Kounkaku

Kounkaku 興雲閣

The Kounkaku is an elegant two-story wooden Western-style mansion which, together with Matsue Castle, is on the grounds of Matsue Jozan Park, in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture.

Kounkaku Mansion, Matsue Jozan Koen, Matsue, Shimane.
Kounkaku Mansion, near Matsue Castle
Staircase, Kounkaku Mansion, Matsue Jozan Koen, Matsue, Shimane.
Staircase, Kounkaku, Matsue Jozan Park

Kounkaku is a rare example of Western-style architecture in Shimane prefecture. It was built by the prefecture in 1903 for the purpose of entertaining the Emperor of Japan (the Meiji Emperor) should he visit Matsue. The best of local artistry and craftsmanship therefore went into its construction; however, although fully restored in recent years, and while worth a visit if you're in Matsue Jozan Park, it does not exactly achieve architectural heights.

History

The Kounkaku became a Prefectural Cultural Property in 1969, without the Meiji Emperor ever having deigned to visit. Prince Yoshihito, the future Emperor Taisho, did, however, stay here for three days in 1907.

In 2011, the staircase was moved back to its original position, followed by extensive renovations from 2013 to 2015 that restored the house to its original state.

Kounkaku balcony, Matsue Jozan Koen, Matsue, Shimane.
Balcony of Kounkaku Mansion, Matsue City
Inside Kounkaku Mansion, Matsue Jozan Koen, Matsue City, Shimane.
Inside Kounkaku Mansion, Matsue City

Features

The first floor of Kounkaku serves as something of a museum, with historical exhibits, including photographs. This is a remnant of the building's function until 2011, when it was known as the Matsue Kyodokan - a role taken over that year by the Matsue History Museum.

Ascend the spacious staircase to the second floor, which is mostly taken up by a grand banquet hall, rentable for functions. The upper balcony makes for pleasant views.

Kounkaku and Moegi House

Kounkaku happens to have been built at the same time, and in similar style to, the more famous Moegi House in the historical Kitano Ijinkan district of Kobe. It is also the same color: moegi, which literally means the color of a freshly sprouted onion, i.e., light yellowish green.

Hours and Admission

April 1 - September 30: 8.30am - 6.30pm (last entry 6.15pm)
October 1 - March 31: 8.30am - 5pm (last entry 4.45pm)
Open 365 days a year.
Free admission.

Access

Kounkaku is in the grounds of Matsue Castle, three minutes walk south from the castle itself.
From Matsue Station, take the Lakeline Bus, and alight after about 10 minutes at Ohtemae bus stop.

Matsue-jozan-koen-nai, Tonomachi 1-59, Matsue-shi, Shimane-ken 690-0887
690-0887 島根県松江市殿町1-59松江城山公園内

Nearby

Matsue Shrine (Matsue Jinja) is a Shinto shrine, founded here in 1899, that is immediately north of Kounkaku.

Matsue Castle is just 3 minutes' walk north of Kounkaku.

The Matsue History Museum is just east of Matsue Castle, across the moat.

Book Hotel & Hostel Accommodation in Japan

Hotels in Japan - Booking.com
Hotels in Tokyo - Booking.com
Hotels in Nagano - Booking.com
Hotels in Nikko - Booking.com
Hotels in Sendai - Booking.com
Hotels in Saitama - Booking.com
Hotels in Japan - Agoda
Hotels in Sendai - Agoda
Hotels in Shimane - Agoda
Hotels in Yamaguchi - Agoda
Budget Hotels in Tokyo - Booking.com

Japan Tours & Experiences - Voyagin


Books on Japan


Buy A Japan Rail Pass For Your Journey To Japan.