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A three day journey through the best spots in Matsue and the Oki islands

Suggested Time : 2 Nights, 3 Days Main modes of transportation : Train, Bus, Ferry, E-bike Regions : Izumo, Oki

Enjoy both history and nature during these three days, from the national treasure that is Matsue Castle to the UNESCO-registered Oki Islands Global Geopark.

Day 1

Departure point : JR Matsue Station

Bus (25 mins.)

01

Yuushien Garden

Promenade garden with peonies in year-round bloom

Yuushien, a ‘miniature garden of Izumo’, featuring landscapes and mythology of Izumo area, is a traditional Japanese-styled walk-through garden around ponds. It is located in the centre of Daikonshima Island. Visitors can enjoy prominent peony flowers which can be viewed all year round as well as the many colours of the various seasonal flowers. Daikonshima is globally renowned as a growing area for Korean ginseng. You can also try a free-tasting of ginseng tea at the ginseng office that was restored from the Edo period. Come and experience the long cultural history of Daikonshima. Japanese Peony and Korean Ginseng Village

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Address 島根県松江市八束町波入1260-2
Tel. No. 0852-76-2255
Operating Hours 09:00 to 17:00
Holidays December 30, December 31

Bus (40 mins.)

02

Matsue Castle (National Treasure)

Remnant from samurai times and one of only five Japanese keeps designated as a national treasure

Constructed over a period of 5 years from 1607 to 1611 by Yoshiharu Horio, a feudal lord and founder of Matsue. Currently it is one of the only 12 remaining original castles in Japan and the only one in the San’in region. It was designated National Treasure in 2015. The elegance of the castle’s swooping roofs and decor is often compared to the wings of a ‘chidori’ (plover bird) which has led to the castle’s nickname,’Chidori-jo’ (Plover Castle). The castle features an architectural design specifically chosen for battle, but retains a grand majestic appearance.2

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Address 島根県松江市殿町1-5
Tel. No. 0852-21-4030
Operating Hours 【When the Honmaru gates open】 [April to September] 07:00 to 19:30 [October to March] 08:30 to 17:00 【Castle tower entry】 [April to September] 08:30 to 18:30 (Reception is until 18:00) [October to March] 08:30 to 17:00 (Reception is until 16:30)
Holidays Open all year round

Bus (15 mins.)

03

Lake Shinji Pleasure Cruise

Magnificent views of the sunset on Lake Shinji

Leisurely watch the grand sunset over beautiful Lake Shinji and have the magnificent view all to yourself. The boat takes you on a one-hour pleasure tour around Lake Shinji from Ohashi River. Passengers can appreciate the mystic scenery of morning Lake Shinji on the refreshing Socho Fresh Cruising. Sunset Cruise is particularly popular which offers the opportunity to watch a beautiful sunset over Lake Shinji – the sunset is listed as one of the top 100 sunsets in Japan. Why don’t you come and enjoy amazing cruise in the water city of Matsue? Beer, soft drinks and coffee are available on board.

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Address <第一乗船場>松江市東朝日町 <第二乗船場>松江市伊勢宮町
Tel. No. 0852-24-3218
Operating Hours <Operating hours> 09:30 - Sunset cruise departs every 90 minutes (The Sunset Course operates at sunset)

Bus (10 mins.)

04

Matsue Shinjiko Onsen

Hot spring area overlooking Lake Shinji, offering views that change with the seasons

Situated on the north shore of Lake Shinji, this onsen district offers an incredible view of the surrounding area and is an ideal base for sightseeing and shopping in Matsue City. Guests are able to enjoy onsen waters that rise from 1,250m below ground and dine on freshly caught shijimi clams, one of the seven delicacies of Lake Shinji.

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Address 島根県松江市千鳥町
Tel. No. 0852-21-7889
Holidays Every Monday (Next day if it is a holiday)

Ferry (2.5 hours)

Day 2

05

Tamawakasu-mikoto Shrine

This shrine is the main general shrine of the Oki Islands, and was constructed in a unique architectural style called Oki-zukuri. Every year on 5 June an important festival called Gorei-furyū takes place in which eight sacred horses carrying the deities from eight different areas around the island gallop up through the shrine gates. This unique festival draws large crowds of locals as well as visitors from outside the island.

The shrine grounds also contain a wizened Japanese Cedar Tree, called Yao-sugi, which stands at a massive 30m tall and is almost 2000 years old.

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Address 島根県隠岐郡隠岐の島町下西701
Tel. No. 08512-2-7170

E-bike (2 hours)

06

Dangyo-no-taki (Dangyo Waterfalls)

A place where the power of nature is palpable

To the left and right of a rock cliff that resembles a line of folding screens sit Odaki, a “male” waterfall that is 50m high, and Medaki, a “female” waterfall of 40m. It is also possible to look out from behind Odaki. Dangyo Waterfalls has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 great waterfalls and 100 famous natural water sources. As you draw close to the falls you become enveloped in negative ions, and the mist-like water spray is undoubtedly good for the skin as well. Behind Odaki, there is a cavern where the Kannon(Statue of Goddess) of the waterfalls is enshrined, and Dangyo Shrine also sits between the two waterfalls. The shrine path that leads to the waterfalls is lined with old cedar trees as if concealing it from the heavens, creating a magical scene. There is also a large number of precious Oki Salamanders living in the mountain stream. * At the moment, it is possible to view the waterfalls, but due to the risk of rockslide accidents in the vicinity of Dangyo Shrine, venturing close to the shrine and entering the area behind the waterfalls is currently restricted. Warning signs are in place in the restricted areas (as of July 11, 2018).

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Address 島根県隠岐郡隠岐の島町那久
Tel. No. 08512-2-0787

E-bike (1.5 hours)

07

Rosoku-jima (Candle Island) Sightseeing Boat

An electrifying instant that will create a lifelong memory

Rosoku Island, also known as Candle Island, rises out of the water approximately 500m off the coast of Ojirobana. Seeing the setting sun appear to touch the tip of the island is simply like witnessing nature produce a work of art! That moment, when the setting sun “lights” the tip of the rock, is a precious one that can only be experienced from a sightseeing boat (the departure times vary depending on the season, so advance bookings and confirmation are required). – Shirashima – departs from Akasaki Wharf – Shakunage, Seiko-maru, Shioji-maru, Daigoshioji-maru, Kidai-maru and Hakuyo – depart from Fukuura Wharf

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Address 隠岐郡隠岐の島町南方
Tel. No. 08512-2-0787
Operating Hours <Operating period> April to October *Reservation required *Departure times differ based on sunset time, so confirm the departure time when making a reservation
Holidays November 1 to March 31

E-bike (3 hours)

Okinoshima Town (night)

Ferry (50 mins.)

Day 3

09

Kuniga Kaigan (Kuniga Coast)

A coastal area with scenery that is representative of the Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark

Kuniga Coast is the dynamic beauty spot that represents Oki, which is registered as a UNESCO Global Geopark. Magnificent cliffs and massive, unusually-shaped rocks hewn by the coastal erosion of the Sea of Japan tower over the entire western coast region of Nishinoshima, and the beauty of the natural forms is overwhelming. When all is said and done, the heart of Kuniga Coast is Matengai, a cliff that soars vertically to a height of 257m from the surface of the sea. At the top of the cliff, meanwhile, cows and horses graze on expansive green pastures. Their leisurely mood contrasts nicely with the magnificent scenery. Tsutenkyo, an arch-shaped rock “bridge,” Akekure-no-iwaya, a 200-meter long natural tunnel, and the cliffs and large number of strange rocks displaying rugged basalt rock surfaces are all superb. Sightseeing boats operate that travel around the various picturesque spots, and the scenery that can be seen from the sea is exquisite.

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Address 島根県隠岐郡西ノ島町浦郷 
Tel. No. 08514-7-8880

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