Hamada (浜田市) is a coastal city in Shimane on the JR Sanin Main Line, between Masuda to the southwest, Gotsu to the northeast, and Kitahiroshima Town to the southeast. As of May 2021, Hamada had a population of approximately 54,000 people.
The city is located on the JR Sanin Line. By car, the E74 expressway is the fastest way, which begins near Hiroshima.
Renting a car to get into the city and see the area is by far the most efficient and convenient method. Trains are very infrequent, especially during mid-day.
- Aquas Aquarium, 1117-2 Kushiro-cho, ☎ +81 0855-28-3900, . 9AM-5PM, ~6PM Aug, Closed Tue. 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
- Kagura - The park next to the aquarium has a great adventure playground for kids. Shows are held in the park on weekends (except winter). 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 Ruins (浜田城址), 123-10 Tonomachi, Hamada, ☎ 085-525-9730, . This 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. Free. edit
- Ruins of Iwami-Kokubunji Temple (石見国分寺) - 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 meters 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.
- Hamada Marine Bridge - A big bridge whose length is 305 metres. It is one of the symbols in Hamada.
- Road Station Yuhi-Park Hamada - It is a road station, and a beautiful view of the sunset with Hamada Marine Bridge can be seen from here. Also, there is a park beside it, so children can play there.
- 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.
- Kare - dried flounder
- Fugu mirin-boshi - blowfish seasoned with sweet sake
- Kamaboko - boiled fish paste
- Ika-maki - squid rolls
- Rikyu manju - sweet bean cakes
- Iwami kagura mask - nagahama doll
- Akaten - fried fish paste coloured red
- Donchitchi three fish - They are three fish which become brand in Hamada: Aji, Nodoguro and Kare.
- Uni Don - sea urchin on a bed of rice
- Ankou Nabe - angler pot stew
- Iwami seaside park has bungalows for rent, or you can pitch your tent there. Its a beautiful and peaceful spot.
- Izumo - Home to the Grand Shrine of Izumo (Izumo Taisha), one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan.
- Matsue Popular for its iconic castle, seaside views, and beautiful gardens.
- Yamaguchi City - A near rival capital to Kyoto in medieval times, with several temples and famous Sesshu gardens.
- Hagi - A delightful small castle town with some surreal temples and preserved samurai feudal streets.
- Yasugi - A town known for its sword making and home to Adachi Museum of Art and its famous gardens.
- Yonago - A neighboring city known as "little Osaka", famous for its food and bar scene.
- Tsuwano - Castle town with impressive red roofs, Christian martyr site, and traditional atmosphere.
- Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park - See Japan's biggest and longest limestone cave, as well as its huge karst plateau.
- Iwakuni - City near Miyajima in Hiroshima and with Japan's most beautiful old wooden bridge.