Tuesday, December 13, 2016

# Travel ♪ Izumo in Shimane Prefecture - The Birthplace of Myths and Legends and The City of Love!

Izumo in Shimane Prefecture
~ The Birthplace of Myths and Legends ~
And The City of Love

Have you heard about Shimane Prefecture(島根県)? No....Don't worry. Actually even many Japanese are not familiar with this prefecture too.

There are many interesting things about Shiname Prefecture indeed. We will take you there and show you around!

Where is Shimane Prefecture?

The prefecture highlighted in red above is Shimane Prefecture. It is located in the Chugoku region and next to the Japan Sea.

Even though it has a small population and it is not a main business center, there are still many reasons that you should go to visit Shimane! For example, there are lots of cultural heritages and different kinds of myths and legends that started there.

Of course, Izumo Taisha (出雲大社) which is famous for good matchmaking is a must-visit sightseeing spot in Shimane Prefecture.

Arriving in Shimane Prefecture

By Airplane (JAL)

Tokyo Hanada Airport -> Izumo Airport
About 90 minutes, 5 flights per day

Osaka International Airport → Izumo Airport
About 65 minutes, 6 flights per day

By Train (JR)

Tokyo Station → Izumo City Station
Take Shinkansen Nozomi and get off at Okayama Station
Transfer to limited express Yakumo (approximately 6 hours 30 minutes)
Or to limited express train ride to Sanraizu (about 12 hours)

Osaka Station → Izumo City Station
Take Shinkansen Nozomi and transfer to limited express Yakumo at Okayama Station (about 4 hours)

By Express Bus

WILLER EXPRESS is a good choice for you. Check out our earlier sharing here:

♪ Bus Travel # 6 Enjoyments of Riding on a Willer Express Night Bus to Kyoto

WILLER EXPRESS homepage: http://willerexpress.com/en/

 A City of Love

Before we take you to the famous Izumo Taisha where you can make your love wish, let's walk around in Izumo and see what is also interesting here first!

Recommended Sightseeing Spots in Shimane Prefecture

01. Gakuenji (鰐淵寺)

Gakuenji is a good place to look at the beautiful autumn leaves! Many visitors come here during autumn indeed!

It is said that there was a monk who wanted to cure the ancient emperor's eye diseases, and he went to pray under the waterfall for the emperor. After the emperor got cured, he rewarded this monk this Gakuenji!

Gakuenji (鰐淵寺)
Address: 148 Besshochou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-66-0250
Hours: 08:00 - 17:00
Parking: Available (60 cars)
Admission: 500 yen (adults), 300 yen (Jr. high and above), 200 yen (Elementary), discounts for group of 20 or above
Homepage (Jap.): https://www.izumo-kankou.gr.jp/683
Google Map

Wish for safe delivery!

02. Karakama Shrine (韓竈神社)

In order to reach Karakama Shrine which is famous for wishing for safe delivery, you need to climb up the mountain and walk through gaps like the one below!!

The shrine is not a big one but it is said that your wish can come true if you pray from your heart!!

Just make a left turn at the Torii, you can find a waterfall there too!

Karakama Shrine (韓竈神社)
Address: 408 Ushirono, Karakawacho, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Parking: Available

Amazing cliffs and landscapes

03. Tachikuekyouu (立久恵峡)

Tachikuekyouu became a national park in 1964. It takes about one hour for the walk. You can find two beautifully built bridges during your walk in Tachikuekyouu area.

We found the Buddha statues on our way, how many statues are there? Can you count?

Look! The one on the right is an elephant!!

Tachikuekyouu (立久恵峡)
Address: Tachikue, Ottachichou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Parking: Available

A Shrine that protects the nights

04. Hinomisaki Shrine (日御碕神社)

There is a saying that the sun rises in the east from Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture and sets in the west at Hinomisaki Shrine. That's why Hinomisaki Shrine is said to protect the night!

There are two main buildings of the shrine. Don't forget to visit both of them!

