Located on the western edge of Honshu, Shimane prefecture is perhaps best known for hosting Izumo Taisha, the grand shrine where Japan's millions of kami (gods or spirits) are said to gather every year in October. Although not really known as a hot tourist destination – yet, that is – the region is home to far more than just this divine conference centre.
In addition to many historic sights, including the medieval Matsue Castle, the prefecture boasts excellent eats in the form of Shimane wagyu and Izumo soba, superb sake, and a rich cultural heritage. Eager to help you, dear reader, make the most of your trip out west and discover the region's less obvious charms, we've put together the rather beefy 50 things to do in Shimane.
The latest instalment in our ever-popular guide map series, it points you to the prefecture's best sights, restaurants, shops, bars and hot springs, including Tamatsukuri Onsen, famed for its skin-beautifying powers, and the World Heritage-listed Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine.
Including things to do and places to see from Matsue in the east to Tsuwano in the rural west, the guide also covers the Oki Islands, which are famed for their natural beauty and were in 2014 recognised as a Unesco 'global geopark' for their geological heritage.
50 things to do in Shimane will be available at tourist information centres and other locations in Shimane prefecture from March 17. You can also pick up your free copy at our very own Time Out Café & Diner in Ebisu, or look for the guide at our regular distribution spots across Tokyo. Perhaps a summer getaway to the wild west is in the cards...
Correction: On the back cover of the map, the 'For more information' URL is incorrectly printed. The correct URL for the English website is http://www.kankou-shimane.com/en/. Apologies for the mistake.