Enshrines Okuninushi of Izumo mythologies 01Izumo Oyashiro

One of the oldest shrines in Japan that enshrines Okuninushi and a popular spiritual spot of successful relationships. According to "The Kojiki" and "The Nihon Shoki", Izumo Oyashiro was originally built as a great palace at the time of "transfer of the land of Okuninushi". The current main shrine was built in 1744 at a height of 24 meters. The shrine was designated as a national treasure in 1952. Building renovations (Sengu) take place every 60 years and the latest renovation just finished recently.

A195, Kizuki-higashi, Taisha-cho, Izumo-City



Gods gather in Izumo in Kamiarizuki
Izumo Oyashiro is known as the god of marriage. Myriads of gods throughout Japan gather in October on lunar calendar (Kamiarizuki) to discuss relationships. The shrine is crowded with visitors who wish to find a good partner.

Welcoming gods ritual
The ritual to welcome gods from around Japan on the night of October tenth.

◆How to worship at Izumo Oyashiro◆
Praying at shrines
At most shrines, you should bow twice, clap twice, and bow a final time. At Izumo Oyashiro, the proper way is to bow twice, clap four times, and bow a final time.

Shinmon Street

A National Treasure and symbol of Matsue 11National Treasures Matsue Castle

Matsue Castle is a solemn and imposing hilltop fortress that dominates the city center of Matsue. Originally completed in 1611, during the early Edo period (1603–1867), it is often called “Plover Castle” (Chidori-jo) because its large gables suggest birds in flight. It is one of only 12 Japanese castles that has survived with its basic wooden structure intact. Like most Japanese castles, it was gradually expanded and modified over the years in response to changing defensive and political needs, but its central tower keep (tenshu) has remained essentially the same since the 1740s.

Generations of Family Rule
Construction began under Horio Yoshiharu (1542–1611), the local lord and founder of Matsue. The castle was passed down to Kyogoku Tadataka (1593–1637), and when he died without an heir, it was inherited by Matsudaira Naomasa (1601–1666), grandson of the first Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu (1543–1616). Naomasa became the first daimyo of the Matsue domain, ushering in a long period of cultural and economic prosperity in Matsue, and the Matsudaira family remained in possession of Matsue Castle for 10 generations over 234 years, until the domain system was abolished in 1871 following the Meiji Restoration. Most Japanese castles were destroyed following an order from the new government in 1873, but thanks to fundraising and vocal support from the public and local leaders, the central tower keep of Matsue Castle was preserved. The castle underwent a thorough restoration in the 1950s, and was declared a National Treasure in 2015.

An Ideal Defensive Site
The location of Matsue Castle offered protection against attack—from land or from Lake Shinji—and access to many nearby waterways for transport. A system of moats was dug, most of which still exists, and the excavated earth was used to fill in the marshy ground on the west side of the castle. The Ohashi River functioned as an additional natural defense. Japanese castles are typically divided into successive defensive wards, and at Matsue there are three, with the tower keep (honmaru) occupying the highest and most secure location. The second ward (ninomaru) was divided into an upper section where the lord’s main residence and buildings for official business were located, and a lower one, which housed barracks. The lowermost ward (sannomaru) also contained official residences. All of these structures were dismantled during the Meiji era (1868–1912). A shrine was erected in the upper level of the second ward in 1899, and a large Western-style guesthouse was added in 1903. Shimane Prefectural Government offices currently stand on the site of the third ward.

Although the castle’s massive stone walls (ishigaki) remain almost fully intact, numerous gates and other structures were removed in the 1870s. Several gates were reconstructed in 1960 and 1994, and three white-plastered fireproof lookouts called yagura were reconstructed atop the stone walls in 2001.

Innovative Design Features
The well-preserved tower keep is the castle’s primary attraction. Seen from the exterior, the tower appears to have four stories atop its high sloping stone base, diminishing in size as they rise. The tower is sheathed in black-painted wooden boards, with white fireproof plaster accents. Successive roofs and gables articulate the exterior and shelter the interior spaces. The roof of the uppermost story is crowned by prominent ridge decorations in the form of mythical sea creatures called shachi-hoko, which are made of copper-covered wood. The main entrance is sheltered within a secure roofed structure that looks like a miniature castle.

Despite the exterior appearance, the tower has five floors, plus a basement level. A number of the unusual features of the tower are innovations developed in response to issues faced by the builders. At the time Matsue Castle was built, in the first decades of the seventeenth century, the building of castles all over Japan had contributed to widespread deforestation. Because it was difficult to obtain the large timbers preferred for the structural pillars used in this type of construction, the castle’s designers utilized clusters of smaller timbers bound together by iron clamps and straps. The 130 pillars of this type are clearly visible.

Additional structural stability was achieved by placing the pillars in sets that extended through two floors, rather than supporting just one. These sets of “through pillars” were staggered vertically to form a strong interlocked structure. In other instances, short pillars were ingeniously supported by horizontal beams that distributed the structural load and made longer pillars unnecessary. Other innovations included the use of removable interior stairways made of lightweight paulownia wood (kiri) that could be easily pulled up to prevent attackers from ascending to the upper floors. The basement level was used for storage, and a well was dug to provide a reliable water supply if the castle came under siege. This is the only known example of a well located inside a Japanese castle tower.

Panorama of the Lords’ Domain
Visitors to Matsue Castle today will find informative multilingual historical displays as well as explanations of the castle’s design features on each floor. The uppermost story, which served as a lookout, has wide windows on all sides with panoramic vistas of Lake Shinji, the nearby mountains, and the city below—the same perspective shared over the centuries by the lords of the Matsudaira domain.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A1-5, Tonomachi, Matsue-City

O[April-September] 8:30am-6:30pm [October-March] 8:30am-5pm

COpen 7 days a week

PMatsue Castle Otemae Parking


400 years of History in Matsue Matsue History Museum

Materials, films and models portray the anatomy of the castle town as well as its history and culture. Visitors can enjoy green tea and Japanese confectioneries at a cafe. The museum serves as a good starting point to tour around the castle city. A must-visit to get to know the castle.

A279, Tonomachi, Matsue-City

O[April-September] 8:30am-6:30pm [October-March] 8:30am-5pm

CEvery Month third Thursday (If holiday, close the following day)

PMatsue Castle Otemae Parking


A boat cruise to feel the seasons Horikawa Sightseeing Boat Pier

A moat surrounding the castle still remains as it was when the castle was built. "Horikawa Meguri" boat cruising offers visitors a chance to enjoy various spots including an authentic city view and areas associated with Yakumo Koizumi.

A507-1, Kuroda-cho, Matsue-City

O9am-5pm (Closing time varies depending on season)

COpen 7 days a week. Operation depends on weather



Escape to a harmonious world of Japanese paintings and gardens. 26Adachi Museum of Art

The museum stores 1500 works of art, ranging from modern Japanese paintings by the great painter Yokoyama Taikan to pottery by Yasugi's own Kawai Kanjiro and Kitaoji Rosanjin, a well known chef and potter. The museum also houses lacquer works and more. Its 40 acre Japanese garden has been ranked "Best Garden" in the US Journal "The Journal of Japanese Gardening" for 15 consecutive years.

A320, Furukawa-cho, Yasugi-City

O[April-September] 9am-5:30pm [October-March] 9am-5pm

COpen 7 days a week (Annex closes occasionally)

PAvailable (Including motor-coach)


Tea ceremony room "Juraku-An"
Enjoy green tea of the highest quality as you take in the view of the twin "Living Hanging Scrolls".

"Yokoyama Taikan Special Exhibition Room"
Master of modern Japanese painting Yokoyama Taikan's 150 works of his early to later years is collected in Adachi Museum of Art. His works will be reselected 4 times a year in season to display in exhibition room throughout the year.
※Unauthorized copying prohibited.

San'in's major hot spring in the sea 36Kaike Onsen

Kaike Onsen is a natural hot-spring resort that occupies a beautiful stretch of beach-lined seafront about 15 minutes by car from central Yonago. Though a fishing village had existed here for a long time, the hot spring was only discovered in 1900, when a local fisherman noticed bubbles emerging from the sandy beach. Today, there are about 20 inns and resort hotels in Kaike; they range from the affordable to the luxurious, offering both overnight and day-visit access to their baths and beaches. This is one of the few resorts in Japan where hot-spring baths and ocean swimming can be enjoyed in the same location.

Kaike is also known as the birthplace of the triathlon in Japan. Since 1981, sport facilities for triathlon open-water swimming, cycling, and running have been established and regularly improved, attracting Japanese Olympic triathletes to train here. The Yumigahama Cycling Course that runs along the beach connects Kaike with Sakaiminato City about 16 kilometers to the west. In addition, the clear water and the unusual scallop-shaped beaches attract snorkelers; marine activities like stand-up paddleboarding and sea kayaking are also popular.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A3-1-1, Kaikeonsen, Yonago-City


COpen 7 days a week

P30 cars

TEL0859-34-2888 (Kaike Onsen union)

"Kaike Yokocho Kinaiya". A souvenir shop dealing in local specialties.
TEL 0859-30-3220

Kaike onsen is in the birthplace of Japan's triathlon and is visited by a number of ironmen in July.