You can also get a "Omamori" (御守り)at the shrine to protect yourself from danger and bad luck! Sands and rocks of the shrine are contained in this small omamori. They will keep you safe!

Price: 500 yen (3 colors)

Hinomisaki Shrine (日御碕神社)
Address: 455 Hinomisaki, Taishachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Hours: 08:30 - 16:30
Parking: Available (20 cars)
Homepage (Jap.): https://www.izumo-kankou.gr.jp/89
Google Map

Lighthouse in the most western part of Shimane

05. Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse (出雲日御碕燈台)

Just not far from Hinomisaki Shrine, you can visit this lighthouse and see the beautiful Japan Sea!

Actually it is just a walkable distance from Hinomisaki Shrine.

Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse (出雲日御碕燈台)
Address: 1478 Hinomisaki, Taishachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-54-5341
Hours: 09:00 - 16:30
(Closed on Dec 30 and 31)
Parking: Available
Admission: 200 yen (adults and jr. high and above), others are free

Winery in Shimane Prefecture

06. Shimane Winery (島根ワイナリー)

Not just tasting wine, here at Shimane Winery, you can also see how wine is made, shop for souvenirs and wine, and even have meals (beef) here!

Free tasting of wine are available in the shop. How nice is that!

A kind reminder, don't drink if you drive!!!

Shimane Winery (島根ワイナリー)
Address: 264-2 Taishachouhishine, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-53-5577
Hours: 09:30-17:00 (Detailed opening hours click here)
English Brochure: Click here
Homepage (Jap): http://www.shimane-winery.jp/
Google Map

Soy sauce maker with long history

07. Okamo Soy Sauce Shop (岡茂一郎商店)

It is now the 8th generation who runs this soy sauce shop. By looking at the shop, you can understand that it has a long history since the Edo period!

Other than visiting the soy sauce factory, of course you can try out different kinds of soy sauce here! Just try them with the bread and see which one is your favorite.

The most popular item here is the SASHIMI soy sauce  (200 ml at 650 yen). Don't be trick by the name though! It is not made for eating with raw fish sashimi!!

There is another interesting item here, the soy sauce flavor ice cream!! (280 yen)

Okamo Soy Sauce Shop (岡茂一郎商店)
Address: 861 Hiratachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-62-2045
Hours: 09:00-18:00 (Holiday varies)
Homepage (Jap.): http://izumo-okamo.com/index.html 
Goolge Map

A famous Japanese wine shop with 140 years history

08. Sakemochida Wine Shop (酒持田本店)

Next, we will visit another Japanese wine store which also has a long history. 

In order to keep the wine in good condition, natural sunlight from outside are blocked, so the shop is bit dim and cold inside!

We had a great time chatting with the owner and we learned a lot about how Japanese wine is made, like which kinds of rice can make better wine etc.

Sakemochida Wine Shop (酒持田本店)
Address: 785 Hiratachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-62-2023
Homepage (Jap.): http://www.sakemochida.jp/

Ginger Flavor Candy Shop

09. Kurumaya Ginger Candy Shop (來間屋生姜糖本舗)

Because of the delicious ginger black tea that we tried, we decided to look for this shop where we can get some ginger flavor candies!!

Interesting design! Does it look like the prescription that we got from drug store??

Price: 432 yen (tax included)

Just note that the ginger candy you buy at the shop is in heart shape! However, the one you order online is not!! So which one is more special? You know the answer!!

Kurumaya Ginger Candy Shop (來間屋生姜糖本舗)
Address: 774 Hiratachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-62-2115
Hours: 09:00 - 19:00
Homepage (Jap.): http://syougatou-honpo.jp/

Gourmet in Shimane Prefecture

01. Heart shaped burger

Everything is about love and heart in Shimane. You can imagine food is made with that theme too!

This hamburger with tomato sauce tastes pretty nice indeed.

Price: 550 yen (tax included)

02. Ginger flavor soft cream

Even it's winter now, but you will get really warm after having this ginger flavor soft cream!

Price: 360 yen (tax included)

Yunogawa Service Area (道の駅湯の川)
Address: 825-2 Gakutou, Hikawachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-73-9327
Hours (Restaurant): 09:00 - 19:00
Homepage (Jap.): http://tokusan-hikawa.com/index.cgi
Google Map

03. Fresh sashimi rice bowl

This seafood restaurant is actually located in between the Hinomisaki Shrine and Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse that we introduced above. So you know where to have lunch now!

Left: Sea urchin rice bowl - 2,160 yen (tax included)
Center: Japan Sea's seafood rice bowl - 1,080 yen (tax included)
Right: Mixed seafood rice bowl - 1,400 yen (tax included)

Hanafusashouten (花房商店)
Address: 1481 Hinomisaki, Taishachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-54-5126
Hours: 10:00 - 16:00 (closed on Wed.)
Information: https://tabelog.com/shimane/A3202/A320201/32000232/
Google Map

04. Japanese Wine (Sake)

The above 4 Japanese wine is highly recommended by the locals. Just show it to the restaurant and see if they have the stock for you to try!

A happy drinking party with your friends!

CHANPURU Restaurant TORAKO (ちゃんぷる 酒房 とらこ)
Address: 926-7 Imaichichou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-30-0521
Hours: 17:30 - 24:00 (L.O. 23:30)
(Closed on Sun.)
Google Map

05. Local dishes

Selection and tastes of the food are great here! Just try it!

They have half-buffet provided here. So feel free to go out and get food that you like!

Don't forget to try the Shimane beef too. It goes well with red wine too!

Address: 859-1 Taki, Takichou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-86-2911
Lunch hours: 11:30 - 15:00
Price: 1300 yen (adults and jr. high above), 1200 yen (65 years old and above), 800 yen (elementary), 350 yen (2 years old to kindergarten), free (2 years and below)

Dinner hours: 17:00 - 21:00
Price: 1600 yen (adults and jr. high above), 1500 yen (65 years old and above), 1000 yen (elementary), 550 yen (2 years old to kindergarten), free (2 years and below)

Hot Springs in Shimane Prefecture

In Japan, there are 3 places are named "Hot Springs for the Beauty". Yunogawa hot spring in Shimane is one of them! So how can you miss it!!

HIKAWA Beauty Hot Spring (ひかわ美人の湯)
Address: 3646-1 Gakutou, Hikawachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-72-5526
Hours: 10:00 - 21:30 (Last entrance 21:00)
Admission: 600 yen (adults, Sr. high and above), 400 yen (65 years old and above), 400 yen (elementary and above), 200 yen (3 years old and above)
Homepage (Jap.): http://www.mishimane.co.jp/16.html
Google Map

Accommodation Recommendation

01. YUYADO SOUAN Hot Spring Hotel (湯宿 草菴)

With the same hot spring source as the above, you can stay in this hot spring hotel and have a relaxing night here. 

YUYADO SOUAN Hot Spring Hotel (湯宿 草菴)
Address: 1491 Gakutou, Hikawachou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-72-0226
Homepage (Jap.): http://www.yuyado-souan.jp/index.html
Google Map

02. KIRARA COTTAGE (キララコテージ)

If you are looking for a different style accommodation, we recommend you to try this cottage where is great for family with kids. Kitchen, dining room, living room and bedroom are all included. However, please note that you have to take care of the garbage and bedsheet when you check out. 

Address: 182-1 Kumura, Takichou, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tel.: 0853-86-9088
Homepage (Jap.): http://www.kirara-cottage.jp/index.php
Google Map

Wanna know more about Izumo in Shimane Prefecture? We will have a few more sharing with you soon!

Just next to Shimane Prefecture, it is Tottori Prefecture which is getting more popular among visitors now. Check out our blog here:

# Car Rental ♪ Your Kansai Journey with NISSAN Rent A Car!

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See you there! :)


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