Mt. Sanbe district
Sightseeing spots (priority areas)
Within the area around Mt. Sanbe, an active volcano 1,126 meters above sea level, there are several hot springs facilities including Sanbe Onsen and Yugakae Onsen.
Around the Muro-no-uchi, a crater, there are six mountain peaks, O-Sanbe, Me-Sanbe, Ko-Sanbe, Mago-Sanbe, Mt. Ohira, and Mt. Hikage. You can walk down into the crater, and traverse the peaks.
At the foot of the mountain, at Kita-no-hara, Nishi-no-hara, and Higashi-no-hara highlands, the cows grazing in the meadow and the Ukinuno-ike and Himenoga-ike ponds make it a unique grassland landscape.
From the mountaintop of O-Sanbe, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of magnificent scenery.
Enjoy viewing the Shimane peninsula mountain range and the Sea of Japan, and on a clear day, you can see the outline of the Oki islands.
Mt. Sanbe area Recommended Sightseeing Spots
Nishi-no-hara highlands is the area that is spread out at the foot of the mountains of O-Sanbe, Ko-Sanbe, and Mago-Sanbe.
With the arrival of spring, ‘Hi-ire’, where the withered plume grass of the meadow is burned off, takes place.
After that, the sprouting of fresh grass begins. From the fresh verdure of early summer, to the changing leaves and the golden color of the plume grass of autumn, and the bright white snowy landscape, Mt. Sanbe can be enjoyed through the seasons. 。
At Yama-no-eki Sanbe in the Nishi-no-hara highlands you can enjoy foods made using local ingredients and sweets. The café is an excellent place to relax and enjoy the view of Mt. Sanbe.
Himenoga-ike has a circumference of 400 meters, an area of 9000 square meters, and a depth of about 1 meter. From the beginning of May through mid-June, the prefecturally-designated protected species of rabbit-ear irises come into bloom and cover the surface of the water. Also, the natural forest that you see while climbing the Kita-no-hara mountain path is a nationally-designated protected habitat.
Mt. Sanbe Natural Forest
The natural forest that spreads out for 123 hectares around the north-facing slope of Mt. Sanbe and Muro-no-uchi is a national protected habitat.
The forest also features in the list of one hundred woods for forest bathing.
Mt. Sanbe consists of the peaks of O-Sanbe, Me-Sanbe, and Ko-Sanbe, and the hollow at the center of these peaks is called Muro-no-uchi.
Thought to have formed about 3600 years ago, it is 1km long in diameter and was one of the last craters to erupt.
At the western side of the foot of the mountain, Lake Sekitome formed after the flow of the river was stopped due to Mt. Sanbe’s eruption.
Legend has it that Princess Nibehime dived into the pond after being seduced by a young man who had transformed into a giant serpent.
Afterwards, the white lines of the princess’s garments shone on the pond’s surface, it is said.
Shimane Nature Museum of Mt. Sanbe ‘Sahimel’
At Sahimel, there are exhibits of the animals, plants, and insects of Shimane, along with a planetarium, and an astronomical telescope. With easy-to-understand commentary, it’s enjoyable for people of all ages.
Next to ‘Sahimel’, there is a campsite where you can enjoy mountain-climbing and forest-bathing. The campsite is pet-friendly with a dog-run for dog walking and dog bungalows for staying over.
Higashi-no-hara highlands spreads out for a distance of 300 hectares around the base of the Me-Sanbe, Hikage, and Ohira mountains. There is a lift, and between the seasons of Spring and Autumn you can climb Mt. Ohira. You can also walk along the Higashi-no-hara course.
Opened in the spring of 2018 in Higashi-no-hara Highlands. You can enjoy wine tasting, and observation of the manufacturing and bottling process.
A hot spring with highly effective properties that welled up along with the occurrence of a big earthquake during the Hakuho period. The Ministry of the Environment has designated it a people’s recreation spa. The turbidity of the tepid, yellowish-brown water attracts tourists visiting Mt. Sanbe.
The origin of the name Hekayaki is in the word ‘Heka’ that is the name of the metal piece at the tip of a spade that was used instead of a cooking pot in the past. Whereas beef and pork are used in sukiyaki, fish is used in Hekayaki.
This soba is the same soba that has been cultivated on Mt. Sanbe since during the Anei years of the Edo period. This flavorsome soba, washed in crystalline water, is the pride of Sanbe.
Burgers made using Shimane’s best ingredients SANBE BURGER （across from Sahimel）
The area surrounding Mt. Sanbe
A sandy beach that makes a squeaking sound as you walk, designated a national protected habitat. The Nima Sand Museum nearby houses the largest hourglass in the world on which time is clocked yearly.
During the Kamakura period, to let the waters of Haneko Lake flow into the Sea of Japan, after it burst its banks several times, 7 years was spent unearthing and cutting through this strangely shaped rock.
A marine cave with two entrances said to be the place where the Kuni-yuzuri myth was born by Onamuchi-no-mikoto, (Okunishi-no-mikoto in his younger years) and Sukunahikona-no-mikoto.
Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Site
Highly rated as an industrial heritage site that exists in harmony with the natural environment, it was registered as a World Heritage Site in July 2007.
The main attraction of Iwami Ginzan, Ryugenji Mabu Mine Shaft is partly open to the public. Seeing the marks of the hand-dug tunnels in the chilly underground mine you can recall the image of the mine workers trying hard to dig up the silver.
Fukumitsu Ishi Quarry
Producing the largest amount of quarried rock in the prefecture, this quarry has been in business for 450 years. Fukumitsu Ishi stone has been used in the making of gravestones and the Gohyaku Rakan Zazou stone Buddhist statues.
The old road that stretches from Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine in Omori, Ota city to Onomichi city in Hiroshima city is called Ginzan Kaidou. Along this road, the route between Komatsuji of Misato town and Yugakae is called Yanashio Michi. There are various theories surrounding the reasoning behind this name, but the most convincing theory is that salt was carried along this route in the past as ‘yana’ means much and ‘shio’ means salt. The route is ideal for trekking and walking.
Discovered 1300 years ago, the hot spring has a long history and has earned the reputation of having therapeutic qualities.
There are stories related to the hot spring that say that a Buddhist monk on his travels discovered a tanuki healing his wound in the hot water, and that Okuninushi-no-mikoto saved an ill rabbit by bathing it in the hot water here.
Hanenishi no Keikaboku
Designated a national protected habitat, this petrified wood is the fossilized remains of wood that was formed after the carbon in the wood that was buried underground for many years was replaced with silicon.
Sanbe Azukihara Buried Forest
The forest that was buried along with the volcanic eruption of Mt. Sanbe about 4000 years ago is on display as it was found in an underground dome. You can enjoy the unusual experience of being able to see the giant trees from ancient Jomon times. A rare kind of national protected habitat, it is one of Japan’s top 100 geological formations.
The large cedar tree of Motomiya Shrine
Motomiya Shrine’s sacred tree, 42 meters in height and with a trunk circumference of 9 meters, is a designated protected species of Shimane. From this large tree, you can imagine the woods that surrounded the area at the foot of Mt. Sanbe in Jomon times.
The Large Ginkgo of Jouzen- Ji temple
29.5 meters in height, and with a trunk circumference of 7.3 meters, this ginkgo tree in Ikeda, Sanbe town, Ota city, is the second largest ginkgo tree in Shimane. In the Autumn, the scene of the yellow leaves glistening on the tree is magical.