From the Regular to the Hidden gems! The 10 Must-visit Sightseeing spots in Shimane!

Shimane prefecture has a variety of sightseeing spots such as Lake Shinji, the lake of brackish water, Izumo-Taisha, the shrine gaining reputations for matchmaking, and more. Let’s walk through the 10 must-visit sightseeing spots in Shimane in the Chugoku region, from the well-known to the hidden ones.

The Symbol fo Matsue, Shimane, selected to the 100 Best Cherry Blossoms Sites, “Matsue Castle”

Nicknamed as “Chidori Castle”, “Matsue Castle” is one of the regular sightseeing spots in Shimane. It was designated as the national treasure on July 8th in 2015. You can enjoy stairs made with paulownia wood, 3 turrets reconstructed in 2001, which gives you atmosphere as it was in the past.

The festival is held in spring to appreciate the beauty of 200 cherry blossom trees in Hamadajozan Park. You can enjoy viewing of the castle through cherry blossoms. Tour guide of the castle available. Why don’t you start your sightseeing in Shimane from “Matsue Castle”!

Name: Matsue Castle
Address: 1-5 Tonomachi, Matsue city, Shimane
Phone: +81-852-21-4030
Time: (April – September) 7:00~19:30(October – March) 8:30~17:00
Close: None
Access: 20 minutes walk from Matsue-Shinjiko-Onsen station

Map: map to Matsue Castle

Bizzare Scenery Nature created. Must-see Scenery of Shimane, “Oninoshitaburui”

“Oninoshitaburui” is the gorge made naturally with weird shaped rocks by river erosion, which is the very natural creation. This mysterious scenery made by the rivers flowing among the sheer cliff and huge rocks on the valley, has been nationally designated as the scenic spots and natural monuments.

You can view the bizarre lay of the land from the suspension bridge with 45 meter height and 160 meter length. A lot of tourists visit here to experience it. This is one of the classic sightseeing spot in Shimane. Visit to explore more!

Name: Oninoshitaburui
Address: Une Minari, Okuizumo, Nita district, Shimane
Phone: +81-854-54-2260
Access: 10 minutes drive from Izumo-minari station

Map: map to Oninoshitaburui

The Gateway to the Dead?! The Mysterious Sightseeing spot, “Yomotsu Hirasaka”

 The Gateway to the Dead?! The Mysterious Sightseeing spot,
photo by sccf1   /   embedded from Instagram

“Yomotsuhirasaka” is the spot well-known in the Japanese myth of Izanagi and Izanami. It is situated outside the national road, so it is hard to find for strangers, which makes the spot more mysterious. There are two stone pillars like Torii gateway and two huge rocks in the bush in the mountain, which you can look around at once. Emptiness and quietness there add creepiness somehow.

There is also saying that this spot is the gateway to the dead, which led many stories about it pass on in this area. This is the spot for anyone brave enough to challenge the mystery of Shimane.

Name: Yomotsuhirasaka
Address: Iya, Higashiizumo cho, Matsue city, Shimane
Access: 5 minutes drive from Iya station

Map: map to Yomotsuhirasaka

The Sightseeing spot with the Stone making your wish come true, “Tamatsukuriyu Shrine”

The Sightseeing spot with the Stone making your wish come true,
photo by skcnpnaaa   /   embedded from Instagram

“Tamatsukuriyu Shrine” is the popular spiritual spot in Shimane prefecture, where “Negai ishi” and “Kanai ishi” make your wish come true. First by touching “Negai ishi (literally wishing stone)” in the back of the shrine, you receive the energy on “Kanai ishi (literally realizing stone)”. It is said that carrying the “Kanai ishi” makes your wish come true.

You can buy “Kanai ishi” at the shrine office, which comes in a pretty pouch. You cannot pick the kinds of rocks for “Kanai ishi”. You may have some fortune by carrying it. Why don’t you try it to make it happen!

Name: Tamatsukuriyu Shrine
Address: 522 Tamayucho Tamatsukuri, Matsue city, Shimane
Phone: +81-852−62−0006
Access: 5 minutes drive from Tamatsukuri-onsen station

Map: map to Tamatsukuriyu Shrine

The World’s Largest hourglass in “Nima Sand Museum”

The World's Largest hourglass in
photo by mura6320   /   embedded from Instagram

“Nima Sand Museum” has the huge hourglass, which counts a year. The famous “1 year counting Hourglass” was made to preserve the local resources of Kotogahama Beach, well-known for the singing sands. It uses 1 ton of sands in it. Sands drop through a diameter of 0.84mm taking one year.

6 large and small glass-made pyramids are symbolic to the museum, which is often used as shooting locations of movies and TV dramas. At the end of the year, the event called “Toki no Saiten (literally meaning Time Festival)” is held for the count-down. Visit here to feel time drops!

Name: Nima Sand Museum
Address: 975 Amagouchi, Nima cho, Ota city, Shimane
Phone: +81-854-88-3776
Time: 9:00~17:00
Close: Wednesdays
Access: 10 minutes walk from Nima station

Map: map to Nima Sand Museum

Experience the Famous Happy Bubble Rings! “Shimane Aquarium”

Experience the Famous Happy Bubble Rings!
photo by jun.maru115   /   embedded from Instagram

“Shimane Aquarium” is famous for the performance by belugas, Bubble Rings, which is used for its TV commercial in Japan. Now the new performance by popular belugas, called “Miracle Ring”, is on presentation, which belugas create a big ring in water and go through it. There are other activities offered such as meeting with pretty penguins, show by sea lions and seal and more.

