Top things to do

Top Choice Castle in Matsue

Matsue-jō

Dating from 1611, picturesque Matsue-jō has a wooden interior showcasing treasures belonging to the Matsudaira clan. Known as 'Plover Castle' for the graceful shape of its gable ornaments, Matsue-jō is one of only 1…
Top Choice Noodles in Matsue

Yakumo-an

This busy soba restaurant and its beautiful grounds are an excellent place to sample the local warigo soba, served in a stack of three round lacquerware trays. Pour some soup stock into the top tray, eat, then pour …
Top Choice Izakaya in Matsue

Kawa-kyō

You can count on a friendly welcome at this small izakaya, which specialises in the 'seven delicacies' from Shinji-ko and is a good place to try some local sake or homemade umeshu (plum wine). The owner's daughter s…
Gallery in Matsue

Shimane Prefectural Art Museum

With its white undulating roof and huge glass windows facing the lake, the museum building itself is an impressive sight. Inside, it displays rotating exhibits from its collection of woodblock prints (there are some…
Museum in Matsue

Matsue History Museum

Matsue's excellent modern museum gives a broad-ranging introduction to the history of the regional clans and development of local industry and crafts. Among the displays are old town maps, ceramics, letters and the …
Cultural in Matsue

Matsue Suitōro

In Matsue's night festival of water and light, hand-painted lanterns create atmospheric paths of light around the moat and up to the castle grounds of Matsue-jō, where there are group drumming battles and outdoor fo…
Gardens in Matsue

Yūshien Garden

This pretty garden occupying an area of around 40,000 sq metres was established privately in 1975 on Lake Nakaumi's Daikonshima Island, between Matsue and Sakaiminato. It's best known for its peonies, but there are …
Museum in Matsue

Koizumi Yakumo (Lafcadio Hearn) Memorial Museum

This memorial museum has displays on the life and work of former Matsue resident Lafcadio Hearn, as well as some of the writer's personal effects – including his dumb-bells, spectacles and a stack of Japanese newspa…
Seafood in Matsue

Tsurumaru

The smell of fish grilling over coals permeates this restaurant, which specialises in the cuisine of the Oki Islands. The menu features meals such as eri-yaki konabe (hot spicy soup cooked over a flame at your table…
Cantonese in Matsue

Cafe Chinois Jasmin

Although little English is spoken, wonderful set lunches and course dinners, and picture menus of the moreish dim-sum selection, make this classy Cantonese cafe with a French-Japanese twist worth a visit. The main d…