Relaxing foot bath with a breeze from the sea
There are two foot bath spots in Kaike that anyone can use by free. One is "Shiokaze (=Sea breeze)" with the ocean view and the other is "Hanakaze (=Flower breeze)", a foot bath surrounded by seasonal flowers.
Shiokaze no Ashiyu Kaike Kaihinhama park
■Open 10am-9pm
Hanakaze no Ashiyu Yonago City Tourism park
■Open 9am-9pm

World of Shigeru Mizuki full of familiar yokais 46Mizuki Shigeru Road

Mizuki Shigeru Road is an 800-meter stretch of the main shopping street from Sakaiminato Station that celebrates the world-famous manga artist who was raised in this city. The street is lined with 177 bronze statues of yokai (Japanese monsters), including many of the characters made famous in Mizuki’s best-known work, GeGeGe no Kitaro, and other creatures from Japanese mythology and folklore that Mizuki also drew. It is a fine example of using public artworks to stimulate urban revival, attracting Mizuki fans and other visitors to the city.

Yokai Zones
The statues are grouped into five thematic zones: Mizuki’s Manga World, Yokai in the Forest, Yokai in the Home, Yokai Hidden in Familiar Places, and Yokai Who Control Gods and the Buddha. The bronze statues were cast in many sizes—some nearly miniature, and many of human scale. Almost all of them are quite humorous. With many guide maps available, visitors can enjoy exploring the neighborhood as they hunt for their favorites. A Yokai shrine is located on one block, accessible through an unusual shrine gateway that opens to the street. A large black granite-and-wood object stands in the center, and a tall stone water basin with an eerie motif stands to one side. Wooden ema talismans inscribed with wishes cover one wall. Spirit fortune-telling slips (yokai omikuji) are available, as is a yokai postal delivery service. A street-corner plaza not far away is the site of the Kappa Fountain, in which nine yokai lounge around while Kitaro strikes a pose modeled on the “Manneken Pis” (Brussels’ famous landmark statue of a young boy urinating). Mizuki Shigeru appears on another corner, accompanied by his wife Nunoe; he is shown elsewhere at his drawing table, along with his characters Medamaoyaji, Nezumiotoko, and Kitaro.

Yokai Shopping
The entire Mizuki Shigeru road is lined with an amazing array of yokai-themed establishments, from bakeries to ramen shops, ATMs, antique stores, and, of course, souvenir shops. Virtually all have adopted a yokai theme, and the variety of humorous adaptations is endlessly amusing. The Mizuki Shigeru Museum, one of the city’s main attractions, is near the end of the road opposite the railway station. The road underwent extensive renewal at the time of its 20th anniversary in 2018, and the entire route is now illuminated at night, with over 50 computer-controlled projectors casting shadow figures of the familiar characters onto the street and sidewalks.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

ATaisho-machi to Hon-machi, Sakaiminato-City



You can get a certificate of completion if you collect all the yokai stamps!

Yokai parade by Kitaro and his friends takes place semimonthly.

Seek the ancient mystery of Izumo!! 04Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo

The Museum exhibits ancient culture and history of Izumo.
They host giant pillars called Uzubashira found in the shrine precinct, a one-tenth scale model of the 48 meter main hall of ancient Izumo Taisha, bronze swords (a national treasure) and bronze vessels (bells). The museum is a must see, and offers insight into the history and culture of Izumo.

A99-4, Kizuki-higashi, Taisha-cho, Izumo-City

O9am-6pm (Nov-Feb/9am-5pm)

CEvery 3rd Tuesday (If holiday, close the following day)



Proof of the existence of Izumo Kingdom 08Kojindani Park and Archaeological Museum

In summer 1984, a historical record of 358 bronze swords, that surpasses the total number of swords found from Yayoi Era (3rd century B.C.-6th century A.D.), were discovered from the cite. In July, you can savor beautiful 50,000 lotus flowers in full bloom.

A873-8, Kanba, Hirata-cho, Izumo-City

OHistoric park 9am-6pm  Museum 9am-5pm

CTuesday, Year-and New Year holidays



Works of artists from Yasugi 32Kano Museum of Art, Yasugi City

This museum, which stands in a forested valley near the banks of the Iinashi River in the Hirose district of the city of Yasugi, is devoted to the life and work of the painter Kano Kanrai (1904–1977). Kano trained as a Western-style oil painter until 1938, when he was sent with the Japanese Imperial Army to Shaanxi Province in China as a war artist commissioned to produce patriotic paintings. While in China, he took up ink painting and calligraphy, which became his primary focus in later life. Kano’s wartime experience led him to become a peace activist after Japan’s surrender, and in 1949, he began petitioning the Philippine government for amnesty for former members of the Japanese military who had been convicted of war crimes. He sent over 300 remorseful letters to Philippine government leaders, appealing for peace and asking for “forgiveness for the unforgivable.” His patient and persistent efforts finally bore fruit in 1953, when then president Elpideo Quirino declared amnesty for 105 Japanese war criminals. Kano and Quirino, whose wife and three children had been killed in front of him by Japanese soldiers, became close friends and combined their efforts in advocating for peace.

The Layout and Collections
This compact, well-curated museum was founded in 1996 on the site of Kano’s family home by the late Kano Hiroki, the artist’s eldest son. The collection and exhibition spaces are spread over two stories. One gallery chronicles Kano’s peace and amnesty efforts, while others display a rotating selection of more than 120 paintings and other visual works by the artist, beginning with the prewar years and continuing until his death in 1977. The museum also possesses what is considered the best collection of Bizen pottery in Japan, with over 800 items. During special events held at the museum’s tearoom, visitors are allowed to handle selected items from this collection. Over 290 examples of Raku pottery, including pieces by such modern masters as Kawai Kanjiro and Arakawa Toyozo, are included. There is also a sizable collection of Japanese-style paintings (Nihonga) by Ono Chikkyo and Ikeda Yoson, well-known painters who were contemporaries and friends of Kano.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A345-27, Fube, Hirose-cho, Yasugi-City

O9am-4:30pm (Reception closes at 4pm)

CTuesday (If holiday, close the following day), Year-end and New Year holidays



Museum of Japan-specific steel manufacturing "Tatara" 33Wako Museum

The Wako Museum, established in 1993, is devoted to the history of the traditional Japanese steelmaking technology known as the tatara process. The museum uses informative full-size dioramas, videos, and participatory displays to explain the only method capable of producing the special tamahagane steel that is used to make fine Japanese swords. The Wako Museum was inspired by the influential scientific research of famed Japanese metallurgist Tawara Kuniichi, who held a doctoral degree in engineering and coined the word wako, or “Japan steel,” in 1914.

The city of Yasugi is located at the base of the Chugoku Mountains, which are rich in iron sand, which was the raw material for making traditional high-quality Japanese steel. Combined with the presence of a good port, this allowed Yasugi to become a major steelmaking center. At one time, from the mid-eighteenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries, the city supplied more than 80 percent of the steel used throughout Japan.

A Gravity-Powered Process
The tatara process begins with the iron sand that comes from the natural weathering of granite that contains small particles of iron. In some cases, the iron particles settle naturally into the muddy sediment of rivers and streams. The preferred source for the highest-quality iron sands, however, is an exposed cliff face. A gravity-separation process called kanna-nagashi was developed in the early seventeenth century, in which streams were diverted to form a series of sluices and ponds that separated the heavy iron sand from the rock and mud. This was done only during winter months, when the water was not needed for agriculture.

Tatara steelmaking also required vast quantities of high-quality charcoal, and the Chugoku Mountains were blessed with forests of desirable hardwood trees. One round of steelmaking, called hito-yo, or “one lifetime,” consumes 12 tons of charcoal, the product of 1 hectare of forest trees. During the peak tatara production period in the early nineteenth century, some 60 hectares of mountain forest were destroyed every year. This huge environmental impact was mitigated by restorative forestry practices, but replenishing the natural supply eventually proved difficult.

A New Furnace Every Year
The tatara steelmaking process used a tatara clay furnace aerated with large, human-powered “seesaw” bellows that were connected by fan-like arrays of bamboo air pipes. For each steelmaking operation, a new clay furnace was constructed over a subfloor system of air vents that helped eliminate humidity, which could affect the quality of the steel. The prized tama-hagane formed at the end of the process was one small portion of the 3-ton lump of crude iron which also contained steel of lesser quality. Producing the crude iron took three days of constant fueling with charcoal, aeration, and drawing off of slag, after which the clay furnace was destroyed in order to remove the steel. This process is still conducted several times a year in an almost identical fashion to produce the steel for new swords.

