Matsue Castle: History, Culture, and Beauty
A beloved symbol of the city, Matsue Castle is a designated National Treasure and one of only twelve remaining original castles in Japan. Ascending the castle, one can appreciate the defensive ingenuities of its architecture firsthand while learning about its history from construction to current day through a variety of small exhibits and historical artifacts. While a charming sight any time of year, Matsue Castle is especially lovely after snowfall. Long, fresh bursts of camellia and plum blossoms in the outer ring herald the arrival of spring, and the cherry blossoms in the inner ring follow not far behind. Other castle specialties include a week-long illumination festival of locally designed lanterns and surprise run-ins with time-slipping ninjas. Reaching the castle from Matsue Station is a mere 10-minute bus ride or 25-minute stroll through the heart of the city. The closest bus stop is “National Treasure Matsue Castle / Prefectural Office,” or the “Otemae Horikawa Sightseeing Boat Point” stop if riding the Lake Line.