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The Sacred Land of Izumo

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > The Sacred Land of Izumo


A spiritual realm of guardian gods, beautiful shores and stunning sunsets

Izumo City



Izumo in the north of Shimane Prefecture is often called the birthplace of Japan, an area associated with ancient myths recorded in Japan’s oldest texts. Along its western shores, two areas - Inasa no Hama Beach and Hinomisaki Cape - offer magnificent views of the sunset, each with a nearby shrine related to Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun.


Legend has it that the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, also known as Ame no Hisumi no Miya (the sunset shrine), was once a palace built near Inasa no Hama Beach. It was constructed for Okuninushi, the guardian god of happiness, who wanted a palace tall enough to reach the land of gods, in exchange for relinquishing his rule of Earth to Amaterasu’s son. The Hinomisaki Shrine, also dedicated to the sunset, enshrines the spirits of Amaterasu and her brother Susanoo, the guardian deity of sea and storms.


Together the two shrines and their shore locations have become sacred spots for locals to pray with awe-inspiring views of the setting sun.


How to get there


Hinomisaki Shrine: Approx. 60 minutes by Ichibata Bus (bound for Izumo-taishi Shrine, Cape Hino) from JR Izumoshi Station, get off at Cape Hino. Alternatively, approx. 30 minutes by car from Sanin Expressway Izumo Interchange (IC).

Inasa no Hama