There currently is an outbreak of a novel coronavirus all over the world, centering around Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
We are trying to collect needed information and tourist facilities and accommodations in Shimane have already taken measures to prevent infections.
The Government of Japan has declared a state of emergency (until May 6, 2020) applying to all 47 prefectures, including Shimane prefecture.
*(edited 5/22)*Currently the State of Emergency has been lifting in most prefectures, not all, but residents and foreign nationals living in Japan are recommended to still follow safe practices in order to maintain the safety of themselves and everyone around them. Please check the Shimane Prefectural Homepage link below for more information on safety practices for Shimane Prefecture residents.*(edited 6/22)*State of emergency throughout all prefectures of Japan has been lifted. From 6/18 all travel restrictions throughout all prefectures of Japan have been lifted. Please take caution and practice proper infection prevention safety when traveling.
We kindly ask tourists for their cooperation.
Take care and stay safe!
For more information click on the links below:
<<<Shimane Prefecture Official Homepage (COVID-19 Related)>>><<<Information on Closed Facilities>>><<<Information on Cancelled/ Postponed Events>>><<<Information on Suspended Transportation Services>>>
There are many ways to travel through Shimane. We’ve talked about ways you can go by train, bus, rental car, and even airplane. But one we haven’t really introduced yet is by bicycle. You can bring your own or even rent one and pedal through the prefecture at your own pace. Ride along the lakeside, pass by farms, go down to the beach, up a famous bridge, and take in all the blessings of nature that Shimane has to offer. Find hidden spots not easily accessible by train or by car. Check out our cycling video a the bottom.
And to assist you on your cycling journey through Shimane are the 200+ Goen Cycle Stations that offer services to cyclists. Identifying a Goen Cycle Station and its services are made easy by just looking for this sticker.
Here are some articles written by the cyclists on their journey through the Iwami Region of Shimane. Check them out!
We rented some bicycles and a guide and went on two cycling routes taking us across the Shimane peninsula and into Yonago, Tohori prefecture. The courses we used were the “En Musubi Kaido” cycling course (縁結び街道サイクリングコース) and the “Nakaumi Shuuyuu” cycling course (中海周遊サイクリングコース). We were also able to ride the Ichibata electric trains with our bikes back from Izumo (purchase of a separate bike ticket is necessary).
Click on >>>CYLING ROUTES<<< to find out more about the cycling routes in Shimane. (JPN only site)
Bicycle Renting Info >>>JPN WEBSITE<<<
There are many routes that go to and from Shimane through the neighboring prefectures. Explore some of the other routes that go through Shimane. Check out the Cycling Map below ↓↓↓
Message from Iwami Tourism Promotion Committee.
“The novel coronavirus is having an impact on big cities leading to crisis in countries all over the world and including Japan as a whole. The epidemic has caused scheduled festival performances of Iwami Kagura to be continuously canceled. And now, the heroic performances of Iwami Kagura are no longer performed in front of big audiences and the nostalgicsounds of the flute are no longer heard.
However, looking through the 30 different stories of Iwami Kagura, we have found a story, relatable to the current situation, about praying for the end of a disease. Once again, after learning more about the traditions and wisdom passed upon us by the older generations, we, at this time, would like to introduce the story “Shoki”. We hope that this video, specially dedicated to the quick end of this epidemic, can provide emotional support for everyone.”
Iwami Tourism Promotion Committee Official Website
The Oki Islands are made up of 4 main islands and several more uninhabited ones. Oki’s unique natural environment has led to its being designated as a Global Geopark by UNESCO. Erosion has created several magnificent coastline views, including the Kuniga Coastline on Nishinoshima, which features a stone arch and a sheer cliff face that stands at 257m tall. Candle Island off the coast of Dogo Island stands in such a way that if you catch the sunset at the right angle, it looks like a candle’s flame sits atop it.
Oki Islands Tourism Association
Please use the language selector in the top-right corner for translation.
Visit the Oki Islands
Joint Facebook page of all Tourism Associations of the Oki Islands.
Please follow them for the newest information about events and festivals!
Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark
Official Facebook page of The Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark.
The Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark is a place where you can discover
the deep connections between the earth, nature, and culture.
Designated a Global Geopark in September 2013.