Preserving the Tradition
Until the introduction of the coal-fired blast furnace in the mid-nineteenth century, variations of the tatara method were used throughout Japan to produce iron and steel. The greater economic efficiencies of the blast furnace gradually reduced the viability of the traditional method, and it virtually had disappeared by 1945. Swordsmiths and others who consider tatara steel production a priceless cultural legacy revived the process in recent years.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A1058, Yasugi-cho, Yasugi-City


CWednesday (If holiday, close the following day), Year-end and New Year holidays



Protect and convey Asian culture 42Asian Museum and Yasushi Inoue Memorial Hall

The Asian Museum is an unusual museum complex that exhibits textiles and other cultural artifacts from the Silk Road, the ancient trade route across the Asian continent. Five exhibition halls and an entrance building are clustered around a traditional garden a short distance from the ocean in the Wada district, near Kitaro Yonago Airport. It is a privately funded and operated museum, and reflects the personal interests of the founder, local businessman Yokochi Haruo (1912–2007). Visitors are encouraged to proceed from one hall to the next in clockwise order.

The first building hosts the Dyeing and Weaving Workshop, which has displays of traditional Japanese spinning, dyeing, and weaving tools and processes. The second is the Kasuri Hall, which features fine examples of local kasuri indigo-dyed woven products, including kimono, quilts, and curtains. It also has a one-sixth-scale replica of a kitamaebune cargo ship of the type that helped the region become a prosperous trading center during the Edo period (1603–1867). The third gallery, the Persian Brocade Hall, houses the Rahim Anavian collection of traditional Persian woven and embroidered textiles, primarily from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The fourth building is the Mongol Hall, which includes exhibits of clothing and other textiles, focusing on Genghis Khan and Mongolian culture. A large diorama depicting the transport of Genghis Khan’s royal yurt, or ger, which required 24 oxen and a huge wooden wagon, forms the centerpiece of the exhibit.

The fifth and final hall is devoted to the life and work of the famed Japanese author Inoue Yasushi (1907–1991). It features a reconstruction of his study, including the actual contents of his personal library, his desk, and many personal effects. A typical visit ends at the entrance building, where there is an exhibit of Art Nouveau glass works by Emil Gallé and other artists. A café and museum shop provide places to rest and browse.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A57, Oshinozu-cho, Yonago-City


CMonday (if holiday, close the following day)



Revived Hakuho style temple 43Kamiyodo Hakuho no Oka Exhibition Hall

This is the only facility in Japan to restore the main hall of an ancient temple to full-scale. More than 160 precious cultural properties are exhibited including one of the oldest Buddhist wall paintings.

A977-2, Fukuoka, Yodoe-cho, Yonago-City

O9:30am-6pm (Admission 5:30pm)

CTuesday, The next day of holiday, Year-end and New Year holidays



Three major hot spring of beauty 07Yunokawa Onsen

Izumo-myths says Yakamihime take a good rest at this hotspring and became even more beautiful. You can use a public bath at Izumo Irisu no Oka and free-flowing hot spring footbath at roadside station Yunokawa.

AGakuto, Hirata-cho, Izumo-City


TEL0853-72-5270 (Izumo Tourism Association Hikawa Branch)

Onsen good for your skin 21Tamatsukuri Onsen Yu-yu

Tamatsukuri is Japan's oldest onsen known to be "good for your skin". The effect was scientifically proven recently and is now drawing even more attention from ladies. You can find varieties of souvenirs, enjoy a footbath, or take in the spiritual spots.

A255, Tamatsukuri, Tamayu-cho, Matsue-City

O10am-10pm (Reception closes at 9:20pm)

CMonday (If holiday, close the following day)



Melting into the landscape of Lake Shinji 22Matsue Shinjiko Onsen

Onsen town very accessible to Matsue city. Lake Shinji can be seen from the hotels. Good to cool down your body at the lakeside after taking a hot spring. A footbath is available in the town.

A59, Chidori-cho, Matsue-City

TEL0852-21-7889 (Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Union)

Healed by hot water from the ground 23Kashima Taku no yu

Drop-by Onsen facility with variety types of baths, including an open-air bath, sauna, and private bath (reservation required).

A885-7, Kitakobu, Kashima-cho, Matsue-City

O10am-9pm (Reception closes at 9:330pm)

CTuesday (If holiday, close the following day)



Utopia where deities descent 24Yakumo Onsen Yuai Kumanokan

Onsen hotel in the town of Kumano shrine. In addition to seasonal delicious dishes visitors can enjoy a variety of styles of baths, including a Japanese garden rock bath.

A773-1, Kumano, Yakumo-cho, Matsue-City


CEvery 3rd Tuesday



Relaxing time in a melancholic space 25Kimachi Toji Mura Omori no yu

A hot spring reminiscent of an old spa. This open air onsen makes your skin smoother. Local dishes are available at the "Irori Jaya" restaurant.

A210-1, Kamikimachi, Shinji-cho, Matsue-City

O10am-9:30pm (Reception closes at 9pm)

CTuesday (If holiday, close the following day)



Amago clan's free-flowing hot spring 28Sagi-no-yu Onsen

Sagi-no-yu Onsen is a natural hot spring (onsen) located on the Iinashi River in the city of Yasugi. According to legend, the onsen was discovered in the eighth century when an egret (sagi) was observed bathing there to heal an injured leg.

During the Warring States period (1467–1615), it was used by successive warlords of nearby Gassan Toda Castle as a palace bath. A terrible flood in 1666 destroyed the hot spring and many settlements along the Iinashi river, and the onsen was forgotten.

About 100 years ago, the source of the onsen was rediscovered and made the central feature of a traditional-style ryokan inn. The entrance wing of the inn is a converted 130-year-old farmhouse that once stood near Izumo Taisha. It was carefully dismantled, brought to the present site, and reconstructed. Over the years, several other inns have opened nearby, forming a small hot-spring community that lies within walking distance of the world-famous Adachi Art Museum.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

AFurukawa-cho, Yasugi-City


TEL0854-23-7667 (Yasugi City Tourism Association)

Heal yourself with a view of the Sea of Japan 51Minato Onsen Honokami

The concept of Honokami is "Omotenashi". The conventional building was renovated to have a broader rest space with a modern Japanese taste. All 10 rooms are equipped with a family bath, and each room has its own unique atmosphere and bath. The Sea of Japan and Mt. Daisen can be seen from every room.

A255-5, Takenouchi Housing complex, Sakaiminato-City

OMain bath 10am-9pm (Reception closes at 8:30pm) Reserved family bath 10am-10pm (Reception closes at 9pm)

CEvery 3rd Wednesday (If holiday, close the following day)



The Healing Buddha for the eyes 05Ichibata Yakushi Temple

The healing Buddha, said to heal "eye diseases" and to grant "children's healthy growth", has long been worshiped from all over Japan. You can try Zen meditation and stay at the Western style private cottage located within the premises. It has magnificent view from the peak including Lake Shinji and mountains like Izumo-fuji and Daisen.

A803, Kozakai-cho, Izumo-City




Street with history and culture 06Momen Kaido (Cotton Street)

You can see the beautiful old houses of merchant and pedigree family from Edo and Meiji Era. Some activities such as soy sauce brewery guided tour and Japanese sake tasting are available. A precious area where you can see the original Japanese townscape.

A841, Hirata-cho, Izumo-City

OExchange Center 9am-5pm

CTuesday (If holiday, close the following day)


TEL0853-62-2631 (Momen Kaido Exchange Center)

Shrine to repose the soul of Susanoo no mikoto 10Susa Shrine

This shrine is located on the site where, according to ancient legends, the god Susanoo no Mikoto chose to spend eternity, surrendering his body and becoming one with the natural environment. His spirit is believed to pervade the entire valley where the shrine stands. Although Susanoo is also enshrined on the grounds of the more famous Grand Shrine at Izumo (Izumo Taisha), Susa Jinja has long been considered his true shrine, despite its relative modesty. According to mythology, Susanoo defeated an eight-headed snake demon named Yamata no Orochi and discovered a miraculous sword in its tail. He claimed the princess Inata as his wife, and began searching for a place to build a palace. Upon arriving at the valley, Susanoo said to the princess, “This place fills my heart with ease and refreshment. Let us give it my name and settle here.”

The Shrine Location
According to historical records, Susa Jinja was moved to the present site from its original location on a nearby hillside, and has been rebuilt and modified many times over the centuries. The shrine is laid out parallel to the Susa River, which runs next to it and delineates the site. A special black-lacquered ceremonial bridge intended for the use of dignitaries once spanned the river. In addition to the main hall (honden), which is considered the house of the god, the shrine precincts include several smaller shrine buildings and other structures. A shrine to the goddess Amaterasu Omikami, Susanoo’s older sister, stands opposite the honden, a short distance away.

