Shimane prefecture is in the western Chugoku region of the main Japanese island Honshu.
Shimane prefecture, together with Tottori prefecture is known as the Sanin region, meaning "the shady side of the mountains". There is a mountain range separating these two prefectures from Hiroshima and Okayama, which means that the weather here is drastically wetter than further to the south.
Shimane is very important for the Japanese history, and this area honors of gods. Many of Japanese myths are originated in this area, and people called this are as "land of gods." Japanese myths says that all of gods in Japan are in this area during October.
Official Websight : Shimane Travel Information
Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine
Dedicated to the Shinto god of marriage, Okuninushi-no-mikoto, Izumo Taisha is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Japan. The inner shrine is constructed in the Taisha-zukuri style, Japan's oldest form of shrine architecture, and has been designated a national treasure. Each year during the 10th month of the lunar calendar, the gods from throughout Japan congregate at Izumo Taisha for their annual meeting. Only in Izumo is this month known as “The Month With Gods.” The Shimenawa Rope that hangs at the shrine is the largest in Japan, weighing an impressive 5 tons.
Open : Everyday
Addmissions : Free
A city of international culture, Matsue City is located in the eastern part of Shimane Prefecture. It is a city of water facing Shinji Lake and the Nakaumi Sea. The view of the sun setting over Shinji Lake is breathtaking. Matsue Castle’s tower offers a 360-degree view of Matsue City.
Official Website : Matsue Travel Information
Adachi Museum of Art
Renowned for its beautiful grounds and collection of Japanese paintings, which are seamlessly woven together for an awe-inspiring viewing experience. The immaculately maintained Japanese-style garden is annually ranked number one in Japan by America's Journal of Japanese Gardening.
Official Website : Adachi Museum of Art
- Apr. - Sept. 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.,
- Oct. - Mar. 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- ¥2,200 (International visitors 50% off)
Iwami Silver Mines (World Heritage)
This Mines are elected as one of World Heritage in Japan.
In the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine there are over 600 tunnels of various sizes known as "mabu," among which Ryugenji-mabu is one of the largest .The inside of Ryugenji-mabu is well maintained and open to the public. Chisel marks can still be seen on the walls.
Opening hours :
- 9:00-17:00 from March 20 through November 23
- 9:00-16:00 from November 24 through March 19
- Adults: ¥400 (50% discount for overseas visitors)
- Children: ¥200 Closed Year-end and New Year period
On the westernmost tip of the Shimane Peninsula, located in the midst of a black-tailed gull breeding ground, the Hinomisaki Lighthouse (43.65 m) is the tallest lighthouse in East Asia. The view from the observatory is unparalleled, and the lighthouse is considered among the top 100 historic lighthouses in the world.
- Adults¥200, free for children
Shimane Aquarium AQUAS
Situated in the Iwami Seaside Park, the Shimane Aquarium AQUAS is the largest aquarium in the Chugoku-Shikoku region. The glass tunnel running through the aquarium's 1,000 ton tank offers an immersive experience, and don't miss the aquarium's beluga whales, which dazzle visitors with their bubble ring show. The seal and sea lion shows are also popular.
Official Website : Shimane Aquarium AQUAS
- 9:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m. (Entry by 4:00 p.m.),
- Jul.20 - 31 Aug. 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
- Closed on Tuesday (Wednesday if Tuesday is a national holiday)
- * Open during May, July, August, year-end and New Year holidays
The streets are lined with the neat rows of entrances to the samurai residences and storehouses with white mortar walls. Along the both sides of the street, you will find the symbol of the town, koi, carps of various colors swimming in the waterways. It is especially beautiful in early June when the town's 2000 irises (hana shobu flowers) bloom, making the scenery even more charming with the ambiance of the historic areas. The night view along the street offers a special fascination created by the lightening-up effect.