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Built in 1611, Matsue Castle is Japan's latest and fifth castle whose main tower tower has been designated as a National Treasure (on July 8, 2015).Matsue Castle is open 8:30 am to 6:30 pm (or 5 pm during Oct. to Mar.). No holidays. Admission is ¥280 for foreigners. Combination ticket that includes admission to the Lafcadio Hearn Museum is also available.
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Amid a complex of moats, stone walls, and reconstructed turrets, the main castle tower largely retains its original 17th-century construction and stands five stories high.
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Thanks to a wealthy farmer and former Matsue samurai, Matsue Castle was saved and not destroyed like most other castles.One of the San'in Region's major sights and one of the major castles along the Sea of Japan coast.
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About Matsue Castle, noe of only 12 castles in Japan that retain the original building. Built by Horio Yoshiharu and first occupied by the Horio Clan 1600–1633.Castle was also occupied by the Kyogoku Clan (Tadataka) and Matsudaira Clan (1638–1871).
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Easily accessible by a short bus ride from JR Matsue Station. Just hop on the Lakeline Loop bus and get of at "Kokuho Matsue-jo." Runs every 20 min.
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When you get off the Lakeline bus, you will be near this moat and Otemon Gate.
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You can see this stone wall topped by three turrets.
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On the left is the South Turret and on the right is the Central Turret.
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On the left is the South Turret and on the right is the Central Turret. They were reconstructed in 2001.
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Matsue Castle's South Turret.
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The main castle tower can also be seen.
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Shimane Prefectural Capital is next to Matsue Castle.
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South Turret overlooking the Shimane Prefectural Capital.
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On the left is the South Turret and on the right is the Central Turret.
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South Turret
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Matsue Castle's South Turret
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South Turret
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South Turret and plum blossoms.
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Matsue Castle's Central Turret.
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South Turret and stone wall.
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Mao of Matsue Castle.
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Statue of Lord Horio Yoshiharu who first built Matsue Castle in 1611.
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Statue of Lord Horio Yoshiharu who first built Matsue Castle.
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Entrance to Matsue Castle near Otemon Gate.
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Entrance to Matsue Castle near Otemon Gate.
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Uchibori Moat
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Map of Matsue Castle.
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Plaque marking Matsue Castle as one of Japan's 100 Famous Cherry Blossom spots.
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Ninomaru where they had rice storehousees.
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About the lower area of Ninomaru.
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Ninomaru where they had rice storehousees.
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Ninomaru
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Taiko Drum Turret
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Entrance to Matsue Castle.
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Stone steps to Matsue Castle.
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Ichinomon Gate to enter the Honmaru of Matsue Castle.
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Matsue Castle's main tower (National Treasure). It was built as a watchtower and it was not a residence for the castle lord.
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Matsue Castle's Tenshu main tower, a national Treasure since July 2015. 天守
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Besides Matsue Castle, the other four National Treasure castle towers are at Hikone Castle (Shiga Prefecture), Matsumoto Castle (Nagano), Inuyama Castle (Aichi), and Himeji Castle (Hyogo).
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These pictures were taken in ealry Jan. so the trees and grass are not so green.
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About Matsue Castle.
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About Matsue Castle according to Hearn.
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Front view of About Matsue Castle tower.
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Shachi ornaments on Matsue Castle.
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Side view of the entrance hall.
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Matsue Castle's roof corners.
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Side view of Matsue Castle.
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Side view of Matsue Castle.
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Side view of Matsue Castle.
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Side view of Matsue Castle.
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Side view of Matsue Castle.
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Side view of Matsue Castle toward the rear.
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Back of Matsue Castle.
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Back of Matsue Castle's main tower.
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Back of Matsue Castle's main tower.
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Back of Matsue Castle's main tower.
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Back of Matsue Castle's main tower.
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Matsue Castle's heavy metal door.
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Matsue Castle's heavy metal door.
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Matsue Castle's entrance hall. You must take off your shoes. Admission charged. Foreigners may get a discount.
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Matsue Castle's basement.
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Water well in Matsue Castle's basement.
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Water well in Matsue Castle's basement. It's 24 meters deep.
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Matsue Castle's basement.
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Matsue Castle's basement.
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Matsue Castle's basement was a backup space to store food in case of any attack.
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Matsue Castle's basement displays the old shachi roof ornaments.
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Up the stairs.
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1st floor.
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Matsue Castle's main tower is basically a museum with showcases of samurai artifacts. No air conditioning.
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Samurai armor inside Matsue Castle.
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Stairs are somewhat steep.
