Izumo in Shimane Prefecture - The Birthplace of Myths and Legends and The City of Love!

Shikoku / chugoku Entertainment 2017.02.14
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Things to do in Shimane, where Izumo Taisha Shrine is there!

Have you heard about Shimane Prefecture(島根県)? No....Don't worry. Actually even many Japanese are not familiar with this prefecture too.

The prefecture highlighted in red is Shimane Prefecture. It is located in the Chugoku region and next to the Japan Sea.

Even though it has a small population and it is not a main business center, there are still many reasons that you should go to visit Shimane! For example, there are lots of cultural heritages and different kinds of myths and legends that started there.

The 47th popular prefecture in Japan?!

To increase the popularity of Shimane, some interesting promotional illustrations are made!
Credited to HERE
Japan's 47th famous county. (oh.... No. 1 from the last...how ironic lol )
Shimane? Where in Tottori ? (Similar Chinese character are used for both prefectures)
There is world heritage in Shimane? (No one can think of it ...)
No, there is no sand dune here. (There are sand dunes in Tottori.)
Slogan  "REMEMBER Shimane" It is a bit negative huh (No one knows the existance of Shimane)
Although Shimane is not that popular in locals, it is quite an interesting place huh!
Besides, Izumo Taisha (出雲大社) which is famous for good matchmaking is a must-visit sightseeing spot in Shimane Prefecture.
Let's check it out!
 

How to go to Shimane?

By Airplane (JAL)

Tokyo Hanada Airport -> Izumo Airport
About 90 minutes, 5 flights per day

Osaka International Airport → Izumo Airport
About 65 minutes, 6 flights per day

By Train (JR)

Tokyo Station → Izumo City Station
Take Shinkansen Nozomi and get off at Okayama Station
Transfer to limited express Yakumo (approximately 6 hours 30 minutes)
Or to limited express train ride to Sanraizu (about 12 hours)

Osaka Station → Izumo City Station
Take Shinkansen Nozomi and transfer to limited express Yakumo at Okayama Station (about 4 hours)

By Express Bus

WILLER EXPRESS is a good choice for you. Check out our earlier sharing here:
♪ Bus Travel # 6 Enjoyments of Riding on a Willer Express Night Bus to Kyoto
WILLER EXPRESS homepage: http://willerexpress.com/en/

Recommended Sightseeing Spots in Shimane Prefecture!!

Gakuenji (鰐淵寺)

Gakuenji is a good place to look at the beautiful autumn leaves! Many visitors come here during autumn indeed!

It is said that there was a monk who wanted to cure the ancient emperor's eye diseases, and he went to pray under the waterfall for the emperor. After the emperor got cured, he rewarded this monk this Gakuenji!

Gakuenji (鰐淵寺)
Address: 148 Besshochou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-66-0250
Hours: 08:00 - 17:00
Parking: Available (60 cars)
Admission: 500 yen (adults), 300 yen (Jr. high and above), 200 yen (Elementary), discounts for group of 20 or above
Homepage (Jap.): https://www.izumo-kankou.gr.jp/683
 

Karakama Shrine (韓竈神社)


In order to reach Karakama Shrine which is famous for wishing for safe delivery, you need to climb up the mountain and walk through gaps like the one below!!
The shrine is not a big one but it is said that your wish can come true if you pray from your heart!!
Just make a left turn at the Torii, you can find a waterfall there too!

Karakama Shrine (韓竈神社)
Address: 408 Ushirono, Karakawacho, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Parking: Available
Homepage: http://www.city.izumo.shimane.jp/www/contents/1282018312777/
 

Tachikuekyouu (立久恵峡)

Tachikuekyouu became a national park in 1964. It takes about one hour for the walk. You can find two beautifully built bridges during your walk in Tachikuekyouu area.