Shimane wagyu cattle were not actually used for their meat originally. When Tatara “iron manufacturing” was in its prime, cattle and horses were the essential means of transportation between the mountainous regions where iron was produced. As a result, the mountains of the Chugoku region became known throughout the country for its cattle breeding production. During the Edo period, cattle were then needed for their manure which was then used as fertilizer for the rice fields, but in the mid 1950’s the demand for cattle dropped and breeders turned to a more economical solution of using them for meat instead. The rest is history with Shimane’s breeders producing many fertile bulls such as “Itozakura the 7th” which holds a country wide reputation.
What is Shimane Wagyu Beef?
Shimane wagyu beef is meat from Japanese black cows that were born and raised in Shimane. The Shimane born cattle feed includes barley and corn, which they will continue on for about 2 years where they will then be sold as Shimane born, Shimane raised, “Shimane Wagyu Beef”. They are distinguished by their “Shimane Brand” seal that marks the packaging to show its superior quality over normal local wagyu beef. It is known for its white flecks of fat that run through the bright red muscle creating a beautiful marbling pattern. One of the biggest traits of Shimane wagyu beef is that it has a deeper umami flavor that lingers on the tongue longer than normal beef. And because of that, special attention has to be given while cooking. It is recommended that it be cooked on high heat to your desired doneness and then sprinkled with salt to retain the juiciness of the beef.
Where Can I Try Shimane Wagyu Beef?
This seal is given to beef that meet the standards to be called “Shimane Brand Wagyu Beef”. Look for it at restaurants serving Shimane Brand Wagyu Beef.
Note: all links are in Japanese.
Kobe-ya (west of the station location) [map] [link]
Meat Shop Kitagaki [map] [link]
Hokuyo Meat Center [map] [link]
Fujimasu Meat Store [map] [link]
Lapita [map] [link]
Shimane Winery Barbeque House Chateu Misen [map] [link]
Steak House Moebino [map] [link]
Ookubo Discount Market [map] [link]
Enya Meat Shop [map] [link]
Yakiniku Restaurant [map] [link]
Yakiniku Yamato [map] [link]
Miyamoto Meat Shop (Matsue Kodawari Market location) [map] [link]
Awards and Achievements
In 2002 during the 8th National Wagyu Competitive Exhibition also known as “Wagyu Olympics”, which is held every 5 years, Shimane wagyu cattle received the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Award for best beef cattle in Japan. In addition, it also won the Prime Minister’s Award twice in the ten times that it has been held.
Twice a year, spring/summer and autumn/winter, CIRs (Coordinators for International Relations) visit places throughout Shimane and write about their experiences in their bi-annual magazine Shimanean. The CIRs represent their different countries and through their articles offer their own perspective to unfamiliar cultural experiences.
The bi-annual magazine is also translated into Korean and Chinese. You can find them through this [link]*Japanese text version is also included w/ each article
Each issue features 4 articles. Information on places and activities in the articles may have changed since the time of publication.
2019Autumn/Winter Momenkaido – Where Old Meets New Vol. 79Memories of MomenkaidoTastes of Tradition in MomenkaidoMomenkaido HereafterUmi Shrine: Meeting the Deity of SeparationSpring/SummerCome to Masuda! Wasabi, Kagura, and Friendly Locals Vol. 78Masuda: One City, Many Journeys
Wasabi Cultivated by Nature
The Charming Points of a Japanese Guesthouse 2018Autumn/WinterThe Yama Kujira and a Lively Town Vol. 77The Mountain Whales of Misato“Through Yamakujira, the Community of a Widespread Area” – Creative Space of Hand-Stitched Wild Boar Leather Crafts at Aozora CraftA Bright Person in Misato TownAozora SalonSpring/SummerOki Islands Vol. 76Hassaku Bull SumoOki – A Seafood Lover’s ParadiseOn an Island, Surrounded by Stunning ViewsWhere Time Stands Still, Kuniga Coastline2017Autumn/WinterShimane’s World Heritage Selection – 10 Years On Vol. 75A Blend of Tradition and Modernity in the Streets of Omori
