Life in the city of Matsue was very different hundreds of years ago, and luckily evidence of the city’s creation and management have been preserved over the centuries. Matsue Historical Museum expands on this, giving us a view of ancient Matsue from actual buildings, artifacts, and more.
Matsue was once the center of ancient Izumo. Many people hundreds of years ago worked in Matsue Castle, merchants sold unique textiles, and people traversed canal bridges alongside Samurai in one of the richest cities in Japan (at the time). Amazingly, some of the historic buildings (such as the tower of Matsue Castle), streets, and canals have been maintained nearly intact until present day (and they are still a site to see).
Located in contrast to the adjoining modern residential area, Matsue Historical Museum is built with traditional architecture reminiscent of Japanese castles from the Edo period. Also adjacent, is Matsuejoyama Park and within sits Matsue Castle itself.
Inside you’ll find artifacts, ancient documents of Matsue life, examples of consumer goods from hundreds of years ago, cultural art, ancient city planning, as well as a beautifully maintained Japanese garden, a tea-room, and more. Matsue Historical Museum also hosts Special Exhibits that change throughout the year; however, it is an additional admission cost to see.
If you find yourself wanting something more you can get some tea with traditional sweets made from local ingredients at the café, or traditional goods at the souvenir shop.
Admission Cost: Adults 510-yen, Kids 250-yen (Special Exhibits not included in this cost). Hours of operation 09:00-17:00, closed Mondays.
While the Lakeline bus stops nearby, not all of the buses running on the line are wheelchair accessible.
For wheelchair users not travelling as part of a group, arranging for a wheelchair taxi is likely the best option. The local accessible travel center, Tekuteku-Sanin, can possibly help with this.
Accessible paved walkways and ramps make access to the entrance easy for those who use wheelchairs. As the flooring in the entrance hall is tatami mats, visitors are required to remove their shoes when they enter. For wheelchair users, staff will wipe tires at the entrance. The museum exhibition room is spacious with enough room for a wheelchair to easily turn around in front of the displays.
However, some of the historic buildings (e.g. Den Rikyu tea room, Matsue clan chief retainer Asahi family row house) on display are not accessible due to the traditional steps/floors. Visitors in wheelchairs are able to still enjoy tea and confectioneries in the table seating at the tea room.
Rest areas are available for those who need to rest between walking. Wheelchairs can also be borrowed at the entrance.
Service dogs (seeing-eye dogs, assistance dogs, and hearing dogs) are allowed in the building after having their feet wiped at the entrance.
There is a wheelchair accessible toilet is available by the gift shop and tea room. However, due to questionable planning, non-movable grab bars for the sink are in front of the toilet – making transfers difficult.
Matsue Historical Museum offers a glimpse into the region’s long history while also providing an accessible way to enjoy traditional tea and confections. Getting to the museum and using the toilet provide some challenges and prior planning will likely be needed by visitors traveling independently.
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