Tachikuekyouu (立久恵峡)
Address: Tachikue, Ottachichou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Parking: Available
Homepage(Jap.): https://www.izumo-kankou.gr.jp/365
 

A Shrine that protects the nights-- Hinomisaki Shrine (日御碕神社)

  • Hinomisaki Shrine
    Hinomisaki Shrine
  • There are two main buildings of the shrine.
    There are two main buildings of the shrine.
  • Lucky Charm
    Lucky Charm
There is a saying that the sun rises in the east from Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture and sets in the west at Hinomisaki Shrine. That's why Hinomisaki Shrine is said to protect the night!

You can also get a "Omamori" (御守り)at the shrine to protect yourself from danger and bad luck! Sands and rocks of the shrine are contained in this small omamori. They will keep you safe!
Price: 500 yen (3 colors)

Hinomisaki Shrine (日御碕神社)
Address: 455 Hinomisaki, Taishachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Hours: 08:30 - 16:30
Parking: Available (20 cars)
Homepage (Jap.): https://www.izumo-kankou.gr.jp/89
 

Lighthouse in the most western part of Shimane

Just not far from Hinomisaki Shrine, you can visit this lighthouse and see the beautiful Japan Sea!

Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse (出雲日御碕燈台)
Address: 1478 Hinomisaki, Taishachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-54-5341
Hours: 09:00 - 16:30
(Closed on Dec 30 and 31)
Parking: Available
Admission: 200 yen (adults and jr. high and above), others are free
Homepage (Jap.): https://www.izumo-kankou.gr.jp/677
 

Shimane Winery in Shimane Prefecture

  • Free tasting
    Free tasting
Not just tasting wine, here at Shimane Winery, you can also see how wine is made, shop for souvenirs and wine, and even have meals (beef) here!

Free tasting of wine are available in the shop. How nice is that!
A kind reminder, don't drink if you drive!!!

Shimane Winery (島根ワイナリー)
Address: 264-2 Taishachouhishine, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-53-5577
Hours: 09:30-17:00 (Detailed opening hours click here)
English Brochure: Click here
Homepage (Jap): http://www.shimane-winery.jp/
 

Soy sauce maker with long history- Okamo Soy Sauce Shop

  • With long history
    With long history
  • Taste the Soy Sauce
    Taste the Soy Sauce
  • Dip and taste with bread
    Dip and taste with bread
It is now the 8th generation who runs this soy sauce shop. By looking at the shop, you can understand that it has a long history since the Edo period!

Other than visiting the soy sauce factory, of course you can try out different kinds of soy sauce here! Just try them with the bread and see which one is your favorite.

Okamo Soy Sauce Shop (岡茂一郎商店)
Address: 861 Hiratachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-62-2045
Hours: 09:00-18:00 (Holiday varies)
Homepage (Jap.): http://izumo-okamo.com/index.html 
 

Sakemochida Wine Shop of 140 years history

  • Entrance
    Entrance
  • Inside
    Inside
  • Mysterious doll
    Mysterious doll
In order to keep the wine in good condition, natural sunlight from outside are blocked, so the shop is bit dim and cold inside!

We had a great time chatting with the owner and we learned a lot about how Japanese wine is made, like which kinds of rice can make better wine etc.

Sakemochida Wine Shop (酒持田本店)
Address: 785 Hiratachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-62-2023
Homepage (Jap.): http://www.sakemochida.jp/
 

Kurumaya Ginger Candy Shop

  • Long history
    Long history
  • Looks like a real prescription  432 yen (tax included)
    Looks like a real prescription 432 yen (tax included)
  • heart-shaped ginger candy
    heart-shaped ginger candy
Because of the delicious ginger black tea that we tried, we decided to look for this shop where we can get some ginger flavor candies!!

Just note that the ginger candy you buy at the shop is in heart shape! However, the one you order online is not!! So which one is more special? You know the answer!!

Kurumaya Ginger Candy Shop (來間屋生姜糖本舗)
Address: 774 Hiratachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-62-2115
Hours: 09:00 - 19:00
Homepage (Jap.): http://syougatou-honpo.jp/
 
See you next time!

 
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