Top things to do in Shimane Prefecture

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…
Top Choice Noodles in Matsue

Yakumo-an

This busy soba restaurant and its beautiful grounds are an excellent place to sample the local warigo soba, served in a stack of three round lacquerware trays. Pour some soup stock into the top tray, eat, then pour …
Top Choice Izakaya in Matsue

Kawa-kyō

You can count on a friendly welcome at this small izakaya, which specialises in the 'seven delicacies' from Shinji-ko and is a good place to try some local sake or homemade umeshu (plum wine). The owner's daughter s…
Top Choice Noodles in Tsuwano

Tsurube

The speciality here is fresh wheat noodles handmade on the premises, going into filling dishes such as sansai udon (noodles with wild vegetables) and umeboshi udon (noodles with dried plum). For a little extra, have…
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…