Masuda (益田市) is a small city in Shimane Prefecture. It is the birthplace of Kakinomoto Hitomaro, a famous Japanese waka poet and aristocrat 1350 years ago. As of April 2021, Masuda has a population of approximately 44,600 people.
Hagi Iwami Airport (IWJ) is in the city, and has flights to/from Tokyo Haneda Airport and Osaka Itami Airport.
Masuda is on the Sanin Main Line, which runs along western Honshu's Japan Sea coast, starting in Kyoto and going to Shimonoseki. No shinkansen trains come to Masuda. The Yamaguchi Line connects Masuda with the Shinkansen at Shin-Yamaguchi Station (formally Ogori Station).
The main bus station is a short walk in front of Masuda Station. There is a line that goes from Masuda to Hiroshima and back at least 3 times a day, passing through Nichihara, Kakinoki, and Muikaichi. Another bus takes a different route between Masuda and Hiroshima that goes through Hikimi.
The easiest way is to drive. If you don't have a car there are many taxis in front of Masuda Station and buses that go around town. The city also has several rental bicycles (9AM-5PM) as well as a baggage storage service.
- Grand Toit (島根県芸術文化センター グラントワ), 5-15 Ariakecho, Masuda, ☎ 085-631-1860, . 9:30AM-6PM, Closed Tue. A large art museum and concert hall with exhibits showing a wide range of works of art from Japan and overseas, grouped by region, theme, or age. To visit the art museum costs about ¥300, and special exhibits are ¥1000. Discount combo tickets available. ¥300~. edit
- Ikoji (医光寺), 4-29 Someba-cho (Bus to Ikoji-mae), ☎ 085-622-1668. 8:30AM-5PM. Built in 1363, this temple is known for having hosted the famous Zen Buddhist monk and artist Sesshu (1420-1506) as its fifth chief priest from 1460 to 1485. Sesshu designed a garden here, now designated an important cultural property. The main gate was relocated from Nanao Castle. ¥500. edit
- Manpukuji (万福寺), 25-33 Higashi-Masuda (Bus to Orido), ☎ 0856-22-0302. 8:30AM-5PM. Built by the Masuda family, this temple's garden was also designed by Sesshu, and its Kamakura-style main hall was designated a nationally important cultural property. ¥500. edit
- Taikian - Built where Toko Temple (where Sesshu spent his last years) once stood. It is said that Sesshu visited Masuda again in the Meiou period (1492 – 1506), entered Toko Temple (Taikian) and stayed there until he died at the age of 87 in 1506. His grave was built on the hillside behind Taikian.
- Hikimi Gorge - Located in Hikimi, a village that merged with Masuda a few years ago. It is considered one of the most beautiful areas in Shimane.
- Beach - Masuda has a decent beach. Go south down Route 191 towards Yamaguchi Prefecture and you can't miss it.
- Cafe & Curry Jan, . A decent curry shop / cafe; located across the street from the Masuda fire station, next to the Docomo shop. The owner speaks English.
- Minori Shokai (寿し処みのり), 11-7 Ekimae-cho (Minori Masuda building), ☎ 085-622-1356, . 11AM-2PM, 5-10PM, Closed Mon. Good sushi made from local catch, close to the station. Lunch ¥800, Dinner ¥1500-4000. edit
The main drinking area is the area in front of Masuda Station, across route 35.
- Hotel Route Inn Masuda (ホテルルートイン益田), 10-4 Akebono Nishimachi, Masuda, ☎ 050-5576-7900, . checkin: 15; checkout: 10. Nationwide business hotel chain with suitable no-frills comfortable rooms with free breakfast. ¥6500~. edit
- Mizuho Inn Ishimi Masuda (瑞穂イン 石見益田), 2-1 Akebono Higashimachi, Masuda, ☎ 085-623-5511, . checkin: 15; checkout: 10. Has simple and spartan but clean rooms and conveniently located nearby Masuda Station. ¥9500~. edit
For the latest info on events and sights, contact the Masuda Tourism Association (益田市観光協会, Masuda Kankō Kyōkai) Tel. 085-622-7120.
- Hamada - Offers beautiful coasts, uncrowded beaches, and large Shimane Aquarium Aquas.
- Oda Home to the World Heritage Site, Iwami Ginzan silver mine.
- Tsuwano - Castle town with impressive red roofs, Christian martyr site, and traditional atmosphere.
- Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park - See Japan's biggest and longest limestone cave, as well as its huge karst plateau.
- Iwakuni - City near Miyajima in Hiroshima and with Japan's most beautiful old wooden bridge.
- Yamaguchi City - A near rival capital to Kyoto in medieval times, with several temples and famous Sesshu gardens.