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Castle window
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Lacquerware
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Chairs
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Sword
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Samurai armor
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Horse implements
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Arrows
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Matchlock guns
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Matchlock gun bullets
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Battle fan
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Sword handguards
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Samurai armor
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Up to the next floor.
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Scale model of Matsue Castle's wooden frame.
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Models of castle bridges.
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Opening to drop stones.
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Opening to drop stones.
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Scale models of Matsue city on this floor.
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Looks like the pillars were stapled together.
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Stairs to the next level.
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Scale model of Matsue Castle.
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Castle windows.
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Ceiling
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Final stairs to the top floor of Matsue Castle.
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Top floor of Matsue Castle.
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The top floor of Matsue Castle has open windows on all four sides.
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Certificate indicating that Matsue Castle is a National Treasure.
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The ceiling has a sprinkler system.
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Ceiling.
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View from the top of Matsue Castle.
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View from the top of Matsue Castle overlooking the entrance area.
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View of Lake Shinji from Matsue Castle.
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Shimane Art Museum.
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Lake Shinji as seen from Matsue Castle. 穴道湖
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Matsue Castle roof corner.
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Matsue Castle roof tiles.
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Stairs on Matsue Castle's top deck.
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Going down Matsue Castle.
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Ceiling beams in Matsue Castle
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Rest house near the castle tower.
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View of Ninomaru where the castle lord's palace was.
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About the Ninomaru.
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Taiko Drum Turret (Taiko Yagura). Reconstructed in 2001.
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Inside Taiko Drum Turret.
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About the Taiko Drum Turret.
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Castle wall along the stone wall.
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Openings in the castle wall to shoot weapons.
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About the Ninomaru of Matsue Castle.
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Location of the castle lord's palace.
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Central Turret (Naka Yagura). Reconstructed in 2001.
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About the Central Turret.
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Inside the Central Turret.
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Inside the Central Turret.
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South Turret (Minami Yagura). Reconstructed in 2000.
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About the South Turret.
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Inside the South Turret.
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The South Turret has an upper floor.
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South Turret upper floor.
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South Turret ceiling.
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South Turret ceiling.
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South Turret pillar.
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South Turret window.
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View from South Turret.
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View from South Turret.
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Within the Ninomaru of Matsue Castle, the Kounkaku was a guesthouse originally built in 1903 for Crown Prince Yoshihito (Emperor Taisho). 興雲閣
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After Crown Prince Yoshihito stayed here, the Kounkaku was used for a variety of purposes. During the 1940s war years, it was the Japanese Navy's personnel office. After the war, Kounkaku served as an annex for the Shimane Prefectural Capital until 1952. Then it housed the Matsue Board of Education until 1962. A local museum from 1973–2011. Then after renovations were completed in 2015, the building was opened to the public in Oct. 2015.
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Entrance hall of the stately Kounkaku. Free admission.
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Corridor of Kounkaku.
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Kounkaku exhibition room on 1st floor.
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Stairs to the upper floor.
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Entrance to the Kounkaku's upper floor.
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Kounkaku's upper floor.
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One end of the Kounkaku's upper floor was the lodging quarters for Crown Prince Yoshihito who stayed here in 1907 while he toured the San'in Region.
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The lodging quarters for Crown Prince Yoshihito had only three rooms. Entrance room in the middle.
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Living room for the Crown Prince Yoshihito. The carpets and curtains are replicas since the originals no longer exist.
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Bedroom for the Crown Prince Yoshihito.
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About Crown Prince Yoshihito's quarters.
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Door to the balcony.
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View of the Central Turret from the Kounkaku balcony.
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View of the Central Turret from the Kounkaku balcony.
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Kounkaku balcony.
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Kounkaku balcony.
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Kounkaku balcony.
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Kounkaku balcony.
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Kounkaku signboard.
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Matsue Shrine
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About Matsue Shrine.
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Matsue Shrine's heart-shaped ema prayer tablets.
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Matsue Shrine's heart-shaped ema prayer tablets.
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Leaving Matsue Castle tower.
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Inui Turret used to be here.
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Exiting Matsue Castle the back way.
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Nice stonework at Matsue Castle.
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Horse-washing Pond.
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Gokoku Shrine
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Jozan Inari Shrine
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Jozan Inari Shrine by Hearn.
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Camellia flowers
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Map of Matsue Castle.
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Map of castle grounds and my bicycle.
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Uchibori Moat behind Matsue Castle.
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Uchibori Moat behind Matsue Castle. This is near the Lafcadio Hearn Museum and home.
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Matsue Castle moat boat.
     
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