Izumo City is one of the prime cultural centers of Shimane Prefecture. With a population of around 145,000 inhabitants, this city with an ancient heritage is steeped in historical significance. You can begin your journey in Izumo at the city’s shrine-shaped train station, which informs visitors of the area’s unique heritage.
Izumo has been found to be a major site of Japan’s early Yayoi culture. This period of Japanese history is known for its emphasis on agriculture; in particular, rice cultivation. This was also the time when iron and bronze began to be forged in high quality. The sword-making museum is a good place to go to understand the genesis of steel-making in Japan.
Izumo Taisha or ‘Great Shrine’ is perhaps the most notable site in the city. Hailed as the oldest shrine in Japan, visitors from around the nation visit to pray for good fortune in life. The shrine is dedicated to the god of marriage so it is a popular stop for singles and couples alike.
Situated on the Japan Sea, Izumo has a spectacular coastline which includes swimming beaches and hot springs. In contrast, the interior of the city is characterized by gentle plains and sprawling fields. Part of the city rests on the shores of Lake Shinji where locals and visitors enjoy fishing and boating.
Izumo is a wine, sake and shochu producer for those interested in locally made alcoholic beverages. Foodies will love the soba or buckwheat noodles.
When you visit Izumo, what you find is a city with the same reverence for its past as cities like Kyoto and Nara. While there is no lack of monuments to Shintoism and Buddhism, there is an overarching respect for this birthplace of Japanese culture.
Izumo City is a land of history that is full of natural beauty. Feel the legends and explore the myths of Izumo!