What is Matsue Castle? It is One of the National Treasures of Japan

Matsue Castle is a popular sightseeing spot in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture. It is a historic castle which was built in the year 1600 by military commander Horio Yoshiharu . It is one of the 12 existing castle towers across Japan, and was designated as a national treasure in July 2015. With its elegant exterior appearance and interior that looks ready for war, you can check out the wartime equipment.

The Fantastic Points of Matsue Castle

What is Matsue Castle? It is One of the National Treasures of Japan

Matsue Castle is one of the 12 existing castle towers in Japan and is a valuable spot designated as a national treasure. It is also known as Chidori Castle. This is due to the fact that from the front of the castle, the triangular part looks like open wings.

Among the currently existing castles, it is the only castle that has inherited “Irimoyahafu (bargeboard)", an architectural style from the late 1500s to 1600s and has been dubbed “The Only Legitimate Castle”. It should be noted that the Irimoyahafu is the triangular part on a four-sided hip and gabled roof.

Moreover, there are wells and salt storage units on the first basement floor, and we can be imagine that they were stockpiling food and drinking water in case they could not leave the castle. Incidentally, the only currently existing castle with a well inside is Matsue Castle.

How to Enjoy the Architecture 

What is Matsue Castle? It is One of the National Treasures of Japan

When you visit Matsue Castle, be sure to pay attention to the castle tower. it is characterized by its black exterior wall and dignified atmosphere. The Shachihoko (Carp with a lion head statue) on the roof of the castle tower is 2.08 metres high, and it is the largest existing wooden structure in Japan. In addition, in order to prevent the load from being applied to the centre of the building, several through pillars are used on the second floor.

You can look around the castle 360 ​​degrees from the top floor of the castle tower, and you can see Lake Shinji and Yomega Island. You can go around the moat that surrounds the castle on a boat, and you can also ride a small boat with a roof to go around the Horikawa river. When you go under a low bridge, you can enjoy a thrilling feeling by lowering the roof of the boat and lowering your head to be able to pass through.

Also, please check out the stone wall. It was made in the span of over three years by a master of Ishigaki wall building style and is still the same as it was when it was built 400 years old. It is said that there is only one heart-shaped stone in the stone wall. Please try to find it!

Famous Festivals

What is Matsue Castle? It is One of the National Treasures of Japan

At Matsue Castle, Matsue Castle Grand Tea Ceremony is held in October annually. It is an event where you can enjoy various kinds of tea and Japanese confectionary and feel the Japanese charm. Also, in the spring from March to April, there is the Camellia Festival where you can enjoy looking at the camellia, and a Castle Festival where the illumination of the castle and cherry blossom trees are magical.

Famous Flowers and Perfect Instagram Photo Spots

What is Matsue Castle? It is One of the National Treasures of Japan

Matsue Shiroyama Park, where Matsue Castle is located, is a cherry blossom viewing spot that has been selected as one of the "100 Best Sakura Spots in Japan." Around 200 trees can be observed in the park, and various types of sakura such as Yoshino sakura tree, Yaezakura sakura tree, and weeping sakura tree are in full bloom. Also, if it snows, you can see trees and Matsue Castle covered in snow, so you can view the seasonal Matsue Castle

About Matsue Castle

  • Construction year: 1611
  • Festival: 
    • Camellia Festival (March)
    • Castle Festival (March)
    • Matsue Castle Grand Tea Ceremony (October)

Spot information

  • Spot name: Matsue Castle (松江城)
  • Street address: 1-5, Tono-machi, Matsue-City, Shimane 690-0887
  • Access: 
    • JR Sanin Main Line Matsue Station → [Lake Line Bus] about 10 minutes → Get off at Matsue Castle Otemae Bus Stop 
    • Ichibata Electric Railway Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Station → [Northern Circulation Line Bus] approx. 5 minutes → Get off at Prefectural Office Bus Stop ... about 5 minutes on foot
  • Wi-Fi:Available
  • Language:English
  • Ticket Purchase:At acceptance
  • Credit cards:No credit cards accepted