Sakai Ko (for Matsue), Japan

The Port of Sakaiminato (Sakai) is on the southwestern shores of Japan’s main island, Honshu. It faces the Sea of Japan from the northern tip of the Yumigahama Peninsula. The port operates domestic ferry services to remote islands, links up international shipping routes, and is the gateway for sightseeing in the Oki islands and nearby Matsue.

Matsue is sometimes called the "water city", due ue to the prominence of the lakes, the river and canals in the city-scape and scenery. The city is also a good base to visit nearby Izumo Taisha, one of Japan's most important shrines.

Matsue boasts Matsue Castle, the "black castle" or "plover castle", one of the few remaining medieval castles in Japan. The castle grounds include a winding path through mixed forests of bamboo, shrubs and trees, many of which are very old and identified by species. Surrounding the grounds and the castle park is the old moat, "horikawa".

Things to See & Do

* Matsue Castle & Samurai residence
* Lafcadio Hearn Residence
* Matsue Vogel Park
* Yuushien Japanese Garden
* Shimane Art Museum

General information

Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency – Yen (JPY)
Language – Japanese
Population – 40,000 approx
Land Area – 28.79 km2
Electricity – 2 perpendicular flat pins USA style or with a round pin below
Time - GMT plus hours nine hours
International Country Telephone Code – 81

Port Location – The port of Sakai is located 30 mins on foot, 20 mins by bus and 10 mins by taxi from the Sakaiminato Station on JR Sakai Line.

Travel Links – Izumo Airport fields flights to major Japanese cities and is about 30 minutes away by car. Direct bus service to Matsue train station. The airport in Yonago, to the east just across the prefectural boundary, is also a viable option and even fields a solitary flight to Seoul.

Matsue is on the San'in Main Line, which runs along western Honshu's Japan Sea coast, starting in Kyoto and passing through Tottori and Matsue on its way to Shimonoseki. Frequent Trains run from Okayama to Matsue before continuing to Izumo, departing every hour from 0700 until 2130 daily taking approx 2 hrs 30 mins.

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