The Entrance to the Shrine
Visitors to Susa Jinja first pass through the Zuijin-mon, a small roofed wooden gate that houses a pair of protective lion-like guardian figures (komainu) painted in gold and other bright colors. The path then passes between a set of minor shrine buildings on either side, and arrives at the haiden, an enclosed prayer hall located in front of the honden. Prayers and offerings are customarily made here. Like most shrines built in this style, this one has a long, roofed staircase leading from the haiden to the honden, which only shrine priests are permitted to ascend. All others must go around to the side to view the honden.

The shrine site is heavily wooded, with only narrow pathways to either side of the honden, so the initial view of the 12-meter-tall building is surprising. Visitors must crane their necks to get a full view in the narrow space, which increases the visual impact. A honden of similar design, but twice as tall, was built here in the 1500s; the current structure dates from the nineteenth century.

Built in the Style of the Grand Shrine
The honden is raised on high wooden pillars in a style called taisha-zukuri (Grand Shrine style), modeled after Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, and is built of unpainted cedar wood. The roof is covered with cedar shingles, and features customary shrine decorations called katsuo and chigi on its ridge. The former are tapered cylinders laid horizontally, while the latter are crossed wooden members that rise in a V-shape from the ends of the roof ridges. The honden is surrounded by a handsome fence of cedar boards, and though there are small gates on each side, visitors are not allowed to enter. According to Shinto belief, the inner precincts are concealed from human view in order to protect the gods from the shock of our ugliness and imperfections.

Behind the honden is a giant cedar tree called Ohsugi-san. It is over 2 meters in diameter and, at more than 30 meters high, is the tallest cedar tree in the region. Historical records suggest that it is over 1,300 years old, making it an honored ancient living being. Its gnarled roots snake across the ground, and many worshippers come to touch them and make offerings to the spirit of the tree.

The Seven Wonders of Susa Jinja
Susa Jinja is known for its legendary “Seven Wonders,” including a well, called Shionoi, which produces salt water and was believed to mysteriously connect to the distant ocean. Other wonders included a cherry tree called Kagenashi-zakura, which did not cast a shadow, and a pine tree called Aioi-no-matsu that exhibited both male and female genders. Fallen oak leaves with holes recall another wonder: an oak tree and a pine tree that sprouted after Princess Inata gave birth and wrapped the afterbirth in oak leaves tied with pine needles. The Amatsubo, a grass-filled hole in a stone in a nearby rice paddy, was said to create a flood if it was disturbed. Horses called shinme, believed to be the steeds of the gods, were once kept at the shrine, and would predict disasters by turning white. The final wonder is the hoshi-namera, white spots that frequently appear on patches of rock on the mountainsides across the Susa River. The number of visible white spots is believed to foretell the quality of the harvest.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A730, Sada, Sada-cho, Izumo-City



Tour to seek out the kunibiki mythology 17Tour of Ou 6 shrines (Iya Shrine)

"Ou" is the center of politics and culture in the ancient Izumo no kuni. The six shrines including "Yaegaki" and "Kumano" located in Ou area are all closely connected to Izumo no kuni no Miyatsuko and are said to have been worshiped from ancient times.

A2229, Iya, Higashiizumo, Matsue-City



A pond of fortunetelling 18Yaegaki Shrine

Yaegaki Shrine enshrines a hero and his wife (Inata-hime), together known as Susanoo no mikoto. Legend says the hero protected his future wife from the giant snake Yamata no orochi. "Kagami no Ike" pond is a popular spiritual spot and offers visitors a chance to predict the prospects of marriage.

A227, Sakusa-cho, Matsue-City



Shrine for relationships and beauty 19Kumano Taisha Shrine

Kumano Taisha is the most important provincial shrine in the ancient Izumo no kuni and enshrines deity Susanoo no mikoto. It is said Susanoo no mikoto gave a comb to Princess Inada at the time of her engagement ceremony.

A2451, Kumano, Yakumo-cho, Matsue-City



A port town to live with deities 20Miho Shrine

The grand head shrine of Ebisu, the god of good fortune. Many people visit the shrine together with Daikoku at Izumo Taisha, the grand shrine where local people have long worshiped deities. The town in the area flourished as a port for many vessels.

A608, Mihonoseki, Mihonoseki-cho, Matsue-City



A spiritual spot with old cedars 27Zuikozan Kiyomizudera Temple (Yasugi Kiyomizudera Temple)

Zuikozan Kiyomizudera is a Buddhist temple in an isolated mountain glen in the eastern part of the city of Yasugi. The temple is reached by a long stone stairway through the forested valley, spanned by weathered gates and flanked at key points by stone lanterns. The temple’s main hall, three-story pagoda, and other structures are built on terraces connected by the long stone stairway. A 1,000-year-old cedar tree dominates the approach to the main hall.

The Legend of Kannon
Zuikozan Kiyomizudera belongs to the Tendai sect of Zen Buddhism; people come here to pray for relief from bad luck. According to legend, the mountain where the temple stands was once an eerie forest where a supernatural shaft of light would appear at night, frightening local villagers. An itinerant priest named Sonryu was asked to discover the source of the light, and while he was searching deep in the forest, an old man appeared before him. The old man said that he had been worshipping Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, for many years, but was ready to move on to the next life, and was searching for someone to continue his practice. Sonryu agreed to take on the task, whereupon the old man presented him with a sacred statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The priest built a simple thatched hut to enshrine the statue, and though the mountain was devoid of water sources, after a week of secret praying, a spring of clear water appeared nearby. This was the origin of Zuikozan Kiyomizudera, which to this day is devoted to Kannon. The name of the temple comes from these two miraculous occurrences: zuiko means “fortunate light,” and kiyomizu means “clear water.”

Imperial Patronage
Historical records seem to indicate that the temple was founded in 587, but the actual date is uncertain. It was fortunate to receive the patronage of Empress Suiko soon after its founding, and later from powerful regional lords. At its peak it had 48 buildings, though now it has fewer than 10. The first large main hall (konpondo) at the temple was built prior to 1393 and was enlarged several times over the centuries. It is built of cedar, and contains a devotional statue of Kannon of unknown date which is usually kept hidden inside an elaborate lacquered cabinet. Statues of the four Shitenno divine guardians that were made during the Heian period (794–1185) stand on either side. When reconstruction was done on the konpondo in 1992, research confirmed that the current building is the fifth and largest to stand in this location.

A three-story pagoda dating from 1859 stands on a high stone terrace a short distance away. It is constructed of hard zelkova (keyaki) wood, which is not often used in this region for pagoda construction. While the local carpenter who built it was not trained in pagoda construction, his skill can be seen in the intricately carved dragons peering out from between the brackets under the eaves. Visitors are allowed to climb to the uppermost story, which is usually not allowed in Japan. A modern treasure house (hozo) displays important artwork and ritual artifacts belonging to the temple, and Zen meditation is practiced at the konpondo.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A528, Kiyomizu-cho,Yasugi-City


COpen 7 days a week



Strong fortress of Amago clan 30The Site of Gassan Toda Castle

Gassan Toda Castle, a historic fortress, served as a major political and cultural center in Izumo Province, particularly during the Warring States period (1467–1615). It is a prime example of a yamajiro (mountain castle), with the slopes and peak securely configured with separate stone-walled enclosures. A palace was built roughly midway up the mountain, while the most defensible ward was at the top. Although the castle was never destroyed in a conflict, only its stone walls and other relics remain as part of a well-maintained park.

Under Siege
The first structures of Gassan Toda Castle are believed to have been built during the twelfth century. From 1439 to 1566 it was the seat of the powerful Amago warlords, and was regarded as the most impregnable castle in Japan. Under Amago rule the fortress was expanded, and the castle town along the river at the base of the mountain prospered, supporting a population of 10,000 people. Beginning around 1470, Gassan Toda Castle was the target of repeated attacks by rival warlords. Although many direct attacks were successfully repelled, the Amago clan ultimately succumbed after a year-long siege in 1566, opening the castle gates in surrender. The castle was later abandoned when Horio Tadaharu (1599–1633), daimyo of the Matsue domain, relocated his headquarters from Gassan Toda Castle to the newly constructed Matsue Castle in 1611.

The Clever Use of Topography
The layout and design of the castle took advantage of the natural topography of the mountain and its riverfront site for optimal security, with the castle town sited on the narrow strip of land between the Toda River and Mt. Gassan as the first line of defense. Major attacks were expected to be primarily river-borne, so the town housed hundreds of samurai warriors in walled compounds. A wide moat isolated the town from the mountain and castle, and four gates in the walls controlled access to the main enclosures. Unfortunately, a large flood destroyed much of the town in 1666, and almost nothing of the original castle town remains today.

Zones of Defense
The castle was divided into two primary zones. The lowermost zone made use of the broad, relatively gentle lower slopes. The uppermost zone occupied the narrow ridge of the steep 190-meter-high summit. The two zones were separated by a steep slope, and ascent was limited to a single, well-defended path with seven switchbacks.

