Get beautiful, healthy skin in Shimane Prefecture, an onsen paradise
Shimane Prefecture is an oasis for onsen (hot spring) lovers and beginners alike. It is dotted with charming towns offering authentic onsen experiences that are off the beaten path of foreign tourists to Japan. The hot spring waters here stand out from the rest in Japan for their uniquely beautifying properties that have earned Shimane its nickname of “the prefecture of beautiful skin.” During your stay, do as the Japanese do and don a colorful yukata robe as you go onsen-hopping. Round out your trip with shopping for cosmetics and crafts, refreshment in cute cafes, photo-taking amidst picturesque scenery, and cultural excursions.
Soak in uniquely rejuvenating hot spring waters
Shimane is known in Japan as “the prefecture of beautiful skin.” Its hot springs are renowned for their beautifying properties, and make regular appearances in national rankings such as the “top three hot springs for beautiful skin” and the “top three hot springs for beautiful people.”
In hot spring-loving Japan, water is never just water. A detailed chemical analysis is available for each hot spring, as well as the effects that each chemical property is said to produce. Shimane’s hot springs are particularly known for their rejuvenating, beautifying properties. Sulfate-rich waters are said to moisturize the skin. Salt springs also moisturize by forming a membrane over the skin to retain heat and moisture. Hydrogen carbonate hot springs and simple alkaline hot springs are said to clean imperfections and old keratin to reveal smooth, glossy skin.
Discover the beautifying secrets and matchmaking powers of Tamatsukuri Onsen
Tamatsukuri Onsen is a charming hot spring area filled with beauty-themed hidden gems. Hotels and traditional ryokan inns replete with hot spring facilities as well as a free foot bath are built along the Tamayu River, creating a picturesque Japanese tableau. It’s recommended to take advantage of the reasonable day spa rates to go onsen-hopping in a colorful kimono, occasionally pausing for photos amidst the scenery and refreshment in one of the charming cafes. Tamatsukuri Onsen is particularly renowned for the moisturizing properties of its water, so you can look forward to dewy skin!
Magatama no sato
There’s plenty of other fun to be had in the town in between dips in the hot springs. This area is known for its links to the gods and matchmaking powers. At Tamatsukuriyu Shrine, you can purchase a wishing stone to pray for a good partner or whatever your heart desires. You can also buy or make your own magatama, a comma-shaped protective amulet with thousands of years of history in Japan. Another must-have souvenir is beauty products from Hime Labo made with local hot spring water.
Time travel to Japan’s past in the historic Yunotsu Onsen
Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine
A stroll through Yunotsu Onsen will make you feel like you’ve traveled into the past. The main street featuring picturesque architecture is lined with ryokan inns, hot spring facilities, and shops. The waters of Yakushiyu, one of the historic onsen housed in a retro building, are said to have curative properties. The mineral-rich, piping-hot waters of Motoyu reach 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
Yunotsu Onsen is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as “Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape,” and a trip to the fascinating historic silver mine is a must when you’re in the area. Performing arts fans should also head to Tatsuno-gozen Shrine to see a performance of Kagura, an ancient Shinto dance, held weekly on Saturday night.
Find your favorite onsen in the hot spring paradise of Shimane
In addition to the above, Shimane is home to 60 other hot springs, each with its own unique water properties and attractions. At Araiso Onsen, you can relax in an outdoor bath with a sprawling view of the sea. At Matsue Shinjiko Onsen, you can watch the beautiful sunset over Lake Shinji from your bath. Some hot spring facilities such as Ichijiku Onsen are tattoo-friendly. Whether you’re interested in natural scenery, tradition and history, a chic atmosphere, or therapeutic baths, there’s truly an onsen for everyone in the hot spring paradise of Shimane!