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

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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 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
 



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 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



There are two main buildings of the shrine.



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
 



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

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



Taste the Soy Sauce



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



Inside



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



Looks like a real prescription 432 yen (tax included)



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!

 

Details

NAME:Shimane

MAP

ADDRESS:

島根県出雲市平田町774

島根県出雲市別所町148

島根県出雲市唐川町字後野408番地

島根県出雲市乙立町立久恵

島根県出雲市大社町日御碕455

島根県出雲市大社町日御碕1478

島根県出雲市大社町菱根264-2

島根県出雲市平田町861番地

島根県出雲市平田町785番地

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    • Tokyo (東京) is Japan's busy capital, and the most populous metropolitan area in the world. While the city as a whole is quite modern, crowded with skyscrapers and bustling crowds, Tokyo also holds onto its traditional side in places like the Imperial Palace and Asakusa neighborhood. It's one of the world's top cities when it comes to culture, the arts, fashion, games, high-tech industries, transportation, and more.

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      Shizuoka Prefecture is sandwiched between eastern and western Japan, giving the prefecture easy access to both Tokyo and Osaka. Not only is it known for beautiful natural attractions, with everything from Mount Fuji to Suruga Bay, Lake Hamanako, and Sumata Pass―Shizuoka's Izu Peninsula is known as a go-to spot for hot springs lovers, with famous onsen like Atami, Ito, Shimoda, Shuzenji, and Dogashima. Shizuoka attracts all kinds of travelers thanks to historic connections with the Tokugawa clan, the Oigawa Railway, fresh eel cuisine, Hamamatsu gyoza, and famously high-quality green tea.

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    • Kyoto flourished as the capital of Japan between the years 794 and 1100, becoming a center for poilitics and culture, and to this day it's a great place for close encounters with Japanese history. The cobbled streets of Gion, the atmospheric road to Kiyomizudera Temple, Kinkakuji's golden walls and countless historic attractions, even Arashiyama's Togetsukyo Bridge―Kyoto is a place of many attractions. With new charms to experience throughout the seasons, travelers can't stop themselves from returning again and again.

    • Nara Prefecture's important history reaches back to 710, a time now called the Nara era, when it was once capital of Japan. Called "Heijo-kyo" during its time as a capital, it's said that nara was once the end of the silk road, leading it to flourish as a uniquely international region and produce important cultural properties of all kinds. To make the most of each season, travelers head to Nara Park, where the Nara deer who wander freely, or climb Mount Yoshino, a famous cherry blossom spot.

    • Osaka is known for friendly (and funny) people, but its history is nothing to laugh at, playing a major part in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's 16th century unification of Japan. Thanks to long years of economic activity, it's one of Japan's biggest cities, and Osaka's popular food culture earned it the nickname "The Kitchen of the Nation." To this day Osaka is the model of western Japan, and alongside historic structures like Osaka Castle, it also has major shopping malls like Umeda's Grand Front Osaka and Tennoji's Abeno Harukas. Osaka is a place to eat, eat, eat, with local specialties like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and kushi-katsu, and for extra fun, it's home to Universal Studios Japan.

    • CHUGOKU

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      The Chugoku Region (中国地方) consists of five prefectures: Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi. In Chugoku you’ll find the sand dunes of Tottori, and Hiroshima’s atomic bomb site, plus centers of ancient history like Grand Shrine of Izumo.

    • HIROSHIMA

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      Hiroshima Prefecture has everything, from world heritage sites to beautiful nature and delicious local cuisine, and it's either an hour and a half from Tokyo by plane, or four hours by train. Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island and the Atomic Bomb Dome, two Hiroshima UNESCO sites, are famous around the world, but in Japan it's also famous for food. Seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, especially oysters, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and Setouchi lemons are all popular, and the natural scenery alone is worth seeing.

    • SHIKOKU

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      On the other side of the Seto Inland Sea opposite Japan’s main island, Shikoku (四国) is a region made up of four prefectures: Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, and Tokushima. The area is famous for its udon (in Kagawa), and the beautiful Dogo Onsen hot springs (in Ehime).

    • Kagawa Prefecture is on the northern part of the island of Shikoku, facing Japan's main island and the Seto Inland Sea. It's known for being the smallest prefecture in Japan, by area, but at the same time Kagawa is called the "Udon Prefecture" thanks to its famous sanuki udon. Aside from Kotohiragu Shrine and Ritsurin Garden, the prefecture's small islands are popular, and Kagawa is full of unique destinations, like Angel Road. They say that if you lay eyes on Zenigata Sunae, a huge Kagawa sand painting, you'll never have money troubles ever again.

    • Located in the most southwestern part of Japan, Kyushu (九州) is an island of 7 prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima. The island's unique culture has been influenced by Chinese and Dutch trade, along with missionaries coming in through Nagasaki's port. Modern-day travelers love the lush natural scenery and fresh food, plus the natural hot springs found all throughout the area (thanks to volcanic activity)!

    • FUKUOKA

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      Fukuoka Prefecture has the highest population on the southern island of Kyushu, with two major cities: Fukuoka and Kitakyushu. Thanks to growing transportation networks, Fukuoka is more accessible than ever, and so are the many local attractions. On top of historical spots like Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, travelers shouldn't miss Fukuoka's food scene, with motsu nabe (offal hotpot), mentaiko (spicy cod roe), and famous Hakata ramen―best eaten from a food stall in the Nakasu area of Hakata. Plus, it's full of all sorts of destinations for travelers, like trendy shopping centers, and the beautiful nature of Itoshima and Yanagawa.

    • KAGOSHIMA

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      Kagoshima Prefecture played a major role in Japan's modernization as a backdrop for famous historical figures like samurais Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi, who pushed Japan out of the Edo era and into the Meiji. Because of that, Sengan-en Garden is just one of many historical destinations, and when it comes to attractions Kagoshima has plenty: the active volcano of Sakurajima, popular hot springs Ibusuki Onsen and Kirishima Onsen, World Heritage Site Yakushima Island, even what Japan calls the "island closest to heaven," Amami Oshima. Kagoshima might be found on the very southernmost tip of the southern island of Kyushu, but there's plenty to see.

    • OKINAWA

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      The island chain of Okinawa (沖縄) makes up the southernmost tip of Japan, which is why it's also the most tropical area in the country. Thanks to a history of independence and totally distinct political and cultural events, Okinawa has a unique culture, and remnants of the Ryukyu Kingdom are still visible all over the islands. Food, language, traditional dress, it's all a little different! It's also said to be the birthplace of karate.

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