Located on the westernmost end of Japan’s main island, Izumo (出雲市) and Matsue (松江) area have long been hailed as “the land of the gods.”
In Izumo, you will find one of Japan’s oldest and most revered shrine, Izumo Taisha or Izumo Grand Shrine, with its iconically large Shimenawa rope.
The main deity enshrined at Izumo Taisha is known as Okuninushi-no-Okami.
According to legend, this divine being was responsible for raising the Japanese isles from the sea.
Matsue, capital city of Shimane Prefecture, is often referred to as “the water city, due to its location between Lake Shinji and Nakaumi.
A former feudal stronghold, Matsue is a true castle town crossed with many canals and boasts one of the twelve remaining original castles in Japan.
Cruising Matsue’s waterways is another highlight.
Matsue is also a good base to visit nearby Tottori.