Castles and mountain of faithmilitary that commanders competed for
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.
To explore the history behind the three castles built from the Warring States Period to the Edo Period, visiting the Matsue Castle, Yonago Castle, GassanToda Castle, and the sacred mountain protecting them is the best way. You will know the reason behind why the castle was built there.
Before heading to the Matsue Castle, explore the origin of the town at the nearby Matsue History Museum. By looking at the diorama model of the town, it is hard to tell the difference when the castle was built by feudal lord Horio at 1611 from now. The castle is built on a plain ground, surrounded by moats to strengthen the defense.
Matsue Castle is 5 stories tall. After climbing the steep staircases up to the uppermost floor, you can view the Lake Shinji in a glance from the building.
On the next day, go South to the Hirose Town in Yasugi City. On the top of the mountain which lies across the River Toda (now known as River Iinashi), stone walls can be found. This is the remains of one of the famous mountain castles in the Warring States Period, GassanToda Castle, the headquarter for the powerful Amago clan during the 15th and 16th century. It is also the battle place among other clans.
The furthest entrance separates from the Honmaru (the central part of the castle) for around an hour. The road is well maintained but the steep ramp will make you feel very tired.
After climbing down the hill, head to the accommodation at the Saginoyu Onsen. The Adachi Museum of Art nearby stores around 1500 art pieces of modern Japanese painting, ceramics, folding screens, etc. created by famous artists. The grand Japanese garden was awarded the best garden in Japan repeatedly for 15 years by the "Journal of Japanese Gardening".
The next destination is Yonago after relaxing in the hot spring. A good option is to observe the Yonago Castle from the shores of Lake Nakaumi by pleasure boat. The Yonago Castle is built by a warrior of the Mori clan, Hiroie Kikkawa. By leading the water from the Lake Nakaumi to the inner moat and building a 5-storied Tenshu on the peak, Yonago Castle is said to be the most secure Castle in the San'in area.
It may be hard to recognize from its current appearance. But if you look carefully at the tall remaining stone walls, you can imagine how big the castle was. The view from the top of the Honmaru (90m high) is incredibly wide and breathtaking.
The last checkpoint is Mt. Daisen, which welcomes its 1300 year's Anniversary of opening. Daisenji Temple is settled at the middle of the mountain. In summer, the temperature difference between the mountains and the lower ground is the greatest. The whole mountain itself is a power spot, so you can gain power from nature wherever you are.
The stone pathway to the Oogamiyama Shrine Okunomiya is like a mysterious time tunnel.
Next to the Okunomiya is the entrance point for hiking. Hikers will worship before starting their journey. The scenery that warriors also appreciated will not let you down.