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Embark on an Outdoor Adventure off the Beaten Track in Scenic Shimane

Shimane Prefecture is home to spectacular scenery shaped over tens of thousands of years by nature. Just off the ruggedly beautiful Shimane Peninsula are the Oki Islands, which have such unique geological features that they were designated a UNESCO Global Geopark. You can explore the islands on land by electric bicycle or hiking, or by water with a scenic boat ride or kayaking experience. The Shimane Peninsula, conveniently located on the main island of Japan where Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi are, also offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun. The scenic Mount Sanbe, located inland to the west, is a great place for hiking, glamping, and picnicking. If you’ve been spending a lot of time indoors recently, then plan your next trip to explore nature’s masterpieces in Shimane!

Explore the Oki Islands by e-bike

An e-bike is the perfect way to enjoy the scenery of the remote Oki Islands, where public transportation is not always convenient. The boost to your peddling provided by the electric motor helps you scoot up hills and traverse long distances with ease, no matter your age or fitness level. You can take a break anywhere you like to marvel at the scenery, peruse an interesting shop, or enjoy refreshments at a chic café. During your journey, you’ll meet friendly islanders, taste the local delicacies, and enjoy the exhilarating feeling of zipping along roads without needing a car.
Some of the best sights to see on an e-bike are the island town of Okinoshima where fishing boats crowd the waterfront area, the mysterious 2,000 year old tree at Tamawakasu-mikoto Shrine, the photogenic Saigo-Misaki Lighthouse that guides the many ferries nearby, and the Dangyo-no-taki twin waterfalls where a shrine lies hidden between the two falls. For refreshment, you can enjoy a fresh seafood lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf Oki. Don’t forget to stop at Kyomiya Bunten for a refreshing beverage or to pick up some souvenirs.

A myriad of activities to enjoy in the great outdoors of the Oki Islands

In addition to e-bikes, there are plenty of other ways to explore the Oki Islands that will entice both thrill-seekers and more relaxed travelers alike. Sea kayaking and scuba diving are fun, active ways to take in the island scenery above and below the water. If you would prefer a more relaxing experience, hop aboard the Kuniga Coast Sightseeing Boat for stunning views of the coast’s dramatic cliffs, strangely-shaped rocks, and mysterious caves, or take a look under the sea aboard the Underwater Viewing Boat AMANBOW. Outdoorsy types will enjoy trekking through the islands’ unique ecosystem, while culture fans will delight in the islands’ fascinating festivals.

Enjoy easily accessible outdoor fun while taking in the great views of the Shimane Peninsula and Shinjiko Nakaumi Estuary Geopark

The picturesque area containing Shimane Peninsula, Lake Shinji, and Lake Nakaumi is designated as a Japanese geopark. The Kaka Kukedo Sightseeing Boat offers a 50-minute cruise of fascinating spots such as rock tunnels deeply connected to Japanese history and religion. The Lake Shinji Pleasure Cruise takes you on a scenic trip around Lake Shinji with views that are especially breathtaking during the popular sunset cruise. For a more active adventure, you can go sea kayaking near the strangely-shaped rocks and caves of the Shimane Peninsula, or cycle around Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi. Tachikue Gorge is a popular spot for hiking, camping, and viewing the colorful autumn foliage set against the towering cliffs.

Revel in outdoor activities at Mount Sanbe and experience trendy glamping

Mount Sanbe is a treasured spot for outdoorsy types in Japan, offering a plethora of activities like mountain climbing, trekking picnicking, and camping. The mountain is also home to the largest volume of hot spring water in the Chugoku region, making it a great choice for those who enjoy a nice hot bath after a day of adventuring. Glamping (a portmanteau of “glamorous” and “camping”) is available for a limited time, and is a popular way to enjoy the mountain. The glamping facilities at Mount Sanbe feature chic tents furnished with stylish furniture and outdoor dining setups amidst the grandeur of nature, where you can listen to the sound of the wind and the chirping of birds. Enjoy a magical night under the stars in your hotel-like tent.