Not only performances, but also the main tank is great to see! The artificial shore reef is the spot you can observe the sea environment of the Sea of Japan, which Shimane faces.

Name: Shimane Aquarium
Address: 1117-2 Kushirocho, Hamada city, Shimane
Phone: +81-855-28-3900
Time: 9:00~17:00 ※July 20 – August 31: 9:00~18:00
Close: Tuesdays
Access: about 10 minutes walk from Hashi station

Map: map to Shimane Aquarium

Enjoy the Sightseeing and Gourmet Together at “Shimane Winery”

Enjoy the Sightseeing and Gourmet Together at
photo by daires   /   embedded from Instagram

The sightseeing spot where you can fully taste beautiful wine of Shimane, is this “Shimane Winery”. It is the large sightseeing facility which includes winery, shops and restaurants. At the winery, you can see the producing process, then the shop next door offers wine tasting which you can try 10 different types of wine.

At the tasting, it serves grape juice, which is best for kids. There are the BBQ house and cafes, so it is family-friendly. Enjoy sightseeing and gourmet all at once!

Name: Shimane Winery
Address: 246-2 Hishine, Taisha cho, Izumo city, Shimane
Phone: +81-853-53-5577
Time: 9:30~16:30
Close: None
Access: 12 minutes walk from Hamayama-koen Kitaguchi station

Map: map to Shimane Winery

Enjoy Sightseeing of the Oki Traditional Culture, the Remote island of Shimane, at “Oki Momo Dome”

Enjoy Sightseeing of the Oki Traditional Culture, the Remote island of Shimane, at
photo by nab_235   /   embedded from Instagram

You can see the “Ushi-Tsuki (Bull Sumo)” with the oldest history in Japan, which is the traditional culture of Oki, at “Oki Momo Dome”. “Ushi-Tsuki” is said to start to console the spirit of the historical great, “the retired Emperor Gotoba”, who exiled after the Jokyu Rebellion.

It must be unforgettable experience to see two massive bulls go head to head powerfully. At the main competition held 4 times a year, it sometimes takes more than one hour to see the result. This “Ushi-Tsuki” is set for sightseeing, so the competition does not end as the traditional one does. Yet you will be amazed with the dynamic fight. Do not miss it.

Name: Oki Momo Dome
Address: 19 Ikeda Furomae, Okinoshima, Oki district, Shimane
Phone: +81-8512-2-0787 (Okinoshima Tourism Association)
Time: ①9:00~ / ②14:30~ 

Map: map to Oki Momo Dome

Stately stone-made Building with a History “Mihonoseki Lighthouse”

Stately stone-made Building with a History
photo by micha.nakano   /   embedded from Instagram

“Mihonoseki Lighthouse” is one of the famous sightseeing spots in Shimane. Its great appearance tells you the history of Shimane. It has been selected to “The World’s 100 Historical Lighthouses” and “The Japan’s 50 Great Lighthouses”, which is the oldest in the Sanin region and was lit up first on November 8th in 1905.

It is 83 meter high from the water surface, so you can view the Oki island. The former office and residence has been renovated as the buffet restaurant. Why don’t you spend a relaxing time here with the beautiful view of the Sea of Japan?

Name: MIhonoseki Lighthouse
Address: Mihonoseki, Mihonoseki cho, Matsue city, Shimane
Phone: +81-852-73-0211 (Lighthouse Buffet)
Time: 9:00~17:00 (Lighthouse Buffet)
Close: Thursdays (Lighthouse Buffet)

Map: map to MIhonoseki Lighthouse

The Best Garden in Japan! The Famous spot in Shimane! “Adachi Museum of Art”

The Best Garden in Japan! The Famous spot in Shimane!
photo by hiroko_0421   /   embedded from Instagram

“Adachi Museum of Art” has been selected as the 1st place on the Japan’s Gardens Ranking since 2003. The vast garden of 165,000 square meter has been cleaned and maintained every morning 1 hour before its opening by all staffs, which has not been missed any single day. This has been kept because of the belief by the founder, Adachi Zenko, saying “A garden is the part of art.”

The large window frame works like a picture frame, which let us see the garden with seasonal colors like an artwork. Recently a lot of foreign tourists have visited here gaining high reputations from the world. Highly recommended to visit to see this art-like beautiful scenery in Shimane.

Name: Adachi Museum of Art
Address: 320 Furukawa cho, Yasugi city, Shimane
Phone: +81-854-28-7111
Time: (April – September) 9:00~17:30(October – March) 9:00~17:00
Close: None
Access: 15 minutes drive from Yasugi station

Map: map to Adachi Museum of Art

Explore the Sightseeing spots in Shimane!

Here is the 10 must-visit sightseeing spots in Shimane. Has any spot caught your eyes? Shimane prefecture is very famous for Izumo-Taisha, but there are so much more. Explore Shimane to find the unknown charms.

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