Matsue is at the centre of the San-in Region (primarily Shimane and Tottori Prefectures), which is often referred to as “the other side of Japan”. Matsue is very close to Tottori Prefecture, which is rich in natural resources. Tottori is known as the “Manga Kingdom”, as it is the hometown of many famous manga artists, like Sakaiminato’s Shigeru Mizuki (GeGeGe no Kitaro), Hokuei District’s Gosho Aoyama (Detective Conan) and Tottori City’s Jiro Taniguchi (Botchan no Jidai, A Distant Neighbourhood).
A beautiful coast – 美しい海岸
Iwami Seaside Park (Japanese), along the Shimane coast and close to Shimane Aquarium AQUAS, has great beaches for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. The San-in Kaigan Global Geopark, that runs from Tottori to Kyoto Prefecture, is best known for its Uradome Coast, Tomiura Beach and Tottori’s Sand Dunes (Japan’s largest). You might even see dolphins along this coast!
Kurashiki and Misasa - 倉吉・三朝
Setting of A Distant Neighbourhood, written by Tottori manga artist Jiro Taniguchi, the city of Kurayoshi is praised for its townscape reminiscent of Edo and early Meiji Eras. Located nearby is Misasa Onsen, one of the world’s richest radium hot springs. It is also home to the Sanbutsu-ji Temple’s Nageire-do Hall, a national treasure perched halfway up a cliff.
Tsuwano – 津和野
Called the “Little Kyoto of San-in”, the former castle-town of Tsuwano is located in the westernmost part of Shimane Prefecture, near Yamaguchi and Hiroshima. It offers visitors many preserved historical sites (Tsuwano Castle Ruins, Taikodani Inari Shrine, two historic Catholic churches), museums (Mori Ogai Memorial Hall, Kyodokan Folk Museum), festivals (Yabusame Horseback Archery, Sagimai Heron Dance Sagimai) and hot springs.