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Home of many legends with Izumo Taisha, one of the oldest shrines in Japan

Shimane prefecture, in Western Honshu, the main island of Japan, is the home of many legends. Izumo is known as a mythical area as it is said all Gods in Japan gather every October at Izumo Taisha, one of the oldest shrines in Japan. 

Shimane played an important role in Japanese history and it already appeared in Japanese old literatures including the oldest chronicles called “Kojiki.”

Map of Shimane
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Izumo Taisha’s long history is deeply related to Japan’s creation myths.  Although its exact date of establishment is unknown, it existed at least 1,300 years ago as the place is already quoted in “Kojiki”, the oldest Japanese chronicles issued in 8th century.


The former silver mine of Iwami Ginzan was one of the world’s main silver mining area during the 17th century. It was registered as World Heritage Site in 2007. 

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Shigeru Mizuki, a popular comic writer best known for his series “GeGeGe no Kitaro”, which means spooky Kitaro, grew up in Sakaiminoto city. The city has a Kitaro museum and a half mile sidewalk with 177 types of blonds statues of traditional Japanese ghouls from his comic books.


Shijimijiru - soup with shijimi clam from a famour lake, Shinjiko Lake

Maitake gohan- mixed rice with maitake mushrooms and vegetables. Maitake is called king of mushrooms due to its strong smell.

Unnan no Yakisaba - grilled mackerel popular in the Unnan area. Due to its geographical location surrounded by mountains, it is hard to get fresh fish in Unnan. Mackerel was grilled in Unnan and sent to area further in mountains.


Production of Izumo stone lanterns started around 8th century. It is widely appreciated for traditional Japanese gardens as mosses grow quickly on stones from Kimachi area used for the lanterns. Iwami ware is a type of pottery made in Gotsu city in Shimane.

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Its technique was said to be brought by a Korean potter around 17th century and it is particularly known for large water jugs. 


Dolls used for Iwami Kagura, a local traditional dance that features Japanese myths, is made of Sekishu Washi Paper that is handmade in Iwami area. 

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