The zone at the summit had three stone-walled wards in a line along the ridge. The first is believed to have had a three-story defensive tower and a single secure gate, while the third and highest enclosure, the honmaru main ward, was separated from the others by a steep natural ravine. Further along the ridge, at the very summit of the mountain, is the Katsuhitakamori Shrine, the castle’s guardian shrine (though it is believed to predate the castle). The view from these summit enclosures encompasses a broad east-to-west sweep, including Lake Nakaumi and the Sea of Japan to the north and Mt. Daisen to the east.

In the lower zone, many of the relatively flat areas were transformed into isolated walled terraces separated by natural ravines and connected by footpaths. The largest and most significant of these enclosures was located roughly halfway up the mountain. The main palace buildings were located here, well defended by high stone walls with turrets and only approachable through a single secure roofed gate.

A Detailed Model of an Unusual Castle
Following its abandonment in 1611, the castle site largely reverted to nature, with many of its flat terraces used for agriculture over the following years. Hundreds of years later, in 1934, it was designated a National Historic Site, and in 2006 it was selected as one of the 100 best castles in Japan. The growing interest in Gassan Toda Castle led to the establishment, in 2014, of a large-scale restoration and maintenance program that was completed in 2019. The Yasugi City Historical Museum, located at the entrance to the castle site, has a large, detailed model of Gassan Toda Castle and the castle town as well as artifacts, maps, and other historical materials.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

AToda, Hirose-cho, Yasugi-City


TEL0854-32-3357 (Yasugi City Tourist Information Office Hirose Branch)

The head shrine of "God of Iron" 34Kanayago Shrine

To this day, the shrine has been worshiped by "Tatara craftsman" and people in the iron industry. Built in 1881, the guard frame of the shrine is said to be the tallest stone-built frame in Japan.

A307-1, Nishihida, Hirose-cho, Yasugi-City


TEL0854-34-0700 (Kanaya Shinwa Minzoku-kan Closes Dec-Mar)

360 degree panoramic view 37Yonago Castle Ruins

For 270 years, the twin towers of Yonago Castle dominated their surroundings from atop Mt. Minatoyama. The castle was built in stages beginning in the late fifteenth century, and reached close to its final form in 1602 as the headquarters of the Nakamura clan. The site was unusual: a small promontory that jutted into Lake Nakaumi to the west and overlooked a fertile plain to the east that extended all the way to the foothills of Mt. Daisen. The Shinkamo River formed a natural barrier to the south, and wide manmade moats helped isolate the entire castle. The location was selected for defense against both overland and waterborne attacks, though it never had to face an enemy.

Unusual Dual-Tower Design
Like most Japanese castles, Yonago was laid out as a series of walled enclosures or wards called kuruwa, and the higher they were, the more security they provided. The honmaru, or donjon, occupied the intricately stone-terraced pinnacle of Mt. Minatoyama, 90 meters above sea level. A large five-story tower (tenshukaku) was constructed on top of the massive sloped stone walls that formed the highest terrace, and a smaller four-story tower stood atop a similar stone terrace a short distance away. This dual-tower arrangement was quite unusual, and gave Yonago Castle a unique silhouette. Although nothing remains of the wooden castle buildings today, the uppermost terraces present an abstract composition of stone walls, slopes, and stairs. The view from the highest terrace encompasses the bustling city below with its rivers and bridges, Mt. Daisen in the distance, Lake Nakaumi, and northward to the Sea of Japan. The upper terraces are reached by a 15-minute climb along picturesque winding paths and stairs.

Independent Enclosures for Defense
The layout of Yonago Castle makes inspired use of the natural topography in other ways. A smaller hill called Inoyama, separated from the Minatoyama peak by a deep gully, was surmounted by a separate set of enclosures and defenses that acted as a secure lookout against attacks on the main castle. Other rises and elevated outcrops were similarly fortified and connected with the main enclosures only by footpaths. The largest and most notable of these enclosures was the Naizen Maru. Named after an important military adviser, it spanned a long ridge about midway up the mountain, with a good view of the lake, the castle’s lower levels, and the city. The Ofunade Kuruwa (ship harbor enclosure) housed a naval detachment, including wharves, boathouses, residences for sailors and boatmen, and related facilities. This was an unusual feature for a Japanese castle.

Palace of the Lord
The lowest walled levels of the castle were the ninomaru (second ward) and the sannomaru (third ward). The latter occupied a wide area along the inner moat, and was separated into barracks, stables, rice granaries, a horse-riding ground, and offices for construction and other necessary functions. The ninomaru was laid out on two higher levels with high stone walls, guarded by a formidable gated enclosure called the masugata koguchi (square entrance). It was the site of the lord’s palace, with several connected buildings for living, reception, and other functions, as well as courtyards and gardens. The perimeter of Yonago Castle was protected by a district of walled samurai residences located between the inner and outer moats.

A National Historical Landmark
Yonago Castle passed through the hands of several lords. The Arao clan administered the castle from 1632 until 1869, when the feudal system was abolished by the Meiji government and most castles, including Yonago, were ordered to be destroyed. The castle site largely reverted to nature, and was eventually made into a park with athletic facilities, while the adjoining samurai district became Yonago’s main business and government district. The castle site was declared a National Historical Landmark in 2006; restoration work is ongoing.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.


PMinatoyama Park Parking


An ancient Tendai sect Buddhist temple 56Daisenji Temple

Daisenji Temple was founded about 1,300 years ago by Shumpo from Izumo. The main hall was burnt down in 1928 and re-established in 1951. It contains many precious items including important cultural properties. Daisenji is known as a famous temple in the San'in region.

A9, Daisen, Daisen-cho, Saihaku-Gun


CHomotsu-kan (Reiho-kaku) closes Dec, 1 - Mar, 31.

PDaisen Bakuroza Parking


One of the largest Yayoi era village ruins 59Tottori Prefectural Mukibanda Historical Park

Tottori Prefectural Mukibanda Historical Park is a large public park devoted to the preservation, study, and appreciation of an important site containing prehistoric ruins. These date from the late Yayoi period to the early Kofun period (first century BCE–third century CE), and belong to a population center with hundreds of houses and other structures that reached its peak during the second half of the second century CE. This village was active several centuries prior to the introduction of writing from the Asian mainland, so its culture, technology, and trade contacts can only be reconstructed through archaeological investigation. The Yayoi ruins at Mukibanda are the largest settlement discovered from this era, and the historical park is both an archaeological research site and an educational resource.

From Stone Age to Iron Age
Mukibanda Historical Park contains the excavated ruins of approximately 950 buildings spread over seven closely connected districts. The site is a broad, gently sloping forested hillside at the foot of Mt. Daisen, overlooking the Yumigahama Peninsula. The first ruins were discovered here in 1931, and large-scale excavation began in 1997. Although the earliest ruins date from around 100 BCE, most date from around the third century CE. The use of stone tools was still dominant during this era in Japan, but remains of many iron tools have also been found, attesting to the fact that this era witnessed the great technological transition from the late Neolithic Age to the Iron Age. Fragments of a bronze mirror of Chinese origin, and glass beads and other trade goods, prove that Mukibanda was part of a far-flung trade network at this time.

Ancient Interior Designs
Most of the building remains have been reburied to protect them; there are signboards describing their size and other details. About 21 buildings have been reconstructed on their original sites. Nine of these are roughly circular pit dwellings (tateana) with the living space dug about one meter below the ground surface. Stout wooden posts were sunk vertically into the earth and connected with horizontal beams to form a structural frame. Saplings were laid diagonally and lashed to the frame to form the roof slope, then covered with reeds or other thatch, with openings at the peak to allow smoke to exit. Sheltered entranceways were also typical. Wide wooden boards were found at some excavation sites, suggesting that some buildings had much stronger roofs. Reconstruction experiments showed that these boards would have been able to support earthen roofs, and some examples have been reconstructed in this manner. Excavations usually uncovered the locations of fire pits, and these are included in the reconstructions, along with wide surrounding earthen shelves most likely used for the storage of daily goods. Some reconstructions have been left incomplete to show the construction process.

Storehouses for Grains and Valuables
Another common building type at Mukibanda was the raised storehouse. These were usually rectangular, and were raised about 2 meters off the ground. Wooden boards with holes in them were found, apparently so they could be lashed in place with rope to form secure walls. The reconstructions include this type, as well as others with walls made of woven cedar bark. Raising the storehouses off the ground helped deter rodents and protected the contents against rot from ground moisture.

Scratching the Surface of a Large Community
A large pit dwelling with walls and an unusual structure was discovered, and has been tentatively identified as a leader’s house. Approximately 39 stone-lined burial mounds have been excavated on-site as well, many of which have a distinctive pointed-corner design not found elsewhere in Japan. Although hundreds of building sites have been unearthed, experts believe they represent only about a tenth of the total number of buildings in the settlement, which extended far beyond the current park boundaries.

