The most western city in Shimane on the coast, Masuda has everything for the outdoors person – mountains for hiking, open spaces for camping, rivers and oceans to swim in… it is surrounded by beautiful nature. There are also many annual events and festivals that JETs can get involved in and also enjoy. Masuda’s coastal location also means the city offers fresh and delicious seafood found in restaurants and even in school lunches.

Town Highlights

  • Mochiishi Beach, Tsuda Beach and Araisokan Onsen: 15-20 minutes from downtown on Route 9 towards Hamada, the onsen offers a spectacular view of the sea
  • Mito Onsen: 15-20 minutes from downtown Masuda on Route 191 towards Hiroshima (during the winter, the onsen has baths filled with yuzu)
  • Hikimi Town: ~1 hour from downtown Masuda, known for beautiful fall foliage, a relaxing onsen, and their wasabi
  • Tamagawa Onsen: Route 191 towards Hagi in Yamaguchi, but ~30 minutes from downtown Masuda
  • Takatsu River: Named one of the most cleanest rivers in all of Japan in the past, the river runs through the heart of the city;  there is swimming and a photography competition every year as well as many annual festivals including yabusame (horseback archery)
  • Grand Toit Museum: fine arts performances, concerts, movies, and art/historical exhibitions
  • Manyo Park: Camping, Lake Banyu playground, open space for sports and relaxing, annual festivals and a tea house
  • Kakinomoto Shrine, Ikoji Temple, and Manpukuji Temple: Local temples/shrines that hold events such as public tea ceremonies and Iwami kagura performances

Festivals and Town Events

  • Late March to mid-April: Cherry blossoms trees blossoming along the Masuda River, many residents walk along the river enjoying the blossoms
  • Golden Week: Manyo Park Festival and Culture Festival at Grand Toit
  • Mid-June: Firefly Festival in Mito and Nijo
  • End of July: Masuda City Festival (filled with yosakoi dancing, odori, taiko and Iwami kagura)
  • First week in August: Masuda Fireworks Summer Festival
  • September 1: Hassaku (festival for Kakinomoto Shrine, with yabusame along the Takatsu River in the afternoon)
  • October: Various “Aki Matsuri” (fall festivals that take places in various parts of Masuda)
  • Mid-October: Hagi-Iwami Airport Marathon (only marathon that allows runners to run on an operating runway with family runs, 10k, and half marathon)

Restaurants and Nightlife

  • In front of Masuda Station and the surrounding areas (ekimae), there is an incredible range of restaurants and bars that offer a vibrant nightlife scene
  • Marufuku: Jazz bar with live sets on Sundays and Thursday (ekimae)
  • AZ: The best tacos, burgers and non-Japanese food you can get in town (ekimae across from Lawson)
  • Kinemon: Chonmage Beer on tap, a local brew from Hagi, only place in town that serves it (ekimae)
  • Meishu: Most authentic Taiwanese food restaurant in downtown Masuda
  • Ganesha: Indian curry restaurant that offers fantastic service and unlimited naan refills with set orders
  • Four kaiten zushi restaurants in Masuda (Kagurazushi, Sushizou, Yasumasa, Hamazushi – 100 yen plates)
  • Hayato – Cheap izakaya that offers delicious teishoku sets with generous serving sizes
  • Okonomiyaki Sakuraya – Delicious okonomiyaki restaurant (Hiroshima style) with ample portion size; the restaurant is the owner’s home as well
  • Saku – Excellent place for lunch with reasonably-priced pasta sets and a complimentary dessert bar
  • Fast food restaurants in the area include Sukiya, Gasto, Komeda Coffee, Mos Burger, McDonald’s, and KFC
  • Plenty of conbini in Masuda with Lawson, Lawson + Popura, and Seven Eleven

Travel Tips

Within two hours or less driving radius you can go to many places around the area inside and outside the prefecture, such as:

  • Kintaikyo: One of the most iconic bridges of Japan; located just outside Iwakuni, Yamaguchi, along Route 187 (~2 hours from Masuda, Sanzouku is a recommended restaurant on the Shimane/Yamaguchi border with giant musubi)
  • Hagi: Famous city known for its castle and samurai district (45 minutes-1 hour from Masuda)
  • Susa Hornfels: Beautiful striated rock cliffs near the ocean (30-45 minutes from Masuda)
  • Sandankyou (Three Step Valley):  Valley with waterfalls and trails located in Hiroshima along Route 191(~1.5 hours from Masuda)
  • Akiyoshidai/Akiyoshidou: A national park located in Yamaguchi consisting of a large cave (Akiyoshidou) and a 130 square kilometer plateau consisting of karst topography (Akiyoshidai)
  • Tsuwano: Known as “Little Kyoto”, a quaint and pleasant town ~45 minutes from Masuda with a mini Fushimi Inari torii path and shrine, castle ruins, Hori Garden, and yabusame in the spring

To/From Masuda:

    • Airport
      • Hagi Iwami Airport: Two flights a day from Masuda to Tokyo (Haneda) and the reverse direction; during the summer there are also flights to Osaka (Itami), the easiest way to get to Masuda for visiting friends and family and flights are reasonably priced if booked in advance
    • Trains
      • Sanin Train Line: Masuda ←→ Matsue / Masuda ←→ Shimonoseki (Shin-Shimonoseki is a station on the Sanyou shinkansen line)
      • Yamaguchi Train Line: Masuda ←→ Yamaguchi (Shin-Yamaguchi is a station on the Sanyou shinkansen line)
    • Buses
      • Iwami Kotsu: Bus line that runs throughout the city with shuttles to Hagi Iwami Airport and also outside Masuda and to neighboring Hamada and Tsuwano
      • Also Iwami Kotsu services to Hiroshima (8 buses a day each in both directions) and to Osaka (day and night bus)


Why not check out some of the other towns:

YasugiMatsueThe Oki Islands IzumoUnnanOkuizumoOdaIinan



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