Discover Izumo: History, Customs & Festivals

Discover Izumo: History, Customs & Festivals

Discover Izumo: History, Customs & Festivals

Welcome to Izumo, a historic city located in Shimane Prefecture, Japan. Known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant festivals, Izumo offers visitors a unique experience filled with history, customs, and exciting celebrations. Let's explore what this captivating city has to offer!


The history of Izumo dates back thousands of years, and it is often referred to as the "Land of the Gods." According to legend, Izumo was the meeting place of the gods in ancient Japan. The city is home to one of Japan's oldest and most important Shinto shrines, the Izumo Taisha. This sacred site attracts pilgrims and visitors from all over the country.

Throughout its history, Izumo has been influenced by various cultures, including Chinese and Korean civilizations. The city thrived as a cultural and political center during the 7th and 8th centuries, known as the Asuka and Nara periods. Many historic sites, such as temples and castles, can still be found in Izumo, offering a glimpse into its fascinating past.


Izumo is known for its unique customs and traditions that have been preserved for generations. One of the most prominent customs is the Izumo-style tea ceremony, which is characterized by its simplicity and emphasis on hospitality. Visitors can participate in tea ceremonies to experience the elegance and tranquility of this traditional art form.

Another notable custom in Izumo is the Izumo-style pottery, known for its rustic beauty and earthy colors. Artisans create pottery using traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations. Visitors can explore pottery workshops and even try their hand at creating their own unique piece of pottery.

Additionally, Izumo is famous for its local sake production. The city is surrounded by fertile rice fields, which contribute to the high-quality rice used in sake brewing. Visitors can visit local sake breweries to learn about the brewing process and sample different varieties of sake.


Izumo is renowned for its vibrant and lively festivals that attract thousands of visitors each year. One of the most significant festivals is the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine Festival, held in October. This week-long event features colorful parades, traditional performances, and religious ceremonies to honor the local deities. The festival provides a unique opportunity to witness ancient rituals and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere.

Another popular festival in Izumo is the Hinomisaki Lantern Festival, held during the summer. The festival takes place along the picturesque Hinomisaki Peninsula, where thousands of lanterns illuminate the coastline. Visitors can enjoy traditional music and dance performances, fireworks displays, and delicious local street food.

Throughout the year, Izumo hosts various other festivals, including the Yokote Kamakura Festival, where snow huts are constructed and lit up at night, and the Hamada Lantern Festival, featuring beautifully decorated lanterns floating on a river.


Izumo is a city that seamlessly blends its rich history, captivating customs, and vibrant festivals into a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you are exploring ancient shrines, immersing yourself in traditional customs, or joining in the excitement of colorful festivals, Izumo offers a unique glimpse into Japan's cultural heritage. Plan your visit today and discover the wonders of this enchanting city!