Take a trip through San'in Mannaka on local train lines
This region which located the center of San'in area (Shimane Prefecture and Tottori Prefecture) is called "San'in Mannaka (Mannaka means center)". It is full of historical, cultural, and natural appeals of original Japan.
Izumo Oyashiro which has over 1,500 years of history, Matsue Castle which is nominated as a national treasure, Matcha (Powdered Green Tea) which has been gaining popularity all over the world, and Wagashi (Japanese Confectionery) that is beautiful and delicate looking as one of the art. Also, the region offers beautiful sceneries of nature such as Lake Shinji, Lake Nakaumi, and the Sea of Japan, as well as fresh food and hot springs. If you are describing about the essence of Japan, there are many reasons why you should visit San'in Mannaka.
This San'in Mannaka trip starts from Izumo. You will head toward Izumo Oyashiro which is Japanese representative Shine. The shrine features a sacred Shinto straw festoon, which is a type of item that has been said to represent sacred sites since ancient times in Japan. This festoon is 13.5 meters long and weighs 4.4 tones. The size astonish both Japanese people and people from around the world.
Next, you will take a local train the Ichibata Electric Railway from Izumo Taisha-mae Station to Matsue. After boarding a retro train from the stylish European-style station, you will soon see Lake Shinji on your right. It is the 7th largest lake in Japan. It is a brackish lake, so it is home to an abundance of species of fish, and it also has reputation for its amazing evening suns.
After arriving at the final stop Matsue-Shinjiko-Onsen Station, you will head toward your accommodation. There are many places for you to stay around this station, but here we recommend the "Yonemuraya" guest house which was remodeled from an old traditional Japanese styled house that was constructed over 100 years ago. (Limited to one group per day.) It just opened in the spring of 2017, and it is well known as an inn where you can experience the lifestyles of Japanese people. Also National Treasures Matsue Castle is located within walking distance. This guest house is conveniently located for taking a stroll around the city.
We recommend strolling around Matsue, but the neighboring city Yasugi is also somewhere you would definitely want to visit. From Matsue Station, you will get on the San'in Line to heading Yasugi Station. You will arrive at the Adachi Museum of Art which has been selected as having the best garden in Japan by an American garden magazine by the courtesy bus from Yasugi station. The beauty of the Japanese-style garden with the surrounding mountains in the background, will briefly make you oblivious to the passage of time.
We also recommend the Yasugibushi Performance Hall nearby. You can see "Yasugibushi" a traditional Japanese dance which has even been featured in national dramas inside Japan. It is a type of comical dance that was often performed at banquets in Japan in the past, and you can also try the dance after watching a performance. You will surely want to try to learn this dance by watching others perform it.
After returning to Yasugi Station, you can enjoy Japanese food at a very Japanese-style building "Yamatsunero".
Yonago which is 10 minutes by the San'in Line from Yasugi Station is another region that still has the ancient streets of Japan. While strolling through the streets, some of the things you will be able to find are an old warehouse "Kura" and "Dagashi" which are affordable price sweets Japanese people ate when they were children. For your accommodations, you will arrive at Kaike Onsen in 20 minutes by bus from Yonago Station.
On the following day staying at Kaike Onsen, you will take the Sakai Line to the final stop Sakaiminato Station. If you find strange characters drawn on the sides of the trains on the Sakai Line, they are characters of Japanese spiritual monster called "Yokai". Mizuki Shigeru one of the most famous comic author was raised in Sakaiminato. You will be able to find "Yokai" from his comics throughout the city. Also Sakaiminato has the largest number of fishing ports inside Japan. You can see stuffed fish on display in "Sea and Life Museum" and enjoy very fresh seafood from the Sea of Japan around this city.