Yayoi-Period Life Exhibition
Mukibanda Historical Park has a visitor center called Yayoi Mukibanda Hall. The hall includes a museum with displays of tools, pottery, and other excavated artifacts, as well as informative dioramas showing activities like agriculture, tool making, and house construction. All aspects of Yayoi-period life are described, including food, clothing, ceramics, and trade. Workshop spaces host a wide range of activities, including Yayoi-style pottery- and tool-making. An archaeological exhibition center a short distance away shelters the excavated remains of three pit dwellings. For instructional purposes, these have been preserved in the state in which they were found. Visitors can learn excavation techniques at the outdoor excavation activity area.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A1115-4, Muki, Daisen-cho, Saihaku-Gun

O[september-June] 9am-5pm  [July・August] 9am-7pm

CEvery 4th Monday (If holiday, close the following day), 12/29-1/3

PBuses 3 Lots / Car 60 Lots (Handicapped lots available)


One of Japan's largest Gongen-zukuri (buildings) 60Ogamiyama Shrine Okunomiya

It is said this shrine originated as a worship space for monks in Buddhist training.
<Three No.1 in Japan>
- 700-meter approach with natural stones
-Largest Gongen-zukuri (buildings) in Japan (National important cultural property)
-Beautiful, large-scale lacquered decoration

A1, Daisen, Daisen-cho, Saihaku-Gun

PDaisen Bakuroza Parking


A paradise of flowers and birds at the lakeside 12Matsue Vogel Park

On the hill of the lakeside of Lake Shinji is a paradise of flowers and birds. Flowers are in full bloom throughout the park. Visitors can touch various birds in a greenhouse and enjoy events like an owl show.

A52, Ogaki-cho, Matsue-City

O9am-5:30pm (October-March -5pm)

COpen 7 days a week



An industrial hall at Horikawa riverside 16Karakoro Workshop

This building was constructed as a Matsue Branch of the former Bank of Japan. You can enjoy events such as creating accessories and making Japanese confectioneries.

A43, Tonomachi, Matsue-City

O[Workshop] 9:30am-6:30pm [Restaurant] 11am-6:30pm (Last order at Biidoro 10pm)

C12/30-1/1 *Some workshops have regular holiday



Dojo-sukui or loach-catching Dance 29Yasugibushi Performing Arts Center

Yasugibushi is a popular style of folk dance that emerged in the Yasugi area during the Meiji era (1868–1912). The dances were initially performed at home, at parties, during festivals, and at other celebrations, but Yasugibushi spread throughout the region, eventually becoming well-known nationwide. To celebrate its popularity, the Yasugibushi Performing Arts Center opened in 2006 in a tile-roofed wooden building, featuring a 200-seat traditional theater. The audience sits on comfortable low seats set on tiers of tatami-mat floors, or on wooden balconies on either side. A hanamichi runway that leads from the stage to the back of the house, like that in a kabuki theater, allows the performers to mingle with the audience. Performances are held four times daily, and the repertoire includes both solo and ensemble dances as well as musical performances. The finale is a slapstick mime called Dojo Sukui (Scooping up loaches), in which a hapless peasant has a hard time trying to catch loaches with a large wicker scoop. The loach motif is used humorously throughout the Performing Arts Center, and loach dishes are even served at the restaurant.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A534, Furukawa-cho, Yasugi-City


CWednesday *Close only on 1st Wednesday of the month in May, Oct, and Nov. Open if holiday.



Try indigo dyeing and weaving 31Hirose-gasuri Center

Kasuri is a traditional Japanese textile technique in which threads are dyed to form geometric or pictorial patterns when woven into cloth; the name refers to the distinctive blurred edges of the design patterns. The town of Hirose in Yasugi was the center of a vibrant kasuri industry from 1825 until the early twentieth century, with many unique design features developed over this time. The Hirose-gasuri Center was established in 1985 to promote this valuable local craft tradition. (Kasuri is pronounced gasuri when part of a compound word.)

A Technique Found Throughout Asia
Kasuri is a variation of the ikat technique, which has a long history in Asia. The word “ikat” is Malay/Indonesian, but the technique is believed to have begun in India. Beautiful silk textiles created with this method were brought to Japan via China in the eighth century, and are preserved in the Shosoin Imperial Repository in Nara. The technique became highly developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom (modern-day Okinawa) beginning in the twelfth century, and was brought to southern Japan after the Satsuma clan of Kyushu invaded Ryukyu in 1609. By the mid-eighteenth century, this weaving technique had spread as far as the Nara region in central Japan, and was applied to inexpensive and durable cotton, which made it affordable to many households. Hirose was one of several well-known kasuri production centers in Japan that emerged in the early nineteenth century, and its popular products were shipped throughout the country.

A Detailed and Laborious Process
Weaving high-quality kasuri by hand is extremely labor-intensive, and involves a series of more than 30 steps. It typically requires two to three months to weave a length of cloth sufficient to make a kimono—one tan, which is about 13 meters long and 38 centimeters wide.

The cotton threads commonly used in Hirose-gasuri are laid out on long wooden frames so that they can be marked with the design prior to dyeing. For Hirose-gasuri, reusable paper stencils, some of which have been in use for generations, are employed in this process. The key to kasuri lies in preventing the dye—usually natural indigo—from reaching specific sections of the threads in order to preserve white areas and form the woven pattern. Hirose-gasuri uses the most traditional method of binding the skeins tightly with rough hemp fiber in the desired places so that the dye cannot penetrate. The skeins are then dyed in large vats of indigo and then unbound, washed, and dried, whereupon the thread is ready for weaving. The design and dyeing process is based on careful calculation, and the weaver must maintain accuracy, placing each thread precisely. The binding of the skeins and the weaving of the cloth were traditionally done by individual households, sometimes assisted by children.

Motifs and Patterns
The Hirose-gasuri Center has many fine examples of local kasuri weaving on display, along with a collection of well-preserved antique pattern samples. Whereas kasuri patterns initially tended to be small and geometric, more elaborate pictorial patterns developed later in the nineteenth century. The kasuri craftspeople of Hirose mastered the use of large, bold pictorial motifs that featured auspicious symbols like the crane and turtle, which represent longevity, or other good-luck symbols such as carp or lucky gods. These motifs were then skillfully combined with large geometric patterns, which often appear to be overlaid on each other in dynamic opposition. Simpler geometrical patterns were more likely used for work clothing and kimonos, while bold pictorial patterns were popular for kimonos, floor cushions (zabuton), curtains (noren), and futon covers, all of which have large areas that could display the motifs to good effect.

The focus of the Hirose-gasuri Center is on teaching. Ongoing instructional programs make use of the center’s more than 30 traditional looms. Visitors are invited to participate in short indigo-dyeing workshops, to make purchases from the large variety of Hirose-gasuri textile products on display, and to sample local soba noodles at the center’s soba shop.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A775-1, Machicho, Hirose-cho, Yasugi-City


CWednesday, Year-end and New Year holidays



Downtown tour by boat 44Kamogawa River and Nakaumi cruising

A boat cruise in the downtown of Yonago. The cruise starts from Tenjinbashi Bridge on Kamogawa River through to Nakaumi for about 50 minutes with unique guidance by a boatman.

ANakamachi, Yonago-City


CDecember-March (Canceled in case of rain and snow)



The mysterious world of Shigeru Mizuki 47Mizuki Shigeru Museum

The Mizuki Shigeru Museum commemorates the life and work of the world-famous manga artist, who died in 2015. Opened on Mizuki Shigeru Road in 2003, the compact two-story museum is one of the major attractions of the city of Sakaiminato.

The Life of the Artist
In the first section of the museum, Mizuki’s life story and philosophy are depicted through letters, photographs, audio, video, and items that encapsulate important episodes from his life and travels. Visitors learn of his wartime experience and the loss of his arm, and the uprooted decade he spent after the war. His relationship with his supportive wife Nunoe is highlighted, including the plastic model battleships they built together whenever he was paid for a manga. Mizuki’s ethnographic collection of masks and carvings from Africa and the Pacific Islands is displayed, along with photos of his interactions with the people he met there. His modest home work space has been recreated with his actual desk, stained with ink and cluttered with drawing implements and works in progress, backed by an enormous bookcase filled with work files. A cutout photo panel of Mizuki greets visitors with a smile, pen at the ready. The development of Mizuki’s work is chronicled in this section with book covers and examples from his less familiar early attempts, and many original drawings and enlarged reproductions that illustrate his technique.

The Artist and His Inspiration
Nononba, an elderly woman who was close to Mizuki’s family when he was a child, became a kind of grandmother to him. She told him ghost stories and described the creatures that inhabited the supernatural world—a place that became his ultimate inspiration. A section called “Nononba and me” features Mizuki’s drawings that recount their relationship. Another section called “Sleepy period of life” has a series of detailed dioramas based on nightmares about yokai. They are made with incredible realism, using techniques akin to those used in special effects for film. The skin textures of the yokai are realistic, down to tiny whiskers and hairs. Haunted farmhouses have rotting, moss-grown floorboards and creepily forgotten junk in the attic. The lighting is dramatic. There is a long-tongued yokai (Akaname) that licks the scum from dirty bathtubs. A gigantic skeletal monster (Miagenyudo) arises from the grudge-filled bones of the dead people of an entire village and looms menacingly over a mountain in the nighttime sky.

A Visual Encyclopedia of Yokai
The next section is called the Yokai Cave. Forty-three realistic yokai figurines line the walls of this dimly lit space, some standing in rocky niches, others hovering in midair or crawling along the wall surface. Their names appear and disappear as the lighting changes, making the cave a sort of three-dimensional yokai encyclopedia. The open space that follows has seating and a wall covered with a huge illustrated map of Japan showing dozens of local yokai and other spirits. The final space is devoted to special exhibitions, while the gift shop sells collections of Mizuki’s manga and collectible goods. Visitors exit past an old courtyard garden which has been enlivened by the addition of a sculpture of Mizuki’s characters relaxing in Kitaro’s house. The Mizuki Shigeru Museum is well-produced, with pleasant surprises at every turn.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A5, Honmachi, Sakaiminato-City (Arcade Dori, Honmachi)

O9:30am-5pm (Reception closes at 4:30pm)

COpen 7 days a week

PPlease use Municipal Parking


Numbers of cute fish are waiting 48Sea and Life Museum

The Sea and Life Museum is an intriguing museum primarily devoted to fish. Opened in 1994, it displays approximately 4,000 taxidermy specimens of marine life made by Tane Masayuki. Realizing that schoolchildren had to rely on picture books to learn about the appearance of fish species, Tane developed a technique that allowed him to remove the internal organs, skeleton, and flesh of specimens while preserving their shape and exterior appearance. Though his technique is largely secret, it involves stuffing the empty skin with sawdust and carefully restoring the shape of the fish, using chemicals for preservation and resin for hardening. It is an extremely time-consuming process.

The Sea and Life Museum displays very large species, including white shark, bluefin tuna, gigantic oarfish, and gigantic sunfish. Most of the species were caught locally, and they are grouped taxonomically, highlighting habitat and subspecies. A variety of colorful crabs and other crustaceans are exhibited, along with an amusing display of hundreds of puffed-up blowfish that is designed to be the background of memorable souvenir photos.

Repurposed Sake Warehouses
The museum is housed within former sake warehouses that were built alongside the port more than 100 years ago, when Sakaiminato’s economy was more centered on trade than on fishing. The museum exterior recalls the white-plaster walls and tiled roofs of the former warehouses, which were beloved local landmarks, while the original wooden structural frames define the museum’s interior spaces. Other aspects of the fishing industry and nautical life, including many examples of tools and equipment and an entire fishing boat, are also on display. Visitors can even board a boat, the Minato Maru.

The museum also seeks to educate visitors about other aspects of traditional local life, with a sizable collection of farming implements, garments, and tools. In addition, it has a collection of artworks, notably modern woodblock prints by the noted local printmaker Hashimoto Okiie (1899-1993). These are displayed in a second-floor gallery with antique wooden trusses overhead.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A8-1, Hanamachi, Sakaiminato-City

O9:30am-5pm (Reception closes at 4:30pm)

CTuesday (If holiday, close the following day), 12/29-1/1

PAvailable (Available for buses)


Ski slope with ocean view 57Daisen White Resort

One of the largest ski resorts in West Japan! The resort consists of four unique areas. The various types of ski slopes are a popular destination for winter sports lovers.

A96, Daisen, Daisen-cho, Saihaku-Gun

O8:30am-5pm (Depends on weather) 5pm-9pm (Night time: Every sat)

COpen only in winter

PDaisen Bakuroza Parking


White lighthouse and blue sea 02Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse

Hinomisaki is a National Park with cliffs and rocks. At 43.65m, it is the nation's tallest masonry lighthouse and listed in "The IALA list of 100 lighthouses". The white appearance looks great in the clear blue of ocean and sky but the contrast in the sunset is a must see as well.

A1478, Hinomisaki, Taisha-cho, Izumo-City


CDec, 30-31



magnificent view of giant rocks 03Tachikue Gorge

This is the very scenic spot with beautiful canyons throughout the year. Cherry blossoms in spring, deep green in summer, red and yellow leaves with steep rocks in autumn, and painting-like landscape in winter. Ryokans around the torrent have not springs with magnificent views.

AOttachi-cho, Izumo-City

PHakkoen-mae/15, Wakaayu no Sato/70

TEL0853-45-0102 (Wakaayu no Sato)

Healed by traditional gardens and flowers from UK 13Matsue English Garden

One of the very few English gardens in Japan. Visitors can enjoy a variety of garden styles, some planned to the finest detail, others designed to match the natural scenery. While enjoying the gardens heal yourself by taking in the ever-changing view of Lake Shinji.

A330-1, Nishihamasada,Matsue-City

O9am-5:30pm (October-March -4:30pm)

C12/29-1/3 (Restaurant: Every Tue)



Beautiful flower island, "Daikonshima Island" 14Japanese garden, Yuushien

Visitors can enjoy something unique with each season throughout the year, such as the ever-changing peony flowers. Korean ginseng and its products are also popular.

A1260-2, Hanyu, Yatsuka-cho,Matsue-City


COpen 7 days a week



Trip to savor the nostalgic townscape Matsue Tourism Association 15Lake Shinji Sunset Spot

A beautiful sunset at Lake Shinji that symbolizes "The Water city" is chosen as one of the "Best 100 sunset spots in Japan". Right before the sunset, an ever-changing magnificent view spreads out in front of your eyes.

ASodeshi-cho, Matsue-City



Nostalgic streets and human nature 40Yonago Castle Town

Castle towns like Yonago were zoned so that samurai, who were trained for defense, lived in a walled district close to the castle. Merchants, artisans, and other commoners lived in districts separated from the samurai by moats, gates, and other barriers. In Yonago, the samurai residences have all but disappeared since the start of the Meiji era (1868–1912), when the samurai class was abolished. The former samurai district is now filled with modern businesses and government offices. The commoners’ district, however, largely avoided development, and maintains its original urban scale and atmosphere.

The cherry tree-lined Kamo River is actually a moat that once separated the commoners’ town from the samurai district. This intimate waterway is fronted by many traditional white-plastered warehouses built by merchants who used the river for transporting their goods, as well as shops, residences, and other buildings. The neighborhood is primarily two-story in scale, and many traditional shophouses line the narrow streets. Newer construction has largely maintained this human scale. There are only a few very large homes and establishments, like the traditional Sakaguchi residence and its 90-year-old Western-style office building next door. The Kamo River is crossed by numerous picturesque low bridges, and regular boat tours take passengers from this waterway to Lake Nakaumi and back through the Shinkamo River near Yonago Castle.

Yonago’s commoners’ town is bounded on the opposite side of the former samurai district by a very old temple district called Teramachi (temple town). Ten temple complexes and the monks who oversee them are part of everyday life in this area of Yonago.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

AYonago-City (Nakamachi   Kume-cho   Kamo-cho   etc.)



Paradise of waterbirds created by citizens 41Yonago Waterbird Sanctuary

For centuries, migrating waterbirds have roosted in the natural wetlands along Lake Nakaumi for the winter. Land-reclamation projects along the lake in the post–World War II period gradually eliminated large areas of wetlands, leading local residents to call for conservation of waterbird habitats. The Yonago Waterbird Sanctuary, which opened in 1995, is a step in this direction. Each year, the sanctuary is visited by over 10,000 birds from more than 100 species. These include tundra swans, common shelducks, spoonbills, and white-fronted geese migrating in the autumn and winter, while spot-billed ducks, warblers, little grebes, and others breed here in the spring and summer.

User-Friendly Facilities
The Yonago Waterbird Sanctuary is technically an artificial wetland, and a 1-meter-deep pond surrounded by beds of reeds occupies most of its 28 hectares. It has a large wooden Nature Center with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the pond. There are about 30 telescopes that can be used free of charge to get a close view of the birds. Other features include an audiovisual room, educational exhibitions, and displays about local wildlife and ecology. Visitors can also use digital microscopes to examine feathers, insects, and other items. There is a small library, and specialized staff are on hand to answer questions and point out things of interest. An octagonal exhibition room contains taxidermy specimens of many species of wild geese. Outdoor paths and viewing areas allow visitors to get closer to certain species. The facility holds regular hands-on learning activities for both children and adults, and welcomes school classes on a regular basis.

The Nakaumi Waterbirds International Exchange Fund Foundation, funded by Yonago City and Tottori Prefecture, engages in active international exchange with experts and communities around the world, sharing the insight and experience gained over the years. A strong local volunteer movement encourages local residents to participate in the environmental management of the sanctuary.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A665, Shinden, Hikona, Yonago-City

O[April-October] 9am-5:30pm [November-March] 8:30am-5:30pm (Weekday) 7:00am-5:30pm (holidays)

CTuesday (If holiday, close the following day)



One of the biggest solar panels in Honshu 45Softbank Tottori Yonago Solar Park

One of the biggest solar power generation systems in the main island of Japan. "Tottori Nature and Environment Center" is located nearby to introduce the local renewable energy facility and Environmental NPO.

A3421-9, Ozaki, Yonago-City


COpen 7 days a week



A magnificent view of Sea of Japan 49Sanko Yume Minato Tower

The Sanko Yume Minato Tower is self-deprecatingly promoted by locals as “the lowest tower in Japan.” While its observation deck rises only 43 meters, it affords a 360-degree view of the Japan Sea coastline of the Yumigahama Peninsula, with Mt. Daisen in the distance and the port of Sakaiminato below. On clear days, several distant islands are also visible. The building, designed by architect Hirofumi Sugimoto, consists of a pair of tubular steel towers that form the core of the tower, surrounded by a curved outer enclosure of laminated timber and glass. The various structural elements are connected by a network of steel tension cables, forming a tall, light-filled atrium. A large dome connected to the tower is the entrance hall on the ground floor; its upper floors contain event spaces, conference rooms, and a theater. A café with a panoramic view of the ocean is on the fourth floor.

A Look at International Trade
The main attraction is the Pan-Japan Sea Laboratory on the third floor. This space depicts traditional and contemporary life in six regions that have cultural exchanges with Tottori Prefecture. Five of the six—Hebei Province, Jilin Province, and the city of Dalian in China; Primorsky Krai in Russia; and Gangwon-do in Korea—border the Japan Sea. The sixth is the country of Mongolia. Each of the six regions is represented by crafts, clothing, artworks, and other items of historical and cultural interest.

International Cosplay
A Mongolian yurt is one of the centerpieces of the Sea Laboratory. The felt covering is attached by cords to a carved and painted wooden frame, and the interior is furnished with traditionally decorated tables, stools, storage chests, and a high divan. The Primorsky Krai region is represented by a collection of 300 matryoshka dolls, most of which are of traditional design, but there are also humorous caricatures of Michael Jackson and other celebrities. A large model of a traditional Chinese residential compound is another highlight. One of the more interesting sections of the Pan-Japan Sea Laboratory is its large costume room, where visitors can try on traditional clothing from each of the regions, along with Japan. This includes hats, footwear, and accessories for children, men, and women. Many of the items are of very high quality and authentic design, and large backdrops with scenery from each region are provided for souvenir photos.

Yume Minato Tower is next to the passenger-ship terminal, and all signage and information is in multiple languages. This internationally minded complex serves as a good gateway to the region.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A255-3, Takenouchi Housing complex, Sakaiminato-City

O9am-6pm (October-March closes at 5pm)

CEvery 2nd Wednesday (If holiday, close the following day)

PAvailable (Available for buses)


Roller coaster-like bridge is a must-see! 52Eshima Long Bridge

Eshima Long Bridge has a beautiful and light shape based on its concept of "wind" and is known as the best photo-shooting spot at night due to its beautiful illuminated silhouette. Under clear weather Mt. Daisen can be seen from the top of the bridge.

AWatari-cho, Sakaiminato-City

PFamilyMart Ejima shop


One of the biggest flower parks in Japan 58Tottori Hanakairo Flower Park

Enjoy a seasonal flower paradise in the spacious park with a view of Mt. Daisen, the great mountain of Tottori.

A110, Turuta, Nanbu-cho, Saihaku-Gun

O[April-November] 9am-5pm [December-March] 9am-4:30pm (During illumination: Close 9pm)

C[December-March] Tuesday, 12/26-31

PBuses 27 Lots / Car 2,000 Lots


Castle-like Roadside station 09Roadside Station Kirara Taki

A north European style building makes this roadside station special. With its emerald-green ocean, Kirara beach is popular in summer. You can stay and have BBQ at nearby facility called Kirara cottage and can try thalassotherapy at Marine Thalasso Izumo.

A135-1, Taki, Taki-cho, Izumo-City


CIrregular holidays



East gateway of Shimane prefecture 35Roadside station "Ara Essa"

You can find a variety of gourmet food from Nakaumi and the latest tourism information at this station. They offer safe and fresh local agricultural products and regional specialties including loach products and Izumo soba.

A118-1, Nakaumi-cho, Yasugi-City


COpen 7 days a week (agricultural marketing 1/1-1/3)



Easy access to hotels and restaurants 38Yonago station and the center of the city

The San'in area is easily accessible from the center of Yonago City. With many hotels, ryokans and restaurants, Yonago is a great hub from which to base your trip. You can enjoy fresh seafood in this area.

ACenter of Yonago City



Home of good water and acorns 39Kamiyodo Hakuho no Oka Exhibition Hall and Historic Sites

The Yodoe district boasts a fertile plain fronting the Japan Sea in the northernmost corner of the city of Yonago, backed by the foothills of Mt. Daisen. The area has been an important population center from prehistoric times. In 683, Kamiyodo Haiji Temple was built in a small valley that was already the site of a Shinto shrine and the tumulus graves (kofun) of important leaders dating from the fifth and sixth centuries. The temple burned down around the year 1000, however, and was never rebuilt. Foundation stones of the temple and many other artifacts were excavated between 1991 and 1993, and are now preserved at their original location, which was designated a National Historic Site in 1996. The Kamiyodo Hakuho no Oka Exhibition Hall was built nearby to house a full-scale replica of the devotional space of the temple’s main hall, and to present the story of the temple and region through archaeological findings and historical records. It opened in 2011.

Fragments from a Devastating Fire
Kamiyodo Haiji Temple was built about a century after the first Buddhist temples were constructed in Japan, and was roughly contemporary with the temples of Horyuji and Yakushiji in Nara. Those architectural monuments, which were also built of wood, survive today, but Kamiyodo Haiji vanished in the devastating fire around the year 1000 and now exists only in memory.

Archaeological research shows that this compact temple complex used its valley site well. The overall layout was unusual, with three multistory pagodas (instead of the more typical one or two), arranged in a line running north to south. Only two, however, had been completed prior to the fire. A large main hall housed a devotional statue of the Amida Buddha seated on a pedestal, flanked by a pair of statues of protective bodhisattvas. Thousands of fragments of the statues were excavated and are on display. These fragments allowed experts to make full-scale reconstructions of the original statues, which are now the focus of the museum. Many charred fragments of painted plaster walls were also unearthed. These indicated that the walls of the Main Hall were covered with sophisticated murals similar to those found at Horyuji Temple. Parts of the murals have also been reproduced in their appropriate locations.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

A1548-1, Fukuoka, Yodoe-cho, Yonago-City



ODonguri kan 10am-6pm Yodoe Yume Hot Springs 10am-10pm (Bath time 10:30am-10pm [Reception end 9pm] ) Hoki Kodai no Oka Park 9:30am-5pm

CDonguri kan: 7days a week Yodoe Yume Hot Springs: Every 4th Wednesday (If holiday, close the following day) Hoki Kodai no Oka Park: Every 2nd 4th wednesday (If holiday, close the following day), Year-end and New Year holidays

Best selection of fresh fish from Sakaiminato 53Nakaura Tairyo Fish Market

Tairyo Ichiba "Nakaura" (Fish Market) is a department store where any marine products from the Sea of Japan can be found. Local specialties such as snow crabs, fresh fish, and dried fish are directly transacted by fish dealers at the market. The market is crowded with many visitors purchasing fresh products throughout the year.

A209, Takenouchi Housing complex, Sakaiminato-City



PAvailable (Available for buses)


The largest specialty store of marine products in western Japan 54Sakaiminato Sakana Center

Eight local dealers compete on price and freshness of the products in this spacious facility. In addition to fresh fish and crabs, they deal with fishery products including dried and processed seafoods. Visitors can ask to have their purchased fish made into sashimi.

A259-2 Takenouchi Housing complex, Sakaiminato-City


CWednesday (Holiday will open)

PAvailable (Available for buses)


Fresh and reasonable marine products! 55Sakaiminato Suisanbutsu Chokubai Center

Fresh catch from the sea of Japan can be found in the direct sales center of marine products, "Suisanbutsu Chokubai Center". Every store staff has expertise in Sakaiminato fish. Please feel free to ask any questions about marine products! Delivery is available to anywhere in Japan.

A9-5, Showamachi, Sakaiminato-City


CTuesday (If holiday, close the following day), 1/1-1/4

PAvailable (Available for buses)


Sakaiminato Suisanbutsu Chokubai Center