Attractions

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 Gardens in Okayama

Kōraku-en

Kōraku-en draws the crowds with its reputation as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan. It has expansive lawns broken up by ponds, teahouses and other Edo-period buildings, including a nō theatre stage; …
Top Choice Cave in Yamaguchi Prefecture

Akiyoshi-dō

Within the Akiyoshi-dai Quasi-National Park, the rolling Akiyoshi-dai tablelands are dotted with curious rock spires, beneath which are hundreds of limestone caverns. One of these is Akiyoshi-dō, the largest limesto…
Top Choice Museum in Hiroshima

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

The main building of Hiroshima's premier museum houses a collection of items salvaged from the aftermath of the atomic bomb. The displays are confronting and personal – ragged clothes, a child's melted lunch box, a …
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Miyajima

Itsukushima-jinja

With origins from as far back as the late 6th century, Itsukushima-jinja gives Miyajima its real name.The shrine's pier-like construction is a result of the island's sacred status: commoners were not allowed to set …
Top Choice Art Installation in Naoshima

Art House Project

In Honmura, half a dozen traditional buildings have been turned over to contemporary artists to use as the setting for creative installations, often incorporating local history. Highlights include Ōtake Shinrō's sha…
Top Choice Gallery in Kurashiki

Ōhara Museum of Art

This is Kurashiki's premier museum, housing the predominantly Western art collection amassed by local textile magnate Ōhara Magosaburō (1880–1943), with the help of artist Kojima Torajirō (1881–1929). The varied ass…
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 Island in Tomo-no-ura

Sensui-jima

The island of Sensui-jima is just five minutes across the water from Tomo-no-ura town. There's a walking path that hugs the coast, passes by interesting rock formations and offers lovely sunset views across the wate…