The history of the land of the gods

Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo

visit west japan, visitwestjapan, shimane prefecture


The Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo was designed to showcase the cultural legacy of Shimane. Izumo is the name associated with the ancient culture of the region which dates back to the days of its earliest settlement. Izumo could in many ways be regarded as the spiritual and cultural home of West Japan if not the entire country.

The content of the museum is divided into historical categories relating to the Izumo Taisha Great Shrine, the ancient texts of Izumo and bronzes.

Iron-working was a refined and vital industry in ancient Izumo and the large number of discoveries that have been made to date attest to this. The museum holds a vast collection of swords, bells and iron tools that speak to the exchange of culture that took place between the Asian mainland and Japan over the millennia.

Some of the most highly prized exhibits at the museum are the remains of massive early wooden pillars that were once part of Izumo Taisha (Great Shrine), as well as manuscripts which give a detailed account of the mythology and folklore of the Izumo civilization.

The museum is the ideal place to start your journey through the fascinating history of the Izumo region. It is the repository objects and information relating to the nearby cultural points of interest such as Izumo Taisha and intangible cultural properties such as the spiritual kagura performance.

Izumo could in many ways be regarded as the spiritual and cultural home of West Japan if not the entire country.

Access: Take the Super Yakumo Express train to JR Izumo-shi Station. Walk for 2 minutes to the Ichibata Electric Railway Station. Take the Ichibata Electric Railway Kita Matue Line to Kawato Station. Transfer to the Taisha Line. Take the Taisha Line to Izumo Taisha-mae Station. Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo is about a 10 minute walk from Izumo Taisha-mae Station.


About the Area

Shimane Prefecture can be understood best by making a distinction between its eastern and western halves. The east is made up of the cities and towns near and around Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi.

The major municipalities include the cities of Yasugi, Matsue and Izumo. An area of exception that should also be in this category is the Oki Island Archipelago, which is 75-85 kilometers off the coast. The eastern region of Shimane has the largest population and is home to the prefectural capital, Matsue City.

Western Shimane Prefecture or more precisely the southwest, includes the cities of Masuda and Hamada as well as the Tsuwano Town on the border with Yamaguchi Prefecture. The western half of Shimane is characterized by its natural beauty from the hinterland to the coast.

The cultural bond that unites the entire prefecture can be found in the shared reverence for the history, myths and legends of the land. One example is the Kagura dance for the gods that is performed throughout Shimane in several variations.


Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee