Take our user survey here!
Photo By: WikiCommons/tanaka
Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Matsue
Population
761,499

Yushien Garden

A Japanese garden with close connections to local farmers and tea ceremony culture.

By Laura Payne

Yushien is a Japanese garden with a solid connection to its surrounding community. The park is located on Daikonshima Island, one of Japan’s largest producers of ginseng and peonies. These plants are heavily incorporated into the garden’s design and function.

Visitors who explore the garden can find features such as wooded trails, waterfalls, and a greenhouse that grows peonies year-round. Meanwhile, on-site shops and restaurants include products made from local ginseng, such as ice cream and tempura.

Famed for its seasonal views and special events, Yushien Garden offers unique travel experiences while providing financial opportunities to local farmers.

Celebrating flowers

Photo by: Shimane Prefecture Tourism Division The garden is gorgeous with a sea of pink and purple peonies.

When spring peonies reach their full bloom (usually between late April and early May), Yushien Garden celebrates with its annual Peony Festival. The garden’s central pond is filled with pink, red, white, or yellow flowers, creating a view that attracts many visitors annually.

Another popular feature of the Peony Festival is a competition for the best flower. Farmers will put their favorite plants on display in Yushien, and visitors get to vote for which is the most beautiful.

Outside of spring, Yushien continues to attract visitors with summer’s irises and hydrangeas, autumn’s maple leaves, and winter peonies, which bloom under straw mats that protect them from snow.

The garden at night

Photo by: Laura Payne An extra special evening under the stars and flowers.

Yushien is one of the only gardens in Shimane that allows visitors at night.

Typically from November through January, the garden is decorated with light displays. In autumn, lights are strategically placed to illuminate the changing leaves, while in winter, the shows feature images associated with the New Year holiday. Special illumination events are occasionally held outside of the autumn and winter months.

Culture and history of Shimane

Photo by: Shimane Prefecture Tourism Division Yushien Garden in autumn.

Peonies are the official flower of Shimane Prefecture and Matsue city, meaning the cultivation of peonies around Yushien is a source of local pride.

Daikonshima Island’s ginseng industry has also bolstered the economy for over 200 years. This financial success promoted cultural activities such as tea ceremonies, of which the lord of Matsue Castle was an avid practitioner. Ultimately, the economic contributions of ginseng transformed Matsue into one of Japan’s top three tea culture cities.

Things To Know

Hours and fees

Visit the Yushien Garden official website for details about special events such as festivals or illuminations (information may be in Japanese) or on the social media pages of local tourism organizations such as Discover Shimane (found on Facebook and Instagram).

Admission discounts for international visitors are available. Please present your passport or residence card upon purchase. Discounts are also available for elementary, junior high, and high school students.

Admission prices may vary depending on the season or occasion, typically between ¥800 and ¥1,400. Special events such as the Peony Festival usually apply higher admission prices.

The garden is typically open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry at 4:30 pm), but it may be available for longer during illumination events and holidays such as Golden Week. It is typically closed for New Year’s Eve.

How To Get There

Address

By train

Take a city bus to Yatsuka from Matsue station (about 50 minutes) or Sakaiminato station (about 40 minutes). Get off at Yatsukacho/Yushien (also called Yatsukacho/Yushien Iriguchi). The garden is a short walk from here.

By car

The garden is about a 30-minute drive from Matsue and a 15-minute drive from Sakaiminato. Free parking is available on-site.

Where To Stay

Onyado Nono Sakaiminato
  • 216 Taishomachi, Sakaiminato-shi, Tottori, 684-0004 Japan
  • ¥12,687 - ¥72,874
  • 4.56/5 (1,833 reviews)
  • 7.3 km

Topics: , ,