Japan has its roots in mythology in Shimane Prefecture, and starting with Izumo Grand Shrine which is where the gods of Japan all gathered, the prefecture is a famous area as ancient shrines with numerous myths are located everywhere as power spots. Aside from Izumo District, the other 2 districts which make up the tourist areas for Shimane are Iwami which is known for the World Heritage site of the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and the Oki Islands which have been recognized as a World Geopark. There is a good balance of attractive sites covering history, culture and nature.
Izumo Grand Shrine which is a symbol of Shimane Prefecture is also popular for its god which provides good fortune in matchmaking. In the vicinity, there are structures such as the old Japanese-style building of Old Taisha Station, the Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo, and Hinomisaki Shrine. The Adachi Museum of Art’s huge 165,000㎡ grounds also have Japanese gardens which have been rated No. 1 in an American magazine specializing in Japanese gardens. The museum has also earned high praise abroad. In addition, there are many other highlights including Matsue Castle which has a surviving castle keep, Lake Shinji, the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and the Oki Islands.
One of the country’s 3 best soba noodles happens to be Izumo soba which is a Shimane delicacy. Also popular are specialties such as Izumo soba oyaki buns and the confection known as enmusubi bitorayaki which are available at Izumo Grand Shrine. Shimane is also blessed with the fruits of the sea including freshwater clams from Lake Shinji, Matsuba crab, angler and sea perch. Since the Edo Era, the area has also been famous for tea ceremony culture with Japanese sweets such as rakugan and wasanbon being famous. Also, there are clamburgers.
It’s usual to fly out to Shimane from Tokyo. It takes about 1 hour and 25 minutes from Haneda Airport to reach Izumo Airport and an extra 5 minutes to reach Iwami Airport. To get to the Oki Islands, it takes about 30 minutes to catch a flight from Izumo Airport to Oki Airport. If taking a ferry to the islands, it takes at least 2 hours and 30 minutes from Port Sakai or Port Shichirui to reach Port Saigo. Traveling within the prefecture by rental car is convenient.
There are plenty of accommodations around Matsue Station, Izumo Station and Izumo Airport, as well as on the Oki Islands.