Population: 702 thousand
photo by the.Firebottle
Shimane prefecture is in the western Chugoku region of the main Japanese island Honshu. It is the 2nd least populous prefecture in Japan. The prefectural capital is Matsue City.
Shimane prefecture, together with Tottori prefecture is known as the Sanin region, meaning “the shady side of the mountains”. A mountain range separates these two prefectures from Hiroshima and Okayama.
- MATSUE CITY
- This laid back samurai city is home to one of the few authentic wooden castles in Japan, and is also famous for its sunsets and traditional "wagashi" confectionery. Situated between the shores of Lake Shinji and an inner sea, the city is rich in canals and is often called "City of Water". Matsue and its surrounding area is rich in cultural assets and historical sites, and many of Japan's most ancient legends are set in the area.
- WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE
- Some of Shimane’s main attractions include:
Izumo Shrine in Izumo city is the second holiest Shinto Shrine in Japan
Matsue Castle in Matsue city is a beautiful black castle, one of Japan's few remaining original castles.
Oki Islands is a group of beautiful islands with amazing scenery, marine sports, fishing, swimming, hiking, shrines, festivals, farming and many more things to do and see.
There are many ski resorts in the prefecture. Usually the season opens from late November until late March.
Mizuho Highland is the biggest and probably best resort.
[During the year there are numerous festivals]
The Yabusame (horse-back archery) festivals of Shimane are quite famous, especially that of Tsuwano, which holds the oldest Yabusame range in all of Japan (some 1000+ years old). They usually are held in early April and if you’re lucky, the festival will coincide with the cherry blossoms blooming.
Many towns and cities have a fireworks show in August.
Iwami Kagura is a Japanese theatrical dance and music dedicated to the gods of Japanese mythology. It is characterized by the dynamic dance, the fast beat music, and the flamboyant costumes.
- GETTING THERE
- By plane
Shimane has airports in Izumo (IZO), the Oki Islands (OKI), and Masuda (IWJ). When travelling to Matsue, nearby Yonago Airport is also an option.
Shimane is on the Japan Rail San'in Main Line, which runs along western Honshu's sea coast between Kyoto and Shimonoseki.
Japan Rail's "Sunrise Izumo" night train runs between Tokyo, Matsue and Izumo.
The "Super Yakumo" express train connects Matsue and Izumo to Okayama.
The "Super Okii" JR train line originating in Shin-Yamaguchi stops at a number of cities and town in Shimane prefecture.
Long Distance Express Buses.
- CLIMATE/ TEMPERATURE
- The prefecture has a sub-tropical climate. Winter is cloudy with a little snow, and summer is humid. The average annual temperature is 14.6 ℃. It rains almost every day in the rainy season, from June to mid-July. The highest average monthly temperature occurs in August with 26.3 degrees ℃.
- WHAT TO WEAR
- During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket or a sweater should keep you warm.
- Latest news
Culture Apr 20, 2016
Touch screen menus
Tourism Apr 13, 2016
Shibuya – the world’s busiest crossing.
Food Apr 5, 2016
Onigiri – a delicious Japanese snack
Tourism Apr 4, 2016
Japanese Traditional Ritsurin Garden
Culture Mar 19, 2016مدرب منتخب اليابان لكرة القدم للسيدات: السنوات التي قضيتها مع بطلات العالم كنز لي
Culture Feb 29, 2016
Let’s choose the most beautiful doll for Hinamatsuri