Shimane, Japan Feb. 28 Wed 12:08PM
Shimane Prefecture is located in the Chugoku region of Japan. There are eight cities within the Shimane prefecture, and the capital of Shimane is Matsue. Because Shimane has an extensive history, Shimane was also featured in Japanese mythology. One of the things that Shimane is well-known for is its production of high-quality metal and is the only place where people use Tatara, a traditional iron-making technique. Shimane faces the Sea of Japan, so Shimane has beautiful, bright blue oceanside views in addition to mountainside views. Shimane is a place with its own unique traditions and customs and is said to be the birthplace of Kagura, a sacred dance and performance done at shrines to show appreciation for their god's blessings and of nature.
Where To Go
---Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine---
The Izumo Shrine is one of the oldest and most significant shrines in Japan. According to ancient Japanese mythology, all the deities from across the whole country gather at this shrine once a year for a meeting.
The Sada Shrine in the capital city Matsue is where the sacred Sada Shin Noh dance performance takes place. This purification dance is actually deemed a UNESCO Intangible Folk Cultural Property and is thought to be the origin of Izumo style Kagura.
---Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine---
The Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine is located in Central Shimane and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was once the largest silver mine in Japan and was discovered in 1526. The mining town of this particular mine is an exciting spot to visit not only for the history but to get a feel of the culture. There are guided tours through the mine tunnels as well.
What To Eat
Shijimi jiru is a dish to try for those who enjoy a strong seafood flavor. It is a broth flavored with soy sauce and Shijimi clams. This is a salty broth served hot, with the clams still intact. The clams come from Lake Shinji and can be found in other Shimane dishes as well. There is also a Shijimi Burger made from the clams.
Izumo soba is a noodle dish with buckwheat noodles but tastes a little bit different than the soba noodles of other regions. The Izumo soba is chewier and has a stronger flavor, and the sauce is poured onto the noodles instead of being dipped. The way it is eaten is different, but the soba is still delicious.