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Izumo

Izumo Taisha, a national treasure, is Japan’s tallest shrine. The god Okuninushi resides here, and it is also home to Japan’s largest shimenawa, a sacred rope made of straw. In front of the main hall there are markings where remnants of giant pillars were found. Based on records from 950AD, the shrine was said to have once stood 48 metres high.  Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo next to the shrine introduces the shrine's long history and the culture of ancient Izumo.

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine – 出雲大社

Izumo Taisha, a national treasure, is Japan’s tallest shrine. The god Okuninushi resides here, and it is also home to Japan’s largest shimenawa, a sacred rope made of straw. In front of the main hall there are markings where remnants of giant pillars were found. Based on records from 950AD, the shrine was said to have once stood 48 metres high.

Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo next to the shrine introduces the shrine's long history and the culture of ancient Izumo.

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine
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Cape Hinomisaki – 日御碕

Accessible by bus from Izumo Taisha, located on the westernmost tip of Shimane Peninsula, Hinomisaki is home to the beautiful vermillion-lacquered Hinomisaki Shrine. This shrine is National Important Cultural Property.

Located near Hinomisaki Shrine is Japan’s tallest lighthouse, which provides panoramic views over the nearby cliffs and Sea of Japan, and makes for a great spot to watch the sunset. A small uninhabited island called Fumishima, can also been seen from here.

Cape Hinomisaki
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Hirata District – 平田町

The district of Hirata is located halfway between Izumo Taisha and Matsue (Rail access: Unshu-hirata Station).

Hirata is known for its historic Cotton Road (Japanese). You can access Gakuen-ji Temple and Kokoku-ji Temple, two temples renowned for their exquisite beauty, from here by bus.

Another convenient and interesting rail stop along this route is the Ichibataguchi Station. From here you can access the impressive Ichibata Yakushi Temple, devoted to the Healing Buddha of eyesight.

Ichibata Yakushi Temple
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Access

It is easy to reach Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine from Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Station via the Ichibata Railway train that runs along the north side of Lake Shinji. Transfer trains at Kawato Station and disembark when you reach the final stop, Izumotaishamae Station.

On your way there, enjoy the beautiful view of Lake Shinji, and don’t hesitate to make a pit-stop at Matsue English Garden or Matsue Vogel Park.

You can also use the south side’s JR train between Matsue Station and Izumo Station then continue to Izumo Taisha, and make a detour to Tamatsukuri Onsen on your way between cities.

Useful links
  • Izumo Official Sightseeing Website (English PDF available) ›› Click here
  • En-musubi.net ›› Click here (Japanese)
  • Japan National Tourism Organisation ›› Click here