Top things to do

Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Izumo

Izumo Taisha

Izumo Taisha is also known as Izumo Ōyashiro and is perhaps the oldest Shintō shrine of all. It is second in importance only to Ise-jingū, the home of the sun goddess Amaterasu. This shrine, dedicated to Ōkuninushi,…
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 12 …
Top Choice Gallery in Shimane Prefecture

Adachi Museum of Art

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

Taikodani-Inari-jinja

Just above the castle chairlift station, 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 b…
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. Try the tasty soba kamo nanban (noodles with slices of duck in broth). Look for a sign on a piece of wood o…
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…
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. The daughter of the owners speaks English. Look for t…
Top Choice Cultural in Tsuwano

Yabusame

At Washibara Hachiman-gū (鷲原八幡宮), south of town about 4km from the station, crowds gather to watch archery contests on horseback on the second Sunday in April.
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 …