Osewa-san Centre lets tourists immense in the atmosphere of the castle town
Matsue – Matsue is the capital city of Shimane Prefecture and is said to have been a small fishing village until its foundation by the shogunate Yoshiharu Horio in 1607. Afterwards, the Matsudaira shogunates developed Matsue’s culture, such as tea ceremonies, to become a unique city in Japan.
In the Meiji Era, Lafcadio Hearn — an Irish-American journalist, obtained Japanese nationality and changed his name to Koizumi Yakumo. He introduced Matsue to the Western world as the chief city of the province of Japanese gods. The city also fascinated great Japanese writers, such as Naoya Shiga, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, and Toson Shimazaki.
The most recommended route (total of 2 hours) to the city is by JAL, from Haneda to Izumo A.P. which takes 1.5 hours, then 35 minutes by bus to JR Matsue Station. Total roundtrip costs are around 70,000 yen.
A slower trip (total of 12 hours) is taking the night sleeper train, the Sunrise Izumo, from Tokyo to Matsue Station, a private room to see the great views of Japan. It costs 45,000 yen roundtrip ( bunk bed is half-price).
A common way(total of 8 hours) is to ride the Bullet train, from Tokyo Station to Matsue Station via Okayama Station. Visitors should transfer from the Bullet train to the Local Limited Express Yakumo at Okayama Sation bound for Izumo Sation, which will cost under 40,000 yen roundtrip.
Matsue has retained its elegance. Shrines, temples, and houses are exquisitely arranged on a grid centred around Matsue Castle. Matsue has several canals and many bridges, and operates excursion boats like Venice, Italy. The sunset at Shinjiko captivates many sightseers, like Ibiza in the Mediterranean Sea, so Matsue is popular among Japanese.
However, name recognition for Matsue is rare among foreign travellers. To change this, an organization in Matsue is promoting the city and entertaining tourists from abroad.
OSEWA-SAN, Matsue’s Activity Service Centre, was established to promote the city’s value. The concept is to entertain guests and provide travellers with wonderful experiences. Members of the centre consist of Matsue locals.
Guests can enjoy making dango (dumplings), and Japanese confections — Matsue’s staple products — with top-notch masters.
Photo by Osewa-san: 5,400 yen for three hours per person (for more information).
Strolling the water city in kimono can enhance appearance and beauty. The current Matsue samurai display swordsmanship and guide visitors to the city’s sightseeing spots, such as the castle, samurai residences, and Shinjiko, which Lafcadio Hearn praised in his travelogues.
Photo by Osewa-san: 3,000 yen for one hour per person (for more information).
Photo by Osewan:Osewa-san: 3,000 yen for 90 minutes per person (for more information).
Photo by Osewa-san: 6,000 yen for one hour per person (for more information).
Trip Spice, handling high-grade electric rental cycles, entertains those who want to enjoy seeing the well-reputed rustic scenery of Matsue.
Sake lovers can enjoy locally-brewed fare with Matsue’s sake-tasting master and relish Japanese Izakaya pubs with locals.
Photo by Osewa-san: 7,500 yen for one hour per person (for more information).
Photo by Osewa-san: 10,800 yen for three hours per person (for more information).
Every experience will add to priceless memories on a trip to Matsue.
(Written by Takashi Saito)
63 Tonomachi, Matsue, Shimane 690-0887
How to get to Osewa-san Centre
From JR Matsue Station, visitors should take the Ichibata-bus bound for Etomo, Mitsu, and Matrine Praza, and then get off at the Kyohashi Bus Stop(7 minutes), or take the Matsue City Bus bound for Daigaku Kawatsu and Heisei-cho shako, Ajisai Danchi houmen and then get off at the Kyohashi Bus Stop(7 minutes).
10:00 am – 4:00 pm