Nature Spots in Shimane Area

  • Inasanohama Beach
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Izumoshi Taishachoukidukikita Inasa
    A sandy beach located about a kilometer west of the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine in Izumo City, Shimane Prefecture. The beach appears in the “Kuni-yuzuri,” a legend relating the transfer of the rulership of Japan to the gods of Heaven described in ancient texts such as the “Kojiki” and the “Nihonshoki,” as well as the legend of the “Kuni-biki” written in the “Izumo no Kuni Fudoki.” Highlights include a sheer cliff where the gods Okuninushi and Takemikazuchi negotiated for the transfer of the ownership of the land; and Bentenjima, an island where the goddess Toyotama-hime is enshrined. Two famous Shinto rituals are conducted on the beach—the Shiokumi Shinji, held early on the morning of the first day of every month; and the Kamimukae no Shinji, held on the 10th of October according to the old calendar. The beach’s waters are shallow and the coast is beautiful, and many people come here in summer to swim and enjoy beach going.
  • Mt. Sanbe
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Odashi Sambechou
    This is an active volcano belonging to the Daisen volcanic zone in the central part of Shimane prefecture, the highest of the six peaks being Mt. Osanbe surrounding a volcanic crater diameter of about 1.2 kilometers named “Murono uchi” The Sanbesan-Shizenrin forest stretching from the north face of Mt. Osanbe to Murono uchi is one of Japan’s protected natural treasures, and one can enjoy a peaceful walk or autumn leaf viewing while climbing the mountain. There are mountain trails maintained on each face, as well as hiking courses after an easy lift ride.
  • Lake Shinji
    Travel / Tourism
    Matsue, Shimane Prefecture
    Lake Shinji boasts of being the seventh largest lake in Japan with a circumference of about 45 kilometers. It is a slightly salty brackish lake in which fresh water blends with seawater. The whitebait and shijimi shellfish which are caught in the lake are famous as a taste which is representative of Matsue. The sunset on Lake Shinji was also registered as one of the “Top 100 Sunsets of Japan”. The footpath which continues along National Highway Route 9 from Sodeshi Town to Yomeshimacho, Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture on the lakeshore of Lake Shinji has become the “Lake Shinji sunset spot”. As there is also a parking lot provided, we want you to take your time to enjoy the splendour of this scenery.
  • Hinomisaki
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Izumoshi Taishachouhinomisaki
    "This historically valuable lighthouse is situated at the westernmost point of the Shimane Peninsula, selected as ""One Hundred World Historic Lighthouses"" as well as a National Tangible Cultural Property. It also includes an exhibition displaying the lighthouse structure. The observation deck overlooks the Sea of ??Japan and the Shimane Peninsula, and on a fine day the Chugoku Mountains and Oki Islands can be seen."
  • Daikon Island
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Matsueshi Yatsukachouhanyu
    "This is an island that is famous for blooming peony during the end of April and the beginning of May. There are many places to see on this island. One of them is ""Otsukayama Park"", created at Japan's lowest volcano of 42.2 meters in height. Also, on a fine day visitors can view ""Benten-jima Island "", spectacular in the morning sun, the Nakaumi Sea and Mt. Daisen as well as the ""peony garden"" and ""Daikon-jima Lava Tunnels, Cave of the Departed Souls"" designated as a National Natural Monument. Approximately 30 minutes by car from within Matsue City and Yonago City."
  • Ryuzugataki Fall
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Unnanshi Kakeyachoumatsukasa
    "This is one of the grandest waterfalls in the Chugoku region and is chosen as one of the ""Japan's Top 100 Waterfalls"" along with ""Yaedaki"" waterfall. The waterfall merges Odaki waterfall and Medaki waterfall. Behind Odaki waterfall is called the ""Uraminotaki"" and a Goddess of mercy is enshrined in the Cascade Cave. Every year on the 15th of August the ""Ryuzugataki Waterfalls Festival"" is held."
  • Kotogahama Beach
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Odashi Nimachoumaji
    "This beach, called ""Kotogahama"", is famous for the legend of ""Koto Hime"" which tells the story that this coast was where the princess of the Heike family arrived after losing the battle of Dannoura, the final battle of the Genpei War. The two-kilometer-long coast line with beautiful tiny shells is famous as the sand sounds like a Japanese harp when walking on it. The beach was chosen as one of ""100 Soundscapes of Japan"" and ""Japan's 100 most beautiful beaches"" in 1996. "
  • Iwami Tatamigaura Beach
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Hamadashi Kokubuchou
    "This is ""Iwami Tatamigaura"" beach, a nationally designated Natural Monument, where visitors can walk along the rock formations from around 16 million years ago. It is a place where visitors can see rare sights such as the fossils of shells and whales and traces of nodules and magma. Free tours from a volunteer guide are available on Sundays and national holidays from March to June and September to November. "
  • Tachikue Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Izumoshi Ottachichou
    This gorge was created by erosion of the Kando River. It is a magnificent place with a rock wall of 100-200 meters high and approximately two kilometers long along the clear stream of the gorge. It was designated as a Natural Monument in 1927 and became a prefectural nature park in 1964. There is a walkway between the Furobashi Bridge and Furankyobashi Bridge.
  • Matengai Cliff
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Okigunnishinoshimachou Uragou
    This sheer 250-meter cliff is part of the Kuniga Coast in the national park on Nishinoshima Island, part of the Oki Islands. The whole area, including the Matengai Cliff, has been designated a National Place of Scenic Beauty. The precipitous faces of these rough basalt coastal cliffs worn down by the movement of the sea look as though they were cut with a knife. The area has been chosen as one of Japan's top 100 sunset viewing spots. About two kilometers of boardwalk connect the Matengai Cliff and Kuniga Beach. It's not so far, but as there is also a 250-meter difference in elevation, getting there and back takes from 60 to 90 minutes.
  • Oni no Shitaburui
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Nitagunokuizumochou Minari 1417-6
    "This three-kilometer ravine runs along the Omaki River (a tributary of the Hii River) in Okuizumo Town, Shimane Prefecture. It's thought the name ""Oni-no Shitaburui"" is a corruption of the line ""Wani-no Shitaburu"" from the Izumo Province Fudoki. Many distinctive rock formations have been carved out by the flow of the river over the years. There are numerous round potholes scraped into the stone of the riverbed too, creating some fantastic scenery. A promenade along the river lets you take in the whole ravine. "
  • Dangyo Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Okigunokinoshimachou Nagu
    This waterfall is located in the area of Dangyo Shrine in the island town of Oki. The 40 meter waterfalls, which drop from both sides of Dangyo Shrine standing on a cliff, were used for living water and agricultural water since long ago. Made up of Osudaki Falls (also known as Urami Falls, where you can see the back) and Mesudaki Falls, there is still the tradition of cleansing the body with water from the falls on the night before bullfighting tournaments and Oki Classical Sumo tournaments for long life, success in battle and to prevent fires. In addition, it has been chosen as one of Japan's top 100 waterfalls because of the abundant amount of water.
  • Urahikimi Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Masudashi Hikimichouhikimi
    "This is the collective name of the valley located in Hikimi-cho, Masuda City. It consists of 4 areas: Mae-Hikimi, Oku-Hikimi, Omote-Hikimi and Ura-Hikimi, each with different landscapes you can enjoy. You can see beautiful rock formations such as ""Arashiyama"", ""Goban-iwa"" and ""Tengu-iwa"" at Mae-Hikimi, the entrance to the four Himimi gorges. You can enjoy the scenery of Omote-Hikimi Gorge from the car window, and it is a scenic spot of about four kilometers, including a clear stream that is so transparent that you can see the bottom of the river. Ura-Hikimi Gorge, in contrast to Omote-Hikimi, is a valley of continuing steep cliffs and mountain streams, and the Mt. Suzugadake is at the far end of the footpath."
  • Omote-Hikimi Ravine
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Masuda-shi Hikimicho Hikimi
  • Chibu Sekiheki (Red Cliffs)
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Okigunchibumura
    Chiburi Sekiheki (Red Cliffs) is an area of precipitous cliffs that extends for approximately one kilometer on the west coast of Chiburi-jima Island. The rock, which has been eroded by the action of the waves, is a reddish-brown color, which contrasts beautifully with the white spray of the ocean. The cliffs are particularly spectacular when viewed at dusk in the light of the setting sun. Oki Chiburi Sekiheki has been designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty (in 1935) and as a National Natural Monument.
  • Kuniga Coast
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Prefecture Oki gun Nishinoshima cho
    The Kuniga Coast was designated a National Place of Scenic Beauty in 1938, and has also been designated a National Natural Monument. As a result of erosion by the fierce waves of the Sea of Japan, there is a seven kilometer stretch of coast running from east to west with more or less continuous cliffs, precipices and sea-caves, creating what has been described as the most beautiful scenery in the Oki region. There are cliffs more than 100 meters in height at various points along the coast, including one 257-meter-high cliff that looks as though it had been carved out with a giant knife, and which is the highest sea-cliff in Japan.
  • Akiya Coast
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Okigunamachou Toyoda
    The Akiya Coast is famous for its beautiful scenery. The brown rocks of Byobu-iwa and the other rocks protruding out of the sea make a gorgeous contrast with the emerald green ocean. The name “Akiya” derives from a legend that says that a goddess gave birth here. There is a municipal campsite and a sea-bathing area, so the Akiya Coast attracts a lot of visitors, especially in summer. Byobu-iwa is especially popular with couples, because it has a heart-shaped hole in it, and is said to have magical powers for strengthening romantic ties.
  • Shirashima Coast
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Okigunokinoshimachou Nishimura
    Shirashima Coast is a collective term for Cape Shirashima, which juts out into the ocean at the northernmost end of Dogo Island (the largest island in Oki Islands), Okinoshima Island, Matsushima Island and the neighboring small islands. This area has spectacular scenery, with white cliffs “floating” above azure seas; the Shirashima Coast has been designated as a National Natural Monument. The observation platform at the Cape offers impressive views.
  • Matengai Cliff Trail
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Oki-gun Nishinoshimacho
  • Funabiki Canal
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Oki-gun Nishinoshimacho Mita
    A canal connecting the inner sea's Mita Bay with its mountainous coast to the outer Sea of Japan. 340 meters long and 5.5 meters wide, it was built in 1914 and 1915. The area gets the name Funagoshi from the fact the boats were pulled over land from the inner sea to the outer sea until the canal was built. This major development linking the two bodies of water over the shortest possible distance brought major changes to fishing, industry, and life on the island. Major renovations widened it even further in 1964, and now fishing and sightseeing boats coming and going on the canal are a common sight on Nishinoshima.

Shimane Areas


What Shimane prefecture lacks in size and population, it makes up for in scenery and ancient mythology. Izumo-taisha, in the middle of the prefecture, is said to be Japan’s oldest Shinto shrine, where stories that delve into the creation of the Japanese race have been passed down over centuries. The 180 Oki Islands, a 40-minute ferry ride north of Sakaiminato, offer an undiscovered paradise well off the beaten track.

Shimane Photo Album

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