Welcome to Okubo Mabu Mineshaft: A Wild Adventure in the Historic Remains of Iwami GinzanFrom the Town, a Taste of the WorldFinding the “Perfect” Onsen in YunotsuSpring/Summer Bringing Shimane’s Traditional Crafts to the World Vol. 74Looking Through Traditions to a Clear Future Zap Glass StudioThe Harmony of Tradition and Modernity The Birthplace of Kumiko and the Yoshihara Wood WorkshopHiromitsu Blacksmith Workshop: Flickering of Flames and PassionSekishu Washi・A Powerful Tradition2016Autumn/WinterWhat I Discovered Living in the Countryside of Shimane. Vol. 73The Place I Decided to Live From Now OnNew York and Shimane: Small Community, Big HeartMatsue is the Countryside?Did You Say The Countryside??Spring/SummerCreating Togethor: The people of Shimane engage in the Arts! Vol. 72A Stroke of the Brush, the Pouring of the SoulThe Mysterious World of “Rice Paddy Art”The Ashibue Performance Group: Food for Connected HeartsTaiko and Community2015Autumn/Winter Learning Experiences in Shimane Vol. 71Conveying the Simple Humanity in us All: The Yasugi-bushi and Dojo-sukui ExperienceThe Izumo Soba Making Challenge Report!Experience Zen at Yasugi’s Kyomizudera TempleYou Should Learn It! -The Unshuu Soroban-Spring/SummerKimachi Stone – A Stone Inseparable from Life in Shimane Vol. 70Kimachi Stone Museum and the Stone that Lives with NatureCarving the Soul of the Kimachi StoneKimachi Stone and Izumo-Nankin: Shimane’s Original BrandThe Connection between Kimachi Stone and the Home2014Autumn/WinterA Way To Enjoy Matsue Wear a kimono and take a stroll Vol. 69Japanese Beauty, Breadth of Mind -The Charm of Japanese Clothing-The Tea Culture of MatsueKimono and Sweets: Experiencing Matsue’s Traditional TastesThe Round Dango are ArtSpring/SummerMy Favorite Color of Shimane Vol. 68‘Lake Shinji Sunset’ – A Stunning Sunset SpotColours of the EarthTreasured Views of a Mountain VillageThe Riches of Lake Shinji2013Autumn/WinterWashoku: The Traditional Food Culture of Shimane’s Citizens Vol. 67The Power of Humans & Nature CombinedAppreciating The Craft & Beauty of Kamaboko Fish CakesChopsticks of LoveLearning Tea Ceremony CultureSpring/Summer International Exchange Programs In Shimane Vol. 66Cultural Exchange in the Grass: A Japanese & North American StoryThe Road of Flowers ~Russia and Shimane~Youths Pouring Passions Into Their Dreams & FuturesGive Me Wings – Youth Exchange Programs in NingxiaProtecting The Ocean – Coastal Cleanup Works2012Autumn/Winter The People Living in a World Heritage Town Vol. 65Learn History with an English Guide!Taking Pride in your Hometown: A Resident of Iwami Ginzan Silver MineWhy Not Try a Meal at an Old Samurai HouseMemories of History The Oil Lamps of Iwami Ginzan Silver MineSpring/Summer Culture Born from Water & Iron: Okuizumo Town Vol. 64Learning Traditional Japanese Ironwork: The Okuizumo Tatara & Katana MuseumIf You Are Fond of Japanese Swords…Harmony Between History, Culture and Nature at the Itohara Memorial MuseumThe Gourmet Food of Okuizumo
🍓With the start of the new year comes the season of strawberry picking. Why not try strawberry picking which is only offered for a limited time?
🍓Also, check out our video from last year’s strawberry picking season.
Places are sorted by the start of their season. Reservations are required.
🍓Watanabe Kankou Farm (渡辺観光農園)[map]Location: Yasugi City
Season: January ~
Hours: 9:00 ~ 16:00
Pricing: Junior High School ≤ 2,000 JPY
Elementary School ≥ 3 yrs. 1,000 JPY
*reservations required. Call 0854-23-7667 Yasugi Tourism Associaton🍓Kinta Farm Berryne (きんた農園ベリーネ）[map]Location: Hamada City
Season: January ~
Hours: 10:00 ~ 16:00
Closed on Tuesday
Pricing:[Weekdays] Adult 1,700 JPY
Elementary School 1,300 JPY
[Weekends / Holidays] Adult 1,900 JPY
Elementary School 1,500 JPY
*[Ladies Day (Wed.)] 1300 JPY
*reservations required. Call 0855-42-2515
According to the Cherry Blossom Forecast by Weather Map (3/2/2020), the 2020 cherry blossom season starts 3/20 and flowers in full bloom on 3/27. The page is only in Japanese, but you can look at the graphs showing the peak blossom season. [link] *(updated 3/2/2020)
Why not visit the National Treasure Matsue Castle while in Matsue?
Matsue Castle and Matsue Castle Grounds[map]Matsue city, Shimane
Stroll through the onsen town, along the stream, and under the blooming cherry blossom trees.
