Shimane prefecture (島根県 Shimane-ken ; ,) is in the western Chugoku region of the main Japanese island Honshu. It is the 2nd least populous prefecture in Japan. In March,2013, the world's most famous coffee chain, Starbuck, has opened its first store in Sanin(山陰) region in Matsue. In May,2013, Izumo Taisha Shrine completed the temporary removal of the object of worship from the shrine during its rebuilding(遷宮).
Shimane prefecture, together with Tottori prefecture is known as the Sanin region, meaning "the shady side of the mountains". There is a mountain range separating these two prefectures from Hiroshima and Okayama, which means that the weather here is drastically wetter than further to the south.
Overnight ferries depart twice a week from SakaiminatoDBS Ferry Terminal to Donghae, Korea and then onwards to Vladivostok, Russia a day later.
To get to Sakaiminato DBS Ferry Terminal from Matsue take the train from Matsue Station to Sakaiminato station (transfer in Yonago). There are free shuttle buses to the terminal on Friday and Saturday.
For booking and more information: DBS Cruise Ferry Japan Co., Ltd. tel: +81 859 30-2332
The best way to get around Shimane is to drive. Most towns and cities, especially those on the coast, can also reached by train. Buses go pretty much everywhere, but some places may only have a few buses a day.
Oki Islands (Oki Islands) Oki Islands, Oki-gun. Picturesque islands located off the coast of mainland Shimane. The way of life and the pace of life here is truly refreshing. There is so much to see and do here.edit
There are many ski resorts in the prefecture. Most will blow snow when it hasn't fallen, giving a reliable season from late November until late March.
Mizuho Highland is the biggest (10 slopes, 5km longest run) and probably best (the only half-pipe in the region) resort.
The Yabusame (horse-back archery) festivals of Shimane are quite famous, especially that of Tsuwano, which holds the oldest Yabusame range in all of Japan (some 1000+ years old). They usually are held in early April. If one is particularly lucky, the festival will coincide with the cherry blossoms blooming, for the consummate Japanese cultural experience.
During the year there are numerous festivals. Many towns and cities have a fireworks show in August.
Oki Islands. Beautiful islands with amazing scenery, marine sports, fishing, swimming, hiking, shrines, festivals, farming...so much to see and do in these remote islands.edit
Seven Delicacies of Lake Shinji To get a taste of Matsue and the area around Lake Shinji, you should try to sample the famous seven delicacies: Shijimi clams, icefish, eel, sea bass, among others.
Izumo Soba Noodles For the most authentic soba in Izumo, make sure to try Warigo Soba
Akaten A local fish specialty product of Hamada. The name 'Akaten' means red heaven.
Seafood. Sample the delicacies of the sea in the Oki Islands. Turban shells (sazae), hiyogi-gai (rainbow-scallops), rock oysters (iwa-gaki), crab (kani), rock seaweed (iwa-nori), squid (ika)...you will not be disappointed.edit