Top 24 things to do and places to go in Shimane according to TripAdvisor

If the metropolis Tokyo is the home to skyscrapers, high-rise buildings and crowded shopping malls and streets, then Shimane is the home to 17th-century Matsue Castle, with hilltop views and many natural attractions. It is known to be a mountainous, sparsely populated coastal prefecture located in the western part of Japan's Honshu Island. The capital, Matsue, is set on Lake Shinji. Along the Matsue castle’s moat, Shiomi Nawate is lined with Edo-era homes. Izumo Taisha, in nearby Izumo, is among Japan’s earliest Shinto complexes where the rare Taisha architectural style is well displayed. Let’s check out the top 24 destinations and things to do on your trip to this wonderful historically preserved city.

Adachi Museum of Art
Adachi Museum of Art
The 165,000 square-meter area includes 6 gardens and about 1,500 exhibits of Japanese paintings, pottery and other works of art. Its elegance has earned the museum the top rating of three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japon.
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Matsue Castle
Matsue Castle
There are many ways to enjoy the castle. See the interior that was designed for war, the 360 degree panoramic view from the top floor, and tour the Horikawa moat on a small boat. It is also one of Japan’s Top 100 Places for Cherry Blossoms.
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Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine
Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine
It was registered as a Cultural World Heritage site in 2007. It was the 14th place selected in Japan and the first place in Asia to be selected for its heritage as a silver mine. The valuable industrial legacy and the nostalgic unspoiled Japanese landscape have continued to be preserved.
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Yuushien
Yuushien
Flowers according to the season blossom everywhere in this huge Japanese garden. From the end of April to the end of May, 20,000 blossoms of tree peonies representing 250 species blossom everywhere inside the garden. And tree peony blossoms can be seen all year in the interior garden.
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Shimane Art Museum
Shimane Art Museum
The Shimane Art Museum is the largest art museum in the San-in region with a collection of paintings and sculptures. You can see a panoramic view of Lake Shinji from the glassed in lobby and the view of the golden sunset will take your breath away.
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Matsue Vogel Park
Matsue Vogel Park
In one of the world’s largest greenhouses, there’s a garden with several thousand types of begonias, and 800 unusual specimens representing approximately 80 species of the world’s birds. There are also programs in which you can see the birds up close and popular bird shows.
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Matengai Cliff
Matengai Cliff
The steep 257m Matengai Cliff represents the best of the scenery of the Oki Islands. Along with the view from the observation point, there are various ways to enjoy your time there including seeing the cliff from a ferry or taking a stroll on the walking course.
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Dangyo-no-Taki Waterfalls
Dangyo-no-Taki Waterfalls
The two waterfalls which are known as the “Osu” (male) Falls and the “Mesu” (female) falls have been selected as two of Japan’s Top 100 Waterfalls. The view from behind the Osu Waterfall is well worth seeing. The spring water is considered sacred.
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Izumo Grand Shrine
Izumo Grand Shrine
Along with Ise Jingu, this shrine represents the shrines of Japan. Of all the other shrines in the country, Izumo Shrine, the gathering spot of the gods, has a noticeably sacred air about it. Be filled with more spiritual power in the renovated main hall.
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Mt. Akahage and Akakabe
Mt. Akahage and Akakabe
Mt. Akahage and the Natural Monument-designated Akakabe are popular scenic spots located on the smallest of the 4 Oki Islands, Chiburijima.
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Rosoku-jima (Candle Rock)
Rosoku-jima (Candle Rock)
Northwest of the Oki Islands, there is a strangely shaped rock known as Rosoku-jima (Candle Rock). It stands erect in the middle of the sea and it is a popular sightseeing spot in Dogo (or Okinoshima Island). The view from the ferry the moment the sunset lights Candle Rock is something that cannot be missed.
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Akiya Coast
Akiya Coast
Akiya Coast is a representative tourist spot on Nakanoshima, one of the three Douzen Islands, and the Heart Rock with a heart-shaped hole torn out of it is popular. You can enjoy a tour which includes Akiya Coast.
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Tsutenkyo Arch
Tsutenkyo Arch
This arched rock which protrudes right into the sea is located on Nishinoshima, one of the Oki Islands. The wonderful landscape of the Kuniga Coast which includes Tsutenkyo can be enjoyed from a nature trail, an observation point and an excursion boat.
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Underwater Viewing Boat AMANBOW
Underwater Viewing Boat AMANBOW
The semi-submerged tour boat which sails by one of the three Douzen Islands, Nakanoshima, provides views underwater and above water, and even has night cruises.
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Shirashima Coast
Shirashima Coast
At Shirashima Coast, which is a specially protected district within a national park, a wonderful scene consisting of rock formations, blue sea and pine trees spreads out, and the views from the observation point and excursion boats are popular.
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Tamawakasu-no-mikoto Shrine
Tamawakasu-no-mikoto Shrine
The head shrine of the Oki Islands that has enshrined the deity who established the islands, Tamawakasu-no-mikoto Shrine is designated nationally as an Important Cultural Property. The Gorei-furyū Festival which is one of the 3 major festivals on the islands and the bull sumo tournaments which are held nearby are popular.
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Takuhi Shrine
Takuhi Shrine
The shrine is located on the 8th level of Mt. Takuhi, the highest peak on Nishinoshima Island, one of the Oki Islands. Its honden, or main hall, is situated amazingly by a cavern. What is also appealing is the sando path to the shrine and the area around the peak which are protected as a sanctuary.
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Yunotsu Onsen
Yunotsu Onsen
Yunotsu Onsen which has been preserved by the townscape as a Group of Important Traditional Buildings has been registered as a World Heritage site, and is an onsen site which once bustled with silver miners and onsen visitors using the port.
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Tamatsukuri Onsen
Tamatsukuri Onsen
According to the Fudoki (ancient reports on geography and culture), Tamatsukuri Onsen was called the “Divine Hot Spring” due to its reputation of rejuvenating skin on entering its waters once and then curing disease on entering its waters twice. The excellent quality of the water is known for promoting beautiful skin.
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Motoyu
Motoyu
Motoyu Onsen, which is one of the public baths for Yunotsu Onsen, is a cloudy saline hot spring whose bathtubs are crusted with mineral deposits that look like stalactites so that you can really feel the history of the place.
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Matsue Horikawa Ji-Beer Hall
Matsue Horikawa Ji-Beer Hall
A microbrewery located close to the boarding areas for pleasure boats in Horikawa, the local beer produced here using genuine methods has won many awards at international beer competitions. The beer is highly regarded for its good match with Japanese dishes.
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Horikawa Pleasure Boats
Horikawa Pleasure Boats
The pleasure boats wind their way around historical canals that were constructed at the same time alongside Matsue Castle. From the boats, you can enjoy the view of the castle and the samurai residence as well as the woods and canals that have stayed unchanged since ancient times. You can board from 3 different places: Fureai Plaza, Karakoro Plaza and Otemae Plaza.
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Samurai Residence
Samurai Residence
The area where the residence of a mid-level samurai of the Edo Era had been built has remained unchanged. You can observe this historical landmark which brings to mind the lifestyle of that period through places like the 270-year-old residence and the garden. *Due to preservation construction work on the samurai residence, it will remain closed until March 2018.
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Yakushiyu
Yakushiyu
The old building of Yakushiyu that has survived to the present day at Yunotsu Onsen as the oldest structure there has been renovated to become a wooden Western-style building. The naturally flowing natural hot spring has received the highest rating by the Japan Hot Springs Association.
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