Aquas Aquarium, 1117-2 Kushiro-cho, ☎ +81 0855-28-3900, . W-M 9AM-5PM, to 6PM August. A small but interesting aquarium with 10,000 fish and mammals across 400 species. The main tank has a tunnel you can walk as sharks swim above. Buses run from JR Hamada Station (15 minutes).¥1500 adults, ¥500 children. edit
The park next to the aquarium has a great adventure playground for kids. Kagura shows are held in the park on weekends (winter excepted). Kagura is traditional outdoor theater performed by actors with fixed-expression masks and spectacular costumes. They're accompanied by musicians on traditional instruments, notably drums and bamboo flute. Shows lasts for about an hour and tell stories of heroes vanquishing dragons. Entrance to the park and the kagura show is free.
Hamada Castle was built in 1620 and destroyed in the final days of the Tokugawa shogunate. The foundations are surrounded by a pleasant park, on a hill overlooking the harbor. A prefectural cultural asset.
Ruins of Iwami-Kokubunji temple - Believed to have been built in the late 8th century, although today only the great foundation stones of its tower remain. A prefectural cultural asset.
Wooden Tenbuzougun - Thought to date from somewhere between the mid 10th and late 11th centuries, these 59 Buddha statues are located in the main hall of the ancient Tadaji temple. A prefectural cultural asset.
Wooden Amida Nyorai-Ritsuzo - Made around 1255, this is an Annami style statue carved from a single block of wood. It is the principal image of Buddha in the Shinkakuin temple of the Jodo sect. An important national cultural asset.
Ancient Sufu Tomb - A keyhole shape tomb, 66 metres in length, estimated to date from about the 5th century. A national cultural asset.
Iwami Tatami ga Ura - A rock configuration created by an earthquake in 1872, which rose the seabed 1.5 meters, leaving circular rocks protruding above the seashore. A national natural monument.
Kokufu beach, east of Hamada, is possibly the best surf spot in Shimane. Locals are friendly. The surf is variable, better in winter, but extremely cold. In summer the water is warm, but the sea may be flat. A good place to be during typhoon season in late summer/autumn.
Iwami Seaside Park (+81 0855-28-2231) is close to Aquas and has nice beaches for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. There are cabins and campsites for rent. Beware of strong currents on rough days, though. You can also watch kite surfers at the weekend.
Festivals: February - Izumo Taisha Iwami-bunshi setsubun Festival ; March - Tadaji Hatsuuma Festival; April - Hamakko Spring Festival and the Daimyo Parade; July - Kokubu Kinsai Festival; August - Hamakko Summer Festival, Fireworks, and Nagahama Hassakuhana Festival; Occtober - Nagahama Tenjinreitai Festival; November - Hamada BB Onabe Festival and Iwami Kagura Festival.