses are red and look like streetcars. Walker buses are smaller, like minibuses.

If you’re planning to visit Izumo Taisha, make sure you invest in the one-day L&R Free Kippu ticket (¥1500), which allows unlimited travel on Ichibata trains and Shinji-ko lakeside buses.

Matsue is a good place to explore by bicycle; these can be rented opposite Matsue station at Nippon Rent-a-car (21-7518; 589-1 Asahimachi; 8am-8pm). Rates are ¥525 for two hours or ¥1155 per day.