96 Hours Route
3 nights, 4 days
Traverse the San'in Region Through Stunning History and Culture Spots
This 4-day sample route will give you a nice overview of the San'in region, taking you from the eastern area of Tottori Prefecture all the way to Iwami and Hagi in western San'in. The itinerary covers some of the most notable sightseeing spots, like the Izumo Taisha Shrine and Iwami Ginzan.
- 08:05 AM
- Arrival at Yonago Airport
- 09:00 AM
- Matsue city
- 12:00 PM
- Lunch in Matsue
- 02:00 PM
- Matsue Castle
- 05:00 PM
- Matsue Shinjiko Onsen
- 07:50 AM
- Ichibata Densha to Izumo City
- 09:30 AM
- Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo
- 11:00 AM
- Izumo Taisha Shrine
- 12:00 PM
- Lunch on Shinmon-dori Street
- 04:30 PM
- Tamatsukuri Onsen
- 10:00 AM
- Iwami Ginzan
- 12:00 PM
- Lunch in Omori Town
- 01:00 PM
- Stroll through Omori Town
- 07:30 PM
- Dinner in Tsuwano
- Try Uzume meshi, a popular local dish.
- 09:00 AM
- Tsuwano Castle Ruins
- 11:00 AM
- Taikodani Inari Shrine
- 12:00 PM
- Lunch in Tonomachi Street
- 02:30 PM
- Visit a former castle town that played a leading role in the Meiji Restoration
- 05:45 PM
- Departure from Hagi-Iwami Airport
Visit one of the few remaining original castle towers in Japan. The castle grounds are like a big park where you can walk leisurely under the shade of the trees and the castle walls. Hidden within the grounds are shrines and tea houses. Enjoy the view from the tower and then get on a river boat cruise around the castle moat. Also make sure to visit the samurai residences around the castle.
2Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum
The Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum tells the story of a beloved British writer who became a Japanese citizen after marrying the daughter of a samurai. Discover the works of Lafcadio Hearn, well known for his penning of Japanese legends and ghost stories, and share in his legacy treasured by many.
3Horikawa Pleasure Boat
The Matsue Castle in Matsue City is surrounded by a moat. You can cruise this moat on small pleasure boats. The friendly boatmen will tell you about Matsue's history and point out the sights of interest as they sail by. The rooftop lowers as the boat passes under some of the lower bridges! This is a great way to see the city, sailing along the moat overlooked by the Matsue Castle tower.
Discover the unique Meimei-an tea house. Built by the Japanese Lord Fumai, it has a special feature that places the guest and host on equal ground and not separated by walls or pillars. While here, visit the nearby Akayama Sado Kaikan and taste the sweets and tea enjoyed by Lord Fumai.
Matsue city in Shimane Prefecture is known for its affinity with tea and wagashi (Japanese sweets). Wagashi are meticulously crafted into a variety of shapes, often seasonal fruits and plants. At the wagashi workshop at the Karakoro Art Studio you can learn the techniques and create your own piece of edible art.
6Izumo Taisha Shrine
Massive wooden pillars were excavated from the grounds of the Izumo Taisha Shrine. The purpose of these columns eludes experts to this day. Many have speculated what this structure could have been and impressive models of what the shrine might have looked like can be seen at the Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo. Visit one of Japan's most important shrines, where all the gods are said to meet every year.
7Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Center
Before venturing in the mineshaft remains of the Iwami Ginzan silver mine, head to the Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Center to learn about its history and role in the silver trade of the 16th century. The center showcases the working conditions of the silver miners, how the silver was extracted, and the role that Iwami Ginzan had in the trade with Europe. There are even replicas of the silver ingots produced at the mine.
This bright red, beautiful shrine on top of a hill boasts expansive grounds. Coming from Tonomachi Street, the picturesque road that gives Tsuwano city its nickname of “Little Kyoto”, you'll find yourself at the base of a mountain. Climb the stairs under a tunnel of vermillion torii gates. On the way, you can buy a set of fried tofu and a candle to place in front of the shrine as an offer for your prayers.
Ride a chairlift up a mountain and see the ruins of an ancient Japanese castle. Built in the late 12th century, the castle stood for hundreds of years before being struck by lightning and finally being decommissioned in 1870. The ruins stand 200 meters high above the town, revealing a view that was once only enjoyed by powerful feudal lords. After the chairlift ride it's a 15-20 minute walk to the castle ruins.
Walk the streets of Omori town and immerse yourself in the past while admiring the beautiful traditional houses. Lovingly restored, ancient samurai residences are now stylish shops, quaint cafés or homely lodgings. Along the main road you will find the Kumagai family residence, once home to a powerful merchant family. Omori town is an ideal place to stop at when visiting the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine ruins and other related historical sites.
Once home to leading characters in Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution, this castle town in Yamaguchi Prefecture is dotted with samurai residences that will transport you back in time. Some of the best ways to explore Hagi and take in the views include walking, cycling and boat cruises. Also be sure to tuck into the town's delicious seafood such as Mafugu pufferfish and raw sea urchin, and discover the local crafts such as Hagi pottery and glassware.
From Yonago Airport, a Limousine Bus will take you to Matsue Station in about 45 minutes. To get to Matsue Castle, take a bus from Matsue Station to the Kokuhomatsuejokenchozen Bus Stop (approx. 8 minutes). It's about a 7-minute walk to Matsue Castle. From the castle to Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Station it's a 15-minute bus ride.
The Ichibata train from Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Station to Izumotaisha-Mae Station takes approximately 1 hour. From there, you can get to Tamatsukurionsen Station by train (approx. 1 hour) or the Izumo-Airport Limousine Bus (1 hour and 46 minutes).
To get to Omori and the Iwami Ginzan area from Tamatsukuri Onsen, take the San-In Line to Odashi Station (approx. 46 minutes) and then a bus to Omori (approx. 28 minutes). The shortest route to Tsuwano from Omori is taking a bus to Nima (approx. 17 minutes), and then a train to Tsuwano Station (approx. 2 hours and 30 minutes, change at Masuda Station).
You can get from Tsuwano Station to Hagi Station in about 2 hours by train. From Hagi Station to the Iwami Airport it's a 1 hour and 30 minutes train ride to Masuda, then a limousine bus (12 minutes) to the airport.
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