The Tanabe Museum located in Shimane Prefecture’s vibrant city of Matsue is one of the area’s most significant historical landmarks.

The museum was established in 1979 and built on the site of former samurai residences in Matsue by Tomoyuki, a 23rd-generation Tabe family member. Tomoyuki was a man who was deeply committed to promoting local culture and protecting cultural properties. Today, the museum also runs a regular ceramic competition to help support upcoming talent in the world of pottery.

The main collection of tea utensils displayed in the museum are associated with Lord Matsudaira Fumai, a tea ceremony master and daimyo of the mid-Edo period, who ruled the Matsue Domain, becoming one of the most formative figures in the area.

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The museum’s displays are home to a vast selection of ceramics and implements used for tea ceremony over the centuries. You can trace the origin of this historical tradition all the way back to its roots in China. The collection also features a handful of delicately crafted pieces from Korea, showcasing the Asia-wide spread of the tea ceremony form.

On the first floor of the museum, you’ll also find a picturesque tearoom that offers tea and wagashi (a traditional Japanese sweet) set with views looking out onto the meticulously maintained garden.