city in Shimane Prefecture, Japan

Izumo (出雲市) is a city in Shimane Prefecture with a population of around 150,000 people and a land area of 543.43km². It's located near Matsue.

Izumo Shrine

Understand Edit

Get in Edit

By plane Edit

  • 1 Izumo Airport (IZO IATA). From Tokyo's Haneda Airport, there are five flights per day (¥28,800) which will get you to Izumo in 80 minutes (plus 30 minutes by bus to Izumo Station).    

By train Edit

  • 1 Izumo-shi Station (電鉄出雲市駅), 10-1 Ekikitamachi. Izumo's main train station. It is located on the JR San'in Main Line.

Izumo is served hourly by the Yakumo (やくも) limited express train, which runs to Okayama station and provides direct connections to the San'yo Shinkansen (3 hours, ¥6,700). Connecting with the Yakumo, the trip to Izumo is 4 hours from Osaka (¥10,800), 4 hr 15 min from Kyoto (¥12,300), 5 hours from Nagoya (¥15300) and 6½ hours from Tokyo (¥19,700).

From Hiroshima, the four-hour trip to Izumo via Okayama is best left to holders of the Japan Rail Pass, since taking the bus will be faster and cheaper (see below).

From Hakata station in Fukuoka, take the Shinkansen to Shin-Yamaguchi and change to the Super Oki (スーパーおき) which runs to Izumo three times per day (4 hours, ¥10,600).

There is also an overnight train that runs from Tokyo to Izumo called the Sunrise Izumo (サンライズ出雲). The train leaves from Tokyo Station every night at 22:00, reaching Izumo twelve hours later. If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you can book a carpeted floor space on the overnight service at no charge. Otherwise you can travel in a compartment or room by paying the applicable room fee and surcharges.

By bus Edit

Those wishing to save money on transportation should consider highway buses. Izumo is easily accessible by bus, because buses from a wide variety of locations stop at Izumo.

From Hiroshima, going by bus is the best option. Ichibata Bus and Chugoku JR Bus operate eight round-trips per day from Hiroshima Station and the Hiroshima Bus Center. (3½ hours, ¥4000 one way, ¥7200 round trip)

From Okayama, several companies operate joint service to Izumo on a bus called the Momotaro Express, named after the famous Japanese folklore hero. Six daily round-trips (4 hours, ¥3900 one way).

JR Bus runs the Port Lake service from Kobe's Sannomiya Bus Terminal (4 round-trips daily, 5 hr 15 min, ¥5000). Hankyu Bus and Ichibata Bus run the Kunibiki service from Osaka (8 round-trips daily, 5½ hours, ¥5650), while JR Bus operates the Izumo Express bus service from Kyoto (4 round-trips daily, 6 hours, ¥6000).

The overnight service that runs from Tokyo is strangely called the Susanoo and gets to Izumo in 12 hr 15 min at a cost of ¥12070 each way, which means twice longer than train but twice cheaper.

By car Edit

Izumo is about a one-hour drive from Matsue on Route 9, the main road through the Sea of Japan side of western Japan from Northern Kyoto to Shimonoseki.

Get around Edit

Trains will get you to Izumo Taisha or out of the city, but otherwise bus, taxi or rental car will be your only option.

There are 2 train companies in Izumo. The JR West Sanin Main Line and the Ichibata Electric Railway (一畑電車株式会社). The JR West Izumo Station is next to the Ichibata's Dentetsu Izumo Station. Ichibata has 2 lines, the Kita Matsue Line which runs for 33.9 km from Dentetsu Izumo Station to Matsue Shinji-ko Onsen Station in Matsue, and the Taisha Line which runs 8.3 km from Kawato Station (on the Kita Matsue Line) to Izumo Taisha-mae Station, near Izumo Taisha.

The Enmusubi Perfect Ticket[dead link] (¥3000 for adults, ¥1500 for children) allows free unlimited travel for three consecutive days on a wide range of train and bus services in Matsue and Izumo. The ticket includes full use of the following: Ichibata Railway, Lake Line Bus, all Matsue City buses, all Izumo City buses, Ichibata bus services within Matsue and Izumo, Izumo Airport Bus, Yonago Airport Bus. Japan Rail services are not included. Purchase the ticket at the Tourist Information Office at Izumo Station, nearby Ichibata Railway stations, Ichibata Travel Service, or the Izumo Airport information counter.

See Edit

  • 1 Izumo Taisha (出雲大社), 195 Kizuki-higashi, +81 853-53-3100. Although the date of construction is unknown, Izumo Taisha is regarded as one of the oldest shrines in Japan. In the Kojiki, the shrine is said to have been built for Ōkuninushi (god of marriage), who then became the shrine's patron deity. As the god of marriage is worshipped here, it is no surprise that Izumo Shrine is a popular shrine for couples to pray for happy marriages. Although the current shrine is quite large at about 25 meters tall, records suggest that it is only half the size it was 800 years ago. Every year in October, Shinto gods from all over are said to gather inside the shrine for one week. Note that if you wish to pray at Izumo Taisha, it is customary to clap four times instead of the typical two claps, because you are praying for yourself, as well as your partner (or future partner). Watch many people attempting to toss small change into the large rice-straw rope of one of the shrines outside the main shrine until it lodges. If you are able to get ¥45 stuck in or on the rope, you'll have good luck. Free.
  • 2 Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo (島根県立古代出雲歴史博物館 Shimane kenritsu kodai izumo rekishi hakubutsukan), 99-4 Kitsuki-Higashi, +81 853-53-8600. Mar-Oct: 09:00-18:00, Nov-Feb: 09:00-17:00; closed the third Tuesday of each month. This elegantly designed complex is near the shrine. Exhibitions feature speculative designs of the original Izumo Taisha, displays on the history and development of nearby Iwami Ginzan, and a dramatic collection of ceremonial bronze bells and swords. ¥610 adults, ¥410 university students, ¥200 children.    
  • 3 Hinomisaki Lighthouse (日御碕灯台 Hinomisaki tōdai), +81 85-354-5341. Supposedly, it's the tallest lighthouse in Asia. The lighthouse appears like any other lighthouse, but the bus ride out there and the chance to see a fishing village makes it worth the 1/2 hour trip. ¥200.  
  • 4 Tachikue Gorge (立久恵峡 Tachikue-kyō) (south of Izumo City. Buses go here as well (1/2 hour)). A pleasant hike that ends with hundreds of stone figures with red hats on them. There's an onsen/youth hostel.
  • 5 Hinomisaki Shrine (日御碕神社 Hinomisaki jinja), +81 85-354-5261.
  • 6 Shimane Flower Village (しまね花の郷 Shimane hana no sato), +81 85-320-1187. Summer 09:30-17:00, winter 09:30-16:30; closed every Tu Dec-Feb. ¥200.
  • 7 Gakuen-ji (鰐淵寺), +81 85-366-0250.
  • 8 Ichibata Yakushi (一畑薬師), 866 Kozakai-cho, +81 85-367-0111.
  • 9 Susa Shrine (須佐神社 Suna jinja), +81 85-384-0605.

Do Edit

Inasa Beach
  • 1 Inasa Beach (稲佐の浜 Inasanohama). Beach with a rock where gods are said to gather. Enjoy the beach and the beautiful sunset.  

Buy Edit

Eat Edit

Izumo soba (出雲そば), the local variety of noodles, is the region's most famous food, but the Shimane wagyu (beef) is good as well.

  • 1 [dead link] Shimane Winery (島根ワイナリー), +81 853-53-5577. Try the yakiniku (barbecue). Also offers free tours and wine tastings, though connoisseurs will likely be unimpressed.
  • 2 Trattoria il Delfino (出雲のイタリア料理店 デルフィーノ), Ekiminamimachi 3-3, Izumo (exit Izumo Station on the south side and continue walking south. Once you cross a small canal it's immediately on your right hand side, a 3-min walk), +81 853 24-7564. Lunch 11:30-14:00, dinner 18:00-21:00. A laid back Italian restaurant run by chef Ago and his wife. Mr Ago is an Italophile who has studied home style cooking in Sicily and is very passionate about Italian food and the ingredients he uses. English and Italian are spoken. Suitable for vegetarians, just be sure to consult your waiter when ordering. Set lunch ¥1050, dinner a la carte or course menu (prices vary).
  • Hara (Go straight out the north exit of JR Izumo station and look for the purple banner on the right just past the Toyoko Inn.). A good selection of small dishes is available here in addition to soba. Good food with an interesting crowd of local patrons from construction workers to groups of young women out for a party.

Drink Edit

Just northeast of Izumo Station is Daikancho, Izumo's drinking district. It's mostly "snacks" and hostess bars aimed at the older crowd, but there are a few venues for young people.

Sleep Edit

Budget Edit

There are a few low-priced minshuku and ryokan throughout the city. Pick up an English map at Izumo Station.

Mid-range Edit

Splurge Edit

  • 3 Marine Thalasso Izumo (マリンタラソ出雲), 859-1 Taki, +81 85-386-7111. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. A hotel and spa that uses thalassotherapy, which utilizes all its resources from the sea in order to rejuvenate and make you healthier.

Go next Edit

  • Matsue — Capital of Shimane. Authentic 16th century castle, samurai district, Japanese confectionery.
  • Oda — Home to Iwami Ginzan, a World Heritage Site.
  • Daisen — Home to Mount Daisen, the "Fuji of West Japan". Hiking and skiing.
  • Hikawa
  • Unnan
  • Iinan
  • Hamada
  • Yonago
  • Niimi
Routes through Izumo
ShimonosekiOda  W   E  MatsueYonago
MasudaHamada  W   E  MatsueYonago
YamaguchiOda  W   E  MatsueKyoto

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