The sun begins to set, and exquisite astonishments of tinting appear in water and sky.' This is how the author Lafcadio Hearn (Japanese name: Koizumi Yakumo) described the beauty of Matsue and Lake Shinji. This beautiful town, surrounded by water and blessed with an abundance of beautiful natural scenery, is the town you are now in, the 'water city', Matsue.
At the beginning of the 17th century, a feudal lord built a formidable castle on a beautiful area of land, on the banks of a Lake and surrounded by pine trees. This castle became the center of a castle town, and this was the beginning of the city of Matsue. Matsue Castle, surrounded by woodland and with a relaxed atmosphere and appearance, and facing onto the castle moat, Matsue has a calming influence on residents and visitors alike.
There is also a large number of artifacts from the period when the ancient Izumo culture flourished (4th - 8th century), as well as a number of cultural assets from middle ages and more modern times, including Matsue Castle. In 1951, Matsue was designated as an International Culture and Sightseeing City.
The people of Matsue, surrounded by an abundance of nature, also enjoy a very distinct type of Matsue tradition and culture.
We hope that this guidebook will be of some help to you during your stay in Matsue, and that you will have many pleasant memories to take home with you.