Shimane Prefecture attractions

Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Izumo

Izumo Taisha

Izumo Taisha, also known as Izumo Ōyashiro, is perhaps the oldest Shintō shrine in Japan. This shrine, dedicated to Ōkuninushi, god of marriage and bringer of good fortune, is as old as Japanese recorded history – t…
Top Choice Castle in Matsue

Matsue-jō

Dating from 1611, picturesque Matsue-jō has a wooden interior showcasing treasures belonging to the Matsudaira clan. Known as 'Plover Castle' for the graceful shape of its gable ornaments, Matsue-jō is one of only 1…
Top Choice Gallery in Shimane Prefecture

Adachi Museum of Art

Local businessman and art collector Adachi Zenkō founded this excellent museum, located east of Matsue in Yasugi. The collection includes over 100 paintings by Yokoyama Taikan (1868–1958) and a good selection of wor…
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Tsuwano

Taikodani-Inari-jinja

Within walking distance of town, this thriving shrine, built in 1773 by the seventh lord Kamei Norisada, is one of the five major Inari shrines in Japan. Walk up the hillside to it through a tunnel created by hundre…
Gallery in Matsue

Shimane Prefectural Art Museum

With its white undulating roof and huge glass windows facing the lake, the museum building itself is an impressive sight. Inside, it displays rotating exhibits from its collection of woodblock prints (there are some…
Museum in Matsue

Matsue History Museum

Matsue's excellent modern museum gives a broad-ranging introduction to the history of the regional clans and development of local industry and crafts. Among the displays are old town maps, ceramics, letters and the …
Museum in Izumo

Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo

Just to the right of the Izumo Taisha shrine's front gate, this informative museum contains modern exhibits on local history. These include reconstructions of the shrine in its pomp, and recordings of the annual cer…
Museum in Tsuwano

Morijuku Museum

This museum is housed in a 150-year-old building that once served as the home of a shōya (village headman). Downstairs is a collection of soft-edged scenes painted by local-born artist Nakao Shō, a roomful of bullfi…
Gardens in Matsue

Yūshien Garden

This pretty garden occupying an area of around 40,000 sq metres was established privately in 1975 on Lake Nakaumi's Daikonshima Island, between Matsue and Sakaiminato. It's best known for its peonies, but there are …
Buddhist Site in Iwami Ginzan

Gohyakurakan

Crowded into two small caves at Gohyakurakan, there are 500 diminutive stone statues of the Buddha's disciples, each showing a different expression – some smiling, some turning their head to chat to their neighbour.…