Tamayu River Bank in the Tamatsukuri Onsen area [map]*Cherry blossom trees are illuminated at night (18:30~22:00) until the middle of AprilMatsue city, Shimane
Did you say 200 year-old weeping cherry blossom tree??
Senju-in Temple [map]
Senju-in Temple is hidden spot which is famous for 200 year-old weeping cherry tree. Located in the auspicious North-east direction of Matsue Castle, it is said to protect the castle and its occupants from evil spirits. This temple is located uphill near the Matsue Castle so visitors can have a great view of the castle.
Matsue city, Shimane
Hii River Bank (the best 100 cherry spots in Japan)
Through a tunnel of cherry blossom trees?
Rows of cherry trees along the Hii River Bank [map]Check out the article on the Kisuki Cherry Blossoms Tunnel.
Also, check out our youtube video from last year.
Unnan city, Shimane
“Gyoiko”is one of the more rare species of cherry with yellow-green flowers. Its blooming season comes after ordinary cherry blossoms from the latter half of April.
Venue : Mitoya River Bank [map]Unnan city, Shimane
Yasugi Kiyomizudera Temple
Tucked away in the mountains with a climbable pagoda that will give you the best views of the area.
A precious breed of sakura that was designated as a Natural Monument in 1936. The tree is guessed to be around 660 years old with a trunk circumference of 5m and branches that span east to west at 24m and north to south at 29.6m. When in full bloom it is said to be overflowing with brilliance.
Hamada city, Shimane
Washibara-Hachimangu Shrine (Tsuwano)
Check out the horse-back archery festival while you are there!
Popular spot on the islands with around 250 cherry blossom trees!
Oki Shrine[map]Check out our youtube video of our time at the Oki Islands.
Ama town (Oki Islands), Shimane
While planning your trip to Shimane don’t forget about our many discounts offered to foreigners and especially our En-Musubi Perfect Ticket!
In December of 2019, the U.S. magazineSukiya Living (The Journal of Japanese Gardening), has released its rankings for the years top 50 Japanese gardens. The magazine Sukiya Living was started in 1998 and is widely read across 37 English-speaking countries. The ranking is carried out as part of the Shiosai Project, which makes its selection of the finest Japanese gardens by focusing on the quality of the garden itself. International experts decide on their ranking by conducting surveys on more than a thousand gardens all over Japan.
Shiosai Project “The Japanese Garden Rankings of Japan”
Seven gardens from Shimane have been ranked in the top 50 Japanese Gardens of Japan.
↓↓↓Check the rankings below↓↓↓
The Sukiya Living Environment Rankings (presented December 2019)
And this year, for the 17th year in a row, Adachi Museum of Arts has been ranked as the No. 1 Japanese garden in Japan. In addition to being the No.1 Japanese garden in Japan, the Museum has also obtained three stars, the highest rank, from the Michelin Green Guide and theGuide Bleu Japon. The gardens have not only gained popularity domestically, but also internationally. https://www.adachi-museum.or.jp/en/
Yuushien Garden is one of the most splendid Japanese gardens with seasonal flowers, trees, ponds, waterfalls, and paving stones creatively organized over 40,000 beautiful square-meters. Visitors are free to walk around and enjoy the gardens at their leisure. Read more>>>https://www.yuushien.com/language/en.html
Located within a 2 min walk from Adachi Museum of Art, this ryokan also boasts its own garden that made it into the top 50. As part of the ROSEN villa of Saginoyusou , enjoy the open-air onsen baths and relax in the quiet atmosphere of the area.
As we get closer to winter and it starts to get colder, staying indoors with friends and enjoying a nice hot pot, oden, or even grilled crab sounds like winter activity. But what about going outside and playing in the snow. We aren’t just talking about a snowball fight, what about trying skiing or snowboarding? How about checking out the slopes at the local ski resort? Beginner, intermediate, or even advanced, there are different courses on the slopes for everyone to have fun on. And if you don’t have gear, don’t worry because the gear is available for rent at the local ski resorts.
Open Season: December 21st, 2019 to March 8th, 2020 *end date is subject to changeHours of Operation: [weekdays] 8:30 ~ 17:00 [weekends/holidays] 8:00 ~ 17:00
Address: Miinohara, Yakawa, Okuizumo Town, Nita-gun, Shimane [map]For more information contact Okuizumo Tourism Assocation 0854-54-2504 [website]