ShimaneShimane 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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Izumo-Taisha Grand Shrine
Izumo Grand Shrine is one of the most important shrines of the Shinto religion. Some say that this shrine was built in the 600s, and nowadays, the Izumo Grand Shrine is a popular spot for matchmaking and the god of marriage, packed with over 2 million visitors
This art museum consists of traditional Japanese gardens, painting galleries of famous Japanese artists (both classic and modern), ceramics, and more. The stunning 160,000 square meter garden was voted Best Japanese Garden by Sukiya Living/The Journal of Japan
Built in 1903, this lighthouse is the tallest in Japan, measuring in at 43.65 meters and is listed as one of the top 100 most beautiful lighthouses in the world. The lighthouse is pearly white, a stark contrast from the blue sky and ocean. Stunning views of th
Located about 10 minutes east of the Izumo Grand Shrine is Inasanohama, a beach said to welcome all the deities on their way to Grand Shrine. To this day, the welcoming ritual continues, and this shrine has become a power spot for worshipers. This beach is al
This traditional noodle house specializes in soba (buckwheat) noodles that are famous in Izumo City. The menu has photos to help you order individual dishes or set lunches. Highlights of the menu include kamoage soba, soba in soup with duck slices.
Kyu-Taisha Station is the former station of the city, which now displays the "D51" steam locomotive.
Just a 15-minute drive from Yasugi Station, Saginoyusou offers relaxing open-air hot spring baths overlooking the mountains of Shimane. Traditional Japanese cuisine and elegant tatami-mat rooms are featured.
Ten Ten Temari
Boasting Japanese-style rooms with views of Lake Shinji-ko, hotel Ten Ten Temari offers indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, Japanese cuisine and a salon offering massages and beauty treatments. Free Wi-Fi is available at the lobb
Hotel Gyokusen is situated in Matsue, 100 metres from Tamatsukuri Onsen and 3.9 km from Lake Shinji. The ryokan has a hot spring bath and sauna, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant.
Matsue Excel Hotel Tokyu
Located just a 3-minute walk from JR Matsue Station, Matsue Excel Hotel Tokyu provides simple guest rooms fitted with modern amenities. Free in-room wired internet is provided. All guest rooms are non-smoking at this hotel.
Matsue New Urban Hotel
Matsue New Urban Hotel is a 7-minute drive from JR Matsue Station and a 12-minute walk from the Matsue Castle. It features a public hot-spring bath, a restaurant and rooms with free Wi-Fi.
Hotel Takeshi Sanso
Featuring a traditional Japanese garden, Hotel Takeshi Sanso offers Western-style accommodations with a flat-screen TV. Relaxing in-room massages can be requested for an extra cost and free parking is available on-site.
Ryotei Yamanoi offers traditional Japanese accommodation in Matsue, a 10-minute walk from Izumo Tamatsukuri Shiseki Park. This charming guesthouse provides separate onsens (public baths) for male and female guests.