According to theCherry Blossom Forecast by Weather Map(3/18/2021), the cherry blossom season for 2021 starts around 3/14 with the flowers in full bloom on 3/25. The page is only in Japanese, but you can look at the graphs showing the peak blossom season.[link] *(updated 3/23/2021)
Matsue Castle is one of the most visited places in Matsue, and it might have to do with the fact that it has been around for more than 400 years. It is designated as a National Treasure and one of 12 original castles that still remain in Japan.
Within the castle grounds there are big open areas that are perfect for having a lunch picnic under the cherry blossom trees.
Located in Unnan City, southwest of Matsue city, it has one of the most amazing cherry blossom tunnels in Shimane. When in full bloom, the 800 cherry blossom trees that line the walkway along the Hii river create a tunnel for visitors to walk under. It was also chosen as one of the best 100 cherry blossom viewing locations in Japan.
You can also see a rare species of cherry blossom called "gyoiko" which are yellow and green instead of the common pink. And bloom in the later half of April
Washibara Hachimangu Shrine is located in Tsuwano Town, four hours by car west of Matsue city. Every year they hold their annual horseback archery ritual. Usually held on the second April of each year, it is a ceremony where participants ride through a 270 meter long archery course on horseback.
[Unfortunately this year's event will be "behind closed doors"]
Access : Nearlest JR Station : Tsuwano
Timetables & Route finder : JR WEST / JOURDAN
(Fill in ”Tsuwano ” on the destination station blank.)
*From JR Tsuwano Station, 10 minutes to ‘Washibara Park’ by Iwami Kotsu bus (bound for Nagano)
Oki Islands consists of more than 180 islands off the coast of the Shimane peninsula. Four are permanently inhabited; Dogo, Nishinoshima, Nakanoshima, and Chiburijima. To visit you can either take the ferry (2~2.5hrs), fast ferry (60-70mins), or airplane. Oki Shrine is located in Ama town on the island of Nakanoshima. There are around 150 cherry blossom trees on the premises making it a must see if your on the islands!