International visitors are entitled to 50% discounts at Matsue Castle, Buke Yashiki, Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Adachi Museum of Art, and a few other attractions by showing their passport at attraction entrances. The prices below are the regular fare, without the discount.
Attractions near the Castle -- Most of these attractions are located on Shiomi Nawate, a small, picturesque street beside the castle's north moat. I've listed them in geographic order, walking from east to west.
The Horikawa Pleasure Boat Tour (Horikawa Meguri; tel. 0852/27-0417) is a tour of the castle moat aboard flat-bottom boats (take off your shoes and sit on tatami) with a rooftop canopy that lowers for tight squeezes under bridges. It's a picturesque, relaxing way to see the city, with trips around the castle lasting about an hour. In winter, you can keep warm huddled under a kotatsu (a kind of heated blanket). Note, however, that commentary is in Japanese only. Boarding spots are at Karakoro Hiroba near the Kyobashi Bridge (Lake Line Bus stop no. 6) and Otemae near Matsue Castle (Lake Line Bus stop no. 8). Boats run every 15 minutes daily from 9am to 5pm (to 6pm in summer) March through October and in November from 9am to 4pm; every 20 minutes daily from 9am to 4pm December through February. An all-day ticket allowing you to disembark and embark as much as you like costs ¥1,200 for adults and half-price for children, but foreigners can ride for ¥800 by showing their passport.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.