Shimane lies near the western tip of Japan's main island on the Sea of Japan side. Although sparsely populated it was once a center of trade with China, so it boasts a good number of important historic sites, including Matsue Castle. Izumo Taisha is said to be Japan's oldest Shinto shrine and the place that the gods gather once a year to do business. However, there's more to this historical prefecture than ancient shrines and temples, as a bit of cutting edge technology is present as well. Of note to tech trivia fans: Matsue is the birthplace of the programming language Ruby. For the creative traveler, beauty and inspiration are alive in The Adachi Museum of Art which pairs Japanese artwork and gardens. During your travels be sure to try the regional specialties of taimeishi (sea bream steamed on rice) and shijimi jiru (clam soup).

Places to visit in Shimane

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Shimane Food Guide

Shijimi SoupShijimi Soup is probably the most simple old-school Japanese soup you can make (aside from miso soup, of course). It includes the broth of the Shijimi clam, and seasoned with some soy sauce and miso. It is a dish that has been common since the Edo

Shimane Access Guide

Photo Cred: Flickr user Kuruman 56886057@N00/15066480167/By Plane The main airport in Shimane is the Izumo Airport. There are several flights every day going from Haneda to Izumo, and from there, you can take a bus from the airport to Matsue Station, in about

Shimane 1-day-tour Itinerary

The best thing about Shimane is how close in proximity everything is. You can get from one end of the prefecture to the other in about 2 to 3 hours, and most of the tourist spots are relatively close together, making it a great destination for a one-day trip a