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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

CHUGOKU Shimane Beautifying onsen, pristine islands, and rugged mountains

Steeped in mythology, home to pristine island beaches, overflowing with healing onsen waters and boasting a rugged mountain range, Shimane has stunning natural beauty and a long artistic history

Shimane Prefecture stretches west to east along the northern coast of western Japan. The country’s second-smallest prefecture by population, it is a rural hidden gem, well off the beaten path but with plenty to offer. Known as the land of the gods, the area is rich with tradition and often mentioned in Japanese folklore. With its wide Chugoku mountain range, stunning Oki Islands just off the coast and cities rich with history, Shimane has something for everyone.

How to Get There

Shimane is accessible by limited express train, highway bus and car. You can also fly into one of its three airports.

Okayama Station, on the JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line, is the main transport hub for access to Shimane. From there, express trains operate and stop at Yasugi, Matsue, and Izumo-shi stations in the north. For Tsuwano Station in the south of Shimane, take the express train from Shin-Yamaguchi Station. You can use the JR Rail Pass on all the above routes. Highway buses offer an alternative to rail. From Tokyo, expect the journey to take between 11 and 13 hours. Major airports in Japan offer flights to Shimane's three airports: Hagi Iwami Airport in the west, and Izumo and Yonago Airports in the east.

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Don't Miss

    Stroll through one of the country’s best Japanese gardens at the Adachi Art Museum
    Swim and snorkel in the clear waters off the Oki Islands
    Visit Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines
    Watch kagura, a unique dance ritual based on ancient myths

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Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    Spring brings in festivals and celebrations with horseback archery rituals, and parades featuring locals in elaborate samurai garb. The pink-wash backdrop of cherry blossom makes its anticipated appearance from the end of March.

  • Summer

    Spend Shimane summers swimming in the cool waters of the Oki Islands or jet-off to the mainland coast for watersports, night fishing, and grand fireworks displays

  • Autumn

    Celebrate Shimane’s autumn makeover with events in Izumo, and a drum parade and ritual in Matsue. The cooler climate is ideal for visits to the area's many temples and shrines, all framed by fiery leaves of red and gold.

  • Winter

    Grab your ski gear and take on the area's slopes. Replenish by the sea with freshly-caught snow crab. Keep out the cold with a warming dip in bubbling onsen waters.

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