When to travel?

The prefecture is facing to the Japan Sea, but it is not as cold as other prefectures.  The number of cloudy and rainy days are greater than that of the Pacific Ocean side.

Best season: Mar-Nov
Snow activity: Dec-Mar
Cherry blossoms: end of Mar-Apr
Foliage: end of Oct-Nov

Events / Festivals

Apr: Matsue Musha Gyoretsu (松江武者行列), Matsue
May: Horan enya (ホーランエンヤ), Matsue
July: Tsuwano Sagimai Shinji (津和野鷺舞神事), Tsuwano 津和野
Aug: Matsue Suigo festival (松江水郷祭), Matsue

Touristic spots

Capital city: Matsue (松江)

The population is about 200,000 and it is one of the hub cities in Chugoku area.  Matsue is a city of water, because there are many canals and rivers in the city, as well as some lakes.

It is also considered as one of the oldest cities of Japan, a lot of objects from ancient times are found.  Because of the geographical feature, there are even some proofs that Japan had a relationship with the other Asian countries.

Matsue castle is one of the 5 castles which is nominated as a National Treasure.  The roof is original.
Shinji Lake (宍道湖), the 7th biggest lake of Japan and it is famous for sunset time.  The water is slightly salted, and they produce 90% of the freshwater clams in Japan.
Tamatsukuri Hot spring (玉造温泉), known as one of the best three hot springs in Japan.
Ejima bridge (江島大橋), which looks so steep, but actually it is a trick of eye.  The height is about 45 meters with the steep of 6.1%.

Izumo Taisha shrine (出雲大社)

Would you like to get married?  Then this is the shrine that you must go!  It is believed that the God in this shrine will help you find a great partner.  The shrine is considered as the most important in Japan.  The shrine belongs to the oldest family in Japan, which is even older than the family of Emperor.

Number one visited place in Shimane.

Tsuwano (津和野)

There are numerous historical spots in Shimane, and Tsuwano is definitely one of them.  It is known as Little Kyoto in Sannin Area, and has amazing view spots.  In July, there is a festival which is protected by Japanese government called Sagimai shinji (鷺舞神事).  Sagi is a kind of bird, and people put on the costume that imitates this bird to devote the dance to the god.  It is believed that the festival was first introduced in Yasaka shrine in Kyoto, but it is the only place where we can still see the tradition of this dance.

Sagi bird dance statue, the only place where we can still see this tradition.
Tsuwano is a must-visit place in Shimane for their excellent ambiance.

Oki islands (隠岐の島) and Iwami Ginzan silver mine (石見銀山)

Description available in Chugoku article.

Mt. Sambe (三瓶山)

The mountain located in the middle of the prefecture.  The mountain is known for a beautiful shape and the scenery created by volcanic action.  The mountain is still an active volcano.  There is a camping site, too.

Yunotsu Hot spring (温泉津温泉)

The street of the hot spring is nominated as the Important Preservation District.  Iwami Ginzan Silver mine, a World Heritage Site is also close by, so you can visit them at the same time.

Nostalgic street of Yunotsu Hot spring.