Toukami Yamanagisa Park Campsite

Oki Seaside Hotel Tsurumaru

67th Japanese Traditional Crafts Exhibition

A Wagashi Adventure in Matsue

'Contemporary Master Craftsman', Mr Itami Tsugio, quietly puts on a show in here at Kiharu Kissa, in the Matsue History Museum. Some of Mr Itami's exquisite pieces on display right in front of the counter.  Kiharu Kissa is set within the Matsue History Museum, and here you can relax on tatami, enjoying wagashi and the […]

Adachi Museum of Art and Yuushien Gardens

Peonies in season, Yuushien Gardens Gardens at the Adachi Museum of Art The windows are framed to make the garden look like a “living painting” Climate controlled Yuushien has something to see in every season Everywhere you look provides a unique view as if it were a different garden Bird and flower garden, Matsue Vogel […]

The Gardens of Adachi Museum of Art

Adachi Museum of Art Notice The Annex periodically closes throughout the year — please check the official site. Latest on Adachi Museum of Art If there was only one “must see” in Shimane prefecture, my vote would go to the Adachi Museum of Art. Set in the simple countryside of Yasugi, Adachi is tucked away […]

Glimpses of Adachi Museum of Art

Adachi Museum of Art gardens 165,000 square meters in total Pond garden Path to teahouse Rocks and pines collected from all over Japan Dry landscape garden with Mt. Katsuyama in the background Pond garden from tea house Taikan Summer garden meticulously landscaped by an army of gardeners One of the sculptures posed outdoors Adachi Museum […]

En-musubi in the Izumo Region

The 5-ton shimenawa rope at Izumo Grand Shrine’s Kaguraden Hall The iconic roof of Izumo Grand Shrine Beach and shrine at Inasa-no-Hama Yaegaki Shrine At the mirror pond, the faster your divining paper sinks, the better your relationship fortune Daily penguin parade at Matsue Vogel Park The 5-ton shimenawa rope at Izumo Grand Shrine’s Kaguraden […]

En Route to Impressionism

The event flyer Works by Renoir are on display Corot is often regarded as one of the legends of landscape painting Sep 12th Nov 3rd The event flyer (Photo: Kim B) Venue: Shimane Art Museum When: Sep 12th – Nov 3rd 2020 From September 12th to November 3rd, the Shimane Art Museum is hosting a […]

Enjoy the Edo Period in Modern Matsue

View of Matsue Castle from the moat Matsue Castle View from the top floor of Matsue Castle Hundreds of hand-made paper lanterns are laid in and around the castle grounds for Matsue Suitoro The Horikawa Sightseeing Boat travels around the castle moats The Horikawa Sightseeing Boat travels around the castle moats Matsue Castle is the […]

Exploring Shimane

Adachi Museum Dry Landscape Garden Adachi Museum of Art White Gravel & Pine Garden Flying past Mt Fuji heading to Shimane Prefecture Yonago Kitaro Airport Baggage Claim Yonago Kitaro Airport Terminal Ceiling Eshima Ohashi Bridge Shimane is the second least populated prefecture in Japan, but is filled with many awesome attractions. After a very pleasant […]

Exploring Shimane Prefecture

Exploring Shimane Prefecture Taimasan Observatory, Hamadashi Shimane ranks low on Japan’s prefecture list in terms of population, but scores high on historic sites and cultural activities. This long narrow region, bordering both mountains and the Sea of Japan, offers visitors everything from a castles to ancient shrines to one of the best gardens in the […]

Fashion in Japan 1945-2020: Shimane

Mar 20th May 16th The event banner Venue: Iwami Museum, Shimane When: Mar 20th – May 16th 2021, 10:00am – 6:30pm A special exhibition at the Iwami Museum in Shimane introduces Japanese fashion from the postwar period to the present, and the societal conditions that have shaped the styles and the fashion industry here. The […]

Former Hatagasako Hospital

Former Hatagasako Hospital new wing built in 1917. The main entrance is on the left and the surgery room is in the center of the photo Restaurant part of the former hospital, interior rearranged, so it does not feel like “eating in a hospital” The main corridor of the former hospital shows the size of […]

Gesshoji Temple

The temple grounds boast a tea-house with beautiful garden views A slice of tranquility in the middle of the city Lotus flowers dot the pond, and when the season is right there are hydrangeas galore The temple is known for the large tortoise statue that featured in the works of the writer Lafcadio Hearn Greenery […]

Heron Dance

Heron Dance, a festival with over 500 years of history Heron Dance, the one with open beak is the male, and the one with the closed beak is the female Heron Dance, with sake brewery in the background Otabisho, the last station of the ceremony. This is where the deity stays for a week Marching […]

Hiking in the Oki Islands

The bottom of the hiking trail. You walk through meadows of horses during your hike. The views during the hike. The bottom of the hiking trail. Japan likes to create lists of impressive things…and Nishinoshima features on several of these impressive lists. The hiking trail along the Kuniga Coast has been chosen as one of […]

Hinomisaki Lighthouse in Izumo

Hinomisaki Lighthouse in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture The Hinomisaki Lighthouse in Izumo is definitely one of the more unique spots in all of Shimane prefecture. This massive white structure towers in stark contrast over the dark and rugged Northern coastline. It’s said to be the tallest lighthouse in all of Japan, and for 200yen, you can […]

Hori Mansion and Garden

The main house as seen from the road The outer wall of the Hori Mansion Entrance View from the first floor of the guest house View from the second floor, this time towards the road and Wa-raku-en in the background Second floor has motifs of the sky, in this case birds Hori Mansion and Garden […]

Horikawa Boat Cruise

Horikawa boat cruises Horikawa boat cruises Horikawa boat cruises Horikawa boat cruises The waterways around Matsue city A view from the bridge Horikawa boat cruises (Photo: Shimane Prefecture) Matsue, being a castle town, has an intricate web of waterways running through the town, spreading out from the inner and outer moats enclosing the castle. The […]

Horikawa Boat Tour in Matsue City

View of Matsue Castle from the Tour Boat. The rear and interior of the boat. Admire the tatami! This Heron was not at all disturbed by our boat coming so close to him. View of Matsue Castle from the Tour Boat. (Photo: Louise Waghorn. ) Many old castle towns in Japan have retained their castle, […]

Iwami Ginzan’s Omori-cho

The main street is similar to post towns in the Kiso Valley. One of the many interesting shops in town One of many interesting temples along the walk, Kanzeonji A look down the main street from Kanzeonji Temple Rent one of these bicycles and stop by this tasty coffee shop for a drink. The locals […]

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Scenery you won’t find elsewhere in Japan Omori street scene Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine (Photo: Shimane Prefectural Government) Being in Omori Town is akin to being in a different world. It is a small town in Shimane Prefecture of around four-hundred people surrounded by mountains and trees; a living time capsule […]

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

Man and rabbit Izumo Taisha Shrine Evidence of a make-over Man and rabbit (Photo: Shimane Prefectural Government) The Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, in Izumo City, Shimane Prefecture, is one of the oldest Shrine sites in Japan. Said to have originally stood 48 meters (154.5 feet) tall around in a record from 950 C.E., the current […]

Kiyonori Kikutake Exhibition

Venue: Shimane Art Museum, Matsue When: Jan 22nd – Mar 22nd 2021, 10:00am – 6:30pm Kiyonori Kikutake (1928 – 2011) was one of Japan's leading architects after the war, and was also the designer of the Shimane Art Museum which was completed in 1999. A special exhibition at the museum explores the charm of Kikutake's […]

Lafcadio Hearn Museum, Matsue City

The Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum view from the road. Journey to Glimpses of an Unfamilar Japan. A selection of Hearn’s works available from the reception. The Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum view from the road. (Photo: Louise Waghorn. ) Have you read Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan? ​What about Kwaidan? If you have, then you are already […]

Sunset Over Lake Shinji

The show opens with the symphony in blue. The sun paints the scenery with a dusky shade of blue and red. The sun sets the skies on fire once more before it sets on mountain Asahi. A slight hint of mauve along the way. Bride island, mount Asashi and the city of Matsue. The beautiful […]

Breathe in the Sun in Matsue

Lake Shinji (Photo: Shimane Prefecture) A trip to Matsue wouldn't be complete without seeing the sunset over Lake Shinji. This view is included in Japan’s list of one hundred best sunsets, and it’s not hard to see why, as the changing seasonal colors of the skies reflected in the lake keep both visitors and locals […]

Making Washi Paper at Saranoki

The finished dried (baked) Washi postcards, with leaf and gold decoration Kouzo tree Form for larger sheets of Washi The forms used during the workshop: the postcards are the small one on the left. Half way through The traditional way to dry it is to “stick” it onto these planks Washi papermaking was an important […]

Matsue Castle

Matsue Castle tower Matsue Castle samurai armor Matsue Castle historical data Matsue Castle outer wall and moat Matsue Castle historical data Matsue Castle Citadel entrance Matsue Castle tower Castle in Matsue city was intended to be the highlight of my visit to Shimane prefecture and thus my friends were keeping it for a later date. […]

Matsue Castle: A Reminder of the Past

Matsue Caslte Matsue Castle Matsue Castle Matsue Castle Matsue Castle Matsue Castle Matsue is a traditional castle town, with one of the twelve original remaining castles nationwide as its foremost symbol. The castle was built over a five year period, from 1607 to 1611, by Horio Yoshiharu, the feudal lord of the Matsue domain. Unlike […]

Matsue’s Kounkaku

Exterior of the Kounkaku in Matsue One of the sitting areas inside The building has served many roles over the years The Kounkaku in Matsue sits on the grounds of Matsue Castle, and it's not an embellishment when I say it was built for royalty. Work on the building started back in December of 1902 […]

Step into the Homelife of Samurai

Samurai residences in Matsue city (Photo: Shimane prefecture) Walking along Shiomi-nawate street, the traditionally walled houses create an Edo period atmosphere. A finely preserved samurai residence, open to public viewing for an admission fee, is located right at the half-way point of this street. It was built in approximately 1730, and has been lived in […]

Meimei-an and the Tea Ceremony Culture of Matsue

Casually enjoy tea ceremonies while in front of beautiful Japanese gardens in many places in Matsue Matcha tea and handmade wagashi sweets at Kiharu Café Matcha tea and wagashi sweets in Meimei-an Matsudaira Fumai, tea master and lord of Matsue who commissioned Meimei-an Meimei-an, the lord’s teahouse, built in 1779 Tea ceremony events are also […]

Morijuku Art Museum

The front gate of the Morijuku Art Gallery with some rice granaries on either side of the gate The majestic mansion of the former Yoshige family An art exhibition that features a local painter. However, I was more interested in the huge beams and roof structure The well that was used for the sake brewing […]

Night Kagura – Theatre For the Gods

Fight with the evil serpent (Orochi story) Taikodani Inari Shrine, the place of the Night Kagura The event is a casual one, there is no seating order, just get yourself comfortable somewhere on the floor The introduction of the main characters Fighting one of the demons (Jinrin story) After the performance, one can take pictures […]

Nima Sand Museum

The exterior of the museum The world’s largest hourglass A closer look at the pyramid-styled architecture When it comes to sand-based attractions in Japan, the Tottori Sand Dunes are probably at the top of the list. Neighboring Shimane Prefecture also throws their hat into the ring with the Nima Sand Museum, which has one interesting […]

Nishinoshima Part of Oki Islands

Nishinoshima part of the Oki Island group Another shot of us on Nishinoshima Hi, it’s Nicola here to help your visit to Oki Islands Nishinoshima part of the Oki Island group Perhaps by now you have read about the Oki Islands? Not Okinawa but Oki, a picturesque islands in the Sea of Japan, an enjoyable […]

Oki Nature Museum

Some of the biggest fishes caught in the waters of the Oki Islands Obsidian. The edge is sharp enough to cut clean through a newspaper. Some of the earliest tools were made of obsidian. On the grounds of the Tamawakasu-Mikoto Shrine is a 2000 year old cedar. Part of it broke off and the piece […]

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