Shimane shimmers

March 02, 2019
Purification fountain
Purification fountain

WISHING see Japan’s most shimmering sceneries and experience a surreal mixture of the rich past and exciting present times? Shimane beckons.

The second least populous prefecture in the country, Shimane Prefecture is located along the northern coast of Chugoku region.

Selected media representatives from the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia savored shimane’s visual and cultural treasures during the Japan National Tourism Organizations (JNTO) familiarization tour of Chugoku Region in Japan from January 25 to 31 to help disseminate knowledge and raise awareness on Tottori, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima.   

Shimane’s main attractions include Izumo Taisha Shrine and Matsue Catle.

Located in the city of Izumo, the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine is one of Japan’s most important shrines. All of Japan’s Shinto deities come here during the tenth month of the old lunar calendar.

It is said that Shinto’s eight million deities leave their own shrines and gather here for a meeting. The deities have their own path down to the shrine and a lodging hall for their slumber.

At the purification fountain near the shrine’s entrance, visitors fill with fresh water to rinse both hands then they transfer water into cupped hands and to rinse their mouth.  One is not supposed to transfer the water from the ladle directly into the moth or swallow the precious liquid.

At the offering hall, visitors throw a coin into the offering box, bow twice, clap their hands four times before uttering their prayers and bowing deeply once more.

While there, try making your own Shimenawa Shinto straw festoon just outside Izumo Taisha.

One of Japan’s largest and original castle towers, the Matsue Castle, was completed in 1611.The castle exhibits artifacts—from the materials used to build the castle to warrior uniforms.

Visitors can enjoy peaceful walks within the castle grounds. It is surrounded by forests, shrines and temples. Maybe you’d be lucky enough to spot a Samurai or a ninja.

Located in Yasugi, Japan, the Adachi Museum of Art is famous for its gardens that are considered a living painting.

With each changing season, different aspects of the gardens can be enjoyed.  Adachi Museum includes masterpieces by artists  have important places in the history of modern Japanese painting, ceramics and woodcarvings.

Shimane is a wild beautiful place, with pristine island beaches and so much more. So what are you waiting for? Head west to experience an unforgettable adventure.

If you want to know more about Shimane, your ultimate guide is www.japan.travel/en/destinations/chugoku/shimane/

Japan National Tourism Organization