This 50km course starts from Matsue City, riding along the north side of Shinji-ko Lake which is famous for the sunset view and shijimi clams, then through the fields of the Kohoku Plain to Izumo-taisha Shrine. There is a lot to see including Inasa-no-hama Beach, Izumo Plain and the Izumo-taisha Shrine neighborhood.
Beginners can try this route with confidence as the 70% of this course is along the Ichibata Electric Railway, and so riders are able to take a train if it gets late or in the event of sudden heavy rain etc. by using the service of “Rail & Cycle”, which allows cyclists to bring their bikes on the train with them from any stop.
Fun riding admiring the beautiful Shinji-ko Lake, with the local delicacy eel
The course starts from Shinjiko-onsen Hot spring where Yamanami Kaido Cycling Road to Onomichi, Hiroshima begins and ends, then soon joins the road along Shinji-ko Lake.
Oval shaped Shinji-ko Lake, connects Matsue and Izumo, is the seventh largest lake in Japan. Rich in nature as registered in the Ramsar Convention, a lot of waterfowls migrate to this lake. It’s a large lake with unique scenery.
Fun riding on almost the edge of the lake after passing Matsue English Garden-Mae Station, feel the joy of cycling at this moment as the scenery cutting cross with the new discoveries.
Shinji-ko Lake, the largest brackish lake in the west of Japan is also famous for wild caught eel. There are a few eel restaurants are around the lake with reasonable price, and we ordered unaju (grilled eel top of the rice) with wild caught eel at restaurant Fukuyoshi. It was so tasty!
Aikacho 328-7, Matsue City
Business Hours: 11:00-13:30, 17:00-21:00
To Izumoji Cycling Road, from Shinji-ko Lake to Japan Sea
Ride along National Route 431, north side of the lake after the restaurant, there will be the big sign of “Izumoji Cycling Road Entrance” at the 9km point. This is the Izumoji Cycling Road with the total distance of 30km from Rokuonji cycling park to Inasano-hama Beach. It’s signed every 1km on this cycling road which is very convenient.
Ride along Shinji-ko lake 3km from the start of the cycling road, then 12km on the riverbank of Hii-kawa River. There will be the wide view of Izumo Plain and the Izumo Kitayama mountains behind. Since the Ichibata Electric Railway runs along the riverbank, an old-fashioned train can be seen if you are lucky.
Entering Izumo City center after the riverbank, then go along Takase-gawa River. Takase-gawa River is a 12km water channel built in the Edo Era, from Otsucho to Araki district of former Taisha-cho for agricultural use.
There will be an attractive townscape along the road of traditional Japanese buildings including an indigo factory that is over 100 years old, merchants houses and temples with a row of willow trees.
5km to Japan Sea. 5km after the center of Izumo, beautiful sunset may be seen if there is a clear sky.
Arriving at Inasano-hama Beach, the end of Izumoji Cycling Road. It is a popular sightseeing spot as the one of the Japan’s best 100 beaches with so called “Bentensan” – a shrine on the Benten-jima Island. Also, the beach is famous as the site of Kunibiki Myth from the Izumo Fudoki, and for welcoming the Yaoyorozu no Kami (8 million Shinto deities) every year.
Soon after that, arrive at Izumo-taisha Shrine, the goal of the course. It is known as the location of the deity of “enmusubi” – fortunate marriages and encounters. The giant ohshimenawa (sacred knotted straw rope) at the Kagura-den Hall is also very famous and a must see.
Return by Rail & Cycle
It may be already in dark after the all visits including Izumo-taisha Shrine, but Ichibata Electric Railway can take you back to the start by Rail & Cycle service from Izumotaisha-Mae. The modern western style of station building is a Registered Tangible Cultural Property.
The train journey takes about an hour, arriving at Matsue Shinjiko-Onsen Station after changing train at Kawato Station on the way.
It’s all very satisfying cycling experience with the good old culture and history of Shimane in the nature. Enjoy the onsen hot spring, the seafood and mountain products afterwards.
Useful informations for cycling
Ichibata Electric Railway Cycle Train (Rail & Cycle)
Ichibata Electric Railway provides bike on train service, Rail & Cycle, all day long. There is a belt to tie up the bike.
Ichibata Electric Railway Matsue Shinjiko-Onsen Station Tel: 0852-21-2429
Matsue Ichibata Kotsu Cycle Taxi
Matsue Ichibata Kotsu offers the service “Cycle Taxi”, taking one bicycle without extra charge.
Matsue Ichibata Kotsu Tel: 0852-22-3681
Giant Store Matsue
A full-scale cycle store, one minute walk from Matsue Shinjiko-Onsen Station, the start of this route. The store has a good selection of apparel, and about 35 bicycles on the floor of 165 square meters. In addition, sports cycle rental is available, as is a dedicated path to the Ichibata Electric Railway from the store.
〒690-0874 Nakabaracho 31-4, Matsue City, Shimane prefecture (Ichibata Electric Railway Matsue Shinjiko-Onsen Station)
Business Hours: 9:00-20:00
Floor: 161 square meters
＜The Course for Beginners, Ride Around Shinji-ko Lake, Japan Sea and Visiting Izumo-taisha Shrine with Cycle Train Service＞