Matsue’s lord reenters into his castle

While Japan’s iconic cherry blossoms were in full bloom, one of Matsue’s most significant events, Matsue Musha Gyoretsu, or the Matsue Samurai Parade, was held on April 6th. This event reenacted the entry into the castle by Matsue’s lord and his vassals, reminiscent of Japan’s Warring States period. Many spectators came from Matsue City and outside the city and foreign countries, flocking around the main gate of Matsue Castle to witness the grand-scale parade.



Before the parade, rifle squads from Matsue and Iwakui, a part of Yamaguchi Prefecture, staged a simulated gun battle that was redolent of the Warring States period. The invading army fired their musket rifles against Matsue Castle with loud gunfire and white smoke across a water moat, and the defending troops counterattacked from the impregnable fortress, vanquishing their opponents.


After the gun battle, Horio Yoshiharu, the first lord of the castle, along with his honourable escorts and attendants, led the procession. The appearance of the shogun was so commanding that it drew applause from the roadside spectators. Groups of escorts and attendants, consisting of 190 members, also showcased skilful sword handling and ravishing dances, as if they had right out of a picture scroll.

Besides the main events, a local troupe performed the local ceremonial Shinto Dance called Izumo Kagura.


The Musha Gyoretsu is held every first Saturday of April as a special spring attraction in Matsue.


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Transportation Time required Distance Fee Remarks
Walking About 30 minutes About 2.4km Free From Matsue Station, cross Shin-Ohashi Bridge, go through Kaji-bashi and Kencho-mae intersection, and arrive at Matsue Castle Otemon Gate
Bus About 10 minutes About 2.1km 200 yen From Matsue Station, take the Lake Line Bus and get off at Matsue Castle “Otemae”
Taxi About 8 minutes About 2.3km About 1,000 yen The taxi fare from Matsue Station to Matsue Castle is about 1,000 yen
Private car About 10 minutes About 3.5km Parking fee only There are some paid parking lots around Matsue Castle


 How to get to Matsue Castle 


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