Discover Shimane: A Complete Travel Guide

Discover Shimane: A Complete Travel Guide

Discover Shimane: A Complete Travel Guide


Welcome to Shimane, a hidden gem located in the western part of Japan's main island, Honshu. With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant cultural traditions, Shimane offers an authentic and memorable travel experience for all visitors. Whether you're an adventurer, history enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful escape, this prefecture has something for everyone.

Getting There

Shimane is accessible by both air and train. If you're traveling internationally, you can fly into Izumo Airport, which has connections to major cities in Japan. From there, you can take a train or bus to your desired destination within the prefecture. If you prefer train travel, the JR San'in Main Line connects Shimane with other major cities such as Osaka and Hiroshima.

Must-See Attractions

1. Matsue Castle: One of Japan's few remaining original castles, Matsue Castle stands tall with its black exterior and offers stunning panoramic views of the city from its observation deck.

2. Izumo Taisha: Known as one of Japan's most important Shinto shrines, Izumo Taisha is dedicated to the god of marriage and matchmaking. The shrine's grand architecture and tranquil surroundings make it a must-visit.

3. Adachi Museum of Art: Explore the beautiful fusion of art and nature at this renowned museum. Admire the stunning gardens and view the collection of contemporary Japanese art.

4. Yuushien Garden: Famous for its exquisite peony flowers, Yuushien Garden is a paradise of colors and tranquility. Take a leisurely stroll and experience the beauty of this traditional Japanese garden.

Outdoor Adventures

1. Lake Shinji: Rent a bicycle and cycle along the shores of Lake Shinji, Japan's seventh-largest lake. Enjoy the fresh air while taking in the serene beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

2. Nima Sand Museum: Visit the only sand museum in Japan and marvel at the intricate sand sculptures created by international artists. Learn about the history and cultural significance of sand throughout the world.

3. Daisen: Embark on a hiking adventure up Mount Daisen, a majestic peak that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. In winter, this area is also popular for skiing and snowboarding.

4. Yunotsu Onsen: Relax and unwind at one of Shimane's many hot springs. Yunotsu Onsen, with its historic charm and soothing waters, is the perfect place to rejuvenate after a day of exploration.

Cultural Experiences

1. Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo: Immerse yourself in the history of Shimane at this fascinating museum. Learn about the ancient civilization of Izumo and its mythological connections.

2. Iwami Kagura: Witness the dynamic performances of Iwami Kagura, a traditional Japanese dance and theatrical art form. The colorful costumes and energetic movements will leave you mesmerized.

3. Matsue Horanenya: Experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in a serene setting at Matsue Horanenya. Learn about the rituals and etiquette associated with this ancient tradition.

4. Taisha-zukuri Architecture: Marvel at the unique architectural style of Shimane's shrines, known as Taisha-zukuri. The intricate wooden structures are a testament to Japan's traditional craftsmanship.

Local Cuisine

When it comes to cuisine, Shimane offers a range of delicious local dishes:

  • Matsuba Crabs: Indulge in the sweet and succulent meat of Shimane's famous Matsuba crabs. These crabs are considered a delicacy and are best enjoyed during the winter months.
  • Izumo Soba: Try the region's specialty soba noodles, known for their firm texture and earthy flavor. Izumo soba is typically served hot with a side of tempura.
  • Izumo Sushi: Sample fresh sushi made with locally sourced seafood from the Sea of Japan. The combination of flavors and the quality of the ingredients make Izumo sushi truly exceptional.
  • Shijimi Clam Soup: Warm up with a comforting bowl of shijimi clam soup, a traditional local dish often enjoyed during colder months. The clams add a delightful umami flavor to the broth.

Where to Stay

Shimane offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every traveler's needs and budget:

  • Ryokans: Experience traditional Japanese hospitality by staying at a ryokan, a traditional inn offering tatami-matted rooms, hot springs, and delicious local cuisine.
  • Hotels: Choose from a variety of hotels in major cities like Matsue and Izumo, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury establishments.
  • Minshuku: For a more intimate and authentic experience, consider staying at a minshuku, a family-run guesthouse. This allows you to interact with locals and immerse yourself in the local culture.
  • Camping: Enjoy the great outdoors by camping at one of Shimane's scenic campsites. Wake up to stunning views and the sounds of nature.

In conclusion

Shimane is a destination that offers a glimpse into Japan's rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. From its historic castles and shrines to its stunning landscapes and delicious cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Plan your trip to Shimane and uncover the treasures of this captivating prefecture.