The eastern region of Shimane peninsula
Sightseeing spots (priority areas)
Jizozaki at the easternmost point of Shimane peninsula.
The indented sawtooth coastline and the beautiful cliff scenery are characteristic of the landscape of this area. Mihonoseki Lighthouse is also a pleasurable sight, having been listed as one of the world’s 100 historic lighthouses, and having been recognized as a romantic destination for lovers.
From Jizozaki you can enjoy the sun rising, over the ridgeline of Mt. Daisen, and setting, over the Sea of Japan. On a clear day you can see the Oki islands.
The French-style buffet next to the lighthouse allows you to enjoy dining with a view of the Sea of Japan.
2.8 km west of Jizozaki, the park that features in the folk song ‘Seki no Go-hon-matsu bushi’ can be found.
Known as one of the best spots for viewing azaleas in the prefecture, during the Golden Week period the contrast in color between the azaleas at the peak of their bloom and the blue color of the sea below in Miho Bay is a sight to behold.
Moreover, the promenade connecting Go-hon-matsu Park and Jizozaki allows you to enjoy walking (approx.. 1 hr.)
Katsurashima, Kaka-no-kukedo, Takobana
The topography of the northern part of Shimane peninsula’s coastline is characterized by a sawtooth coastline that has seen much erosion from the rough waves of the Sea of Japan.
Receiving recognition for its characteristic topographical and geological features, Shimane peninsula became a Geopark of Japan (Shimane Peninsula and Shinjiko Nakaumi Estuary Geopark) in December of 2017.
At Katsurashima, the strand and the beach, the seaside swimming area, the camping grounds, and the promenade, are to be enjoyed.
On the sandy beach, seaside swimming and rocky shore fishing is to be enjoyed, not to mention marine sports such as sea kayaking and SUP.
Kaka-no-Kukedo is a site comprising two coastal caves, Old Kukedo and and New Kukedo. Enjoy seeing The Seven Caves of Tako (seven caves which can be seen from the sea) among other beautiful sights on the sightseeing boat tour.
At the northernmost point of the Shimane peninsula, the Cape of Takobana, there is an observation point and an accommodation facility.
Along the coast are The Seven Caves of Tako, which formed as a result of erosion from the rough waves of the Sea of Japan.
Recommended sightseeing spots in the eastern region of Shimane Peninsula
Sentaku-iwa of the Susumi Coast
Along the Susumi Coast a seabed of accumulated geological formation is exposed and you can see the black and blackish-grey colors of mudstone that has hollowed due to weathering. The pointed forms of white-colored sandstone thought to resemble a washboard gave rise to the name Sentakuita (washboard).
Nonami and Konami seaside swimming areas
Prominent seaside swimming areas in the eastern region of Shimane peninsula, Nonami Kaisui Yokujo and Konami Kaisui Yokujo with their translucent blue waters, are like the beaches of a tropical island.
In 1964, in commemoration of the opening of the Nonami-Kaka prefectural road which opened in 1961, 500 Yoshino cherry trees presented by Matsue Murabito Kai were planted here.
Now, the tunnel of cherry blossom trees continues for a distance of 5 km, and with the blue of the sea in the background, makes for a magnificent view.
Along the Souzu Coast abrasion platform resulting from erosion can be seen. Also, the view of the coastline, that reaches the marine-blue sandy beach and Akishima, is a spectacular sight, highly-recommended.
Matsue Visitor Center
A facility opened in the Spring of 2018 for people to enjoy learning all about the Shimane Peninsula and Shinjiko Nakaumi Estuary Geopark.
The facility acts as a base for information, learning, and the placement of guides.
On the second floor of Marine Plaza Shimane, the Geopark is introduced. The first floor is the arrival and departure point for Kukedo sightseeing boats.
Marine Park Takobana
Marine Park Takobana is an accommodation facility where you can enjoy splendid panoramic ocean views from the Cape of Takobana.
There are 15 cabins, a public bath with panoramic view, a camping site, and an observation deck. You can also enjoy day-camping.
Marine Park Takobana Observation Point
Enjoy a sweeping view of the horizon where the glistening blue sea meets the clear blue sky from the northernmost point of the Shimane peninsula.
A special observation deck where, from Spring to Autumn, you can enjoy both sunrise and sunset without any obstruction of view between east and west.
Near to one of Japan’s most prominent fishing grounds, Sakaiminato, the eastern region of the Shimane peninsula prides itself on being an area where fresh varieties of fish and shellfish can be enjoyed.
Especially in winter the Matsuba-gani (snow crab) is an example of perfectly excellent cuisine.
“Yatai” Food Stands
There are grilled squids, “sazae-no-tsuboyaki” (grilled turban shells) and “Ichiya-boshi” (fish salted and dried overnight) which you will want to bring home as a souvenir.
Soy sauce ice cream from the inner part of Aoishi-datami paved street is also very popular.
There are also many attractive shops near Miho Shrine.
The area surrounding the National Park
Located in the eastern part of Shimane peninsula, Miho Shrine is famous as the head shrine dedicated to Ebisu Sama, the guardian deity of marine safety and business prosperity.
The ceremonies of Asamike and Yumike, in which offerings are made to God, take place twice daily, at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., 365 days a year. During the ceremonies, Mikomai is performed.
The performance can be freely observed by anyone.
Oki no Gozen, Chi no Gozen
Legend has it that the deity enshrined at Miho Shrine, Ebisu Sama, was sea bream fishing at Oki no Gozen and Chi no Gozen which are located within the precincts of Miho Shrine.
From the torii gate on the promenade encircling Mihonoseki Lighthouse you can see the islands.
A beautiful stone-paved street, the color of which turns greenish-grey and bluish-grey in the rain.
Shimane’s Moriyama-ishi and Fukui’s Shakudani-ishi
Walking around these streets you can imagine the area as it flourished as a port of call for Kitamaebune (the merchant ships that conducted trade along the coast of the Sea of Japan) during the Edo period.
On the way to Mihonoseki from Sakai Suido Ohashi Bridge the pairing of rocks that you can see on your right, hanging from which is a sacred rope called a Shimenawa, is called Meotoiwa.
The spot has become known as a divine matchmaking spot as the shape of these rocks gave rise to a popular belief that by visiting you will be blessed with children.
Shinji-ko and Nakaumi: Registered Wetlands under the Ramsar Convention
Shinji-ko and Nakaumi, recognized as internationally important wetlands, were registered under the Ramsar Convention in November 2005.
The area of both wetlands combines to make 165 squared km, and is the largest brackish water lake in the country.
During the winter season, tens of thousands of birds including tundra swans, white-fronted geese, and ducks, fly to the Hiikawa estuary of Lake Shinji and the Iinashi estuary of Lake Nakaumi, making for an excellent bird-watching spot.
Shinjiko Kitayama Prefectural Natural Park eastern district
The landscape of Lake Shinji and the Kitayama district which is the ridgeline of Shimane peninsula with easy-to-climb mountains such as Mt. Makuragi, Mt. Ohira, Mt. Asahi, and Mt.Dake, makes for exceptional scenery.
Kiyomizu Gassan Prefectural Natural Park
Made up of three districts including Kiyomizudera temple, Sagi-no-Yu Onsen which is a designated people’s recreation spa, and Gassan, the site of the ancient fortress where the feud between the Mouri and Amako clans took place during the Warring States period.
Kiyomizudera Temple has a precious three-storied pagoda, which is a rare sight in Shimane prefecture.
In the park you can enjoy the changing scenery of the four seasons, from cherry blossoms and azaleas, to autumn leaves and a snowy landscape.
At Gassan there is the castle ruins of the Amako clan’s Toda Castle, and nearby is Sagi-no-Yu Onsen, which was a Gotenyu (hot spring used by feudal lords) for the Amako clan lords.
Adachi Museum of Art
The museum houses a collection of 1500 paintings by modern Japanese artists including Yokoyama Taikan.
The Japanese garden of 165,000 square meters attracts many visitors having been selected as the no. １ Japanese garden in Japan by the U.S. Journal of Japanese Gardening.
Earning popularity for being awarded three stars by the Michelin Green Guide Japan, the garden welcomes 600,000 domestic and international visitors annually.
It is a world class museum where you can appreciate the beauty of nature in the changing garden landscape through the seasons, together with the beauty of Japanese painting. (open all year round)
Emerging in the center of Lake Nakaumi, Daikonshima is a volcanic island of a 12 km circumference. Famous for its vibrant peony flowers, the peony festival held every Spring attracts many visitors.
The largest Chisen Kaiyushiki Japanese garden (a style of garden that features a path around a pond) in the Sanin region, you can enjoy a variety of different flowers, for example, peonies, Japanese irises, autumn leaves, and winter-flowering peonies throughout the seasons. In Spring, the ‘Sanmanrin no Chisenbotan’, where the pond’s surface is covered with 30,000 peonies, is spectacular.
In the indoor garden, Botan no Yakata, peonies can be admired all year round. It’s a popular spot among foreign visitors.