Shimane 島根

view over Matsue City from Matsue Castle keep

Shimane Prefecture is located in the Chugoku Region along the coast of the Sea of Japan on Japan's main island Honshu. The prefectural capital is Matsue with a population of about 207,000 people. The prefecture is the second least populous prefecture in Japan after Tottori Prefecture.

Things to see in Shimane

Some of the most visited sightseeing spots in Shimane.

  1. Matsue Castle

    Matsue Castle keep in Shimane Prefecture

    Matsue Castle is one of few original castles in Japan that have survived undamaged from earthquakes and fires since its construction in 1611. The castle was heavily renovated in the 1950s and the main keep now holds a museum that displays artifacts and weapons from the time the castle was used. Besides entering the main keep and ground, visitors are also able to ride a boat cruise around the castle's moat.

    How to get there

    The castle can be reached by a 15 minute walk from Ichibata Dentetsu's Matsue-Shinjiko-Onsen Station or about a 30 minute walk from the JR Matsue Station.

  2. Izumo Taisha

    Japan's oldest shrine Izumo Taisha in Shimane Prefecture

    Located in the city of Izumo in Shimane Prefecture, Izumo Taisha is one of Japan's most important Shinto shrines. No records say exactly when the shrine was built but it's considered to be the oldest shrine in Japan. The main deity enshrined at the shrine is Okuninushi no Okami and is according to Shinto myths the deity responsible of creating Japan.

    Izumo Taisha Shrine in Shimane Prefecture

    How to get there

    From Izumoshi Station ride the Ichibata Railway and transfer trains at Kawato Station and get off at th e end station Izumo Taisha-mae Station. The train ride takes about 20 minutes. From Izumo Taisha-mae Station the Izumo Taisha is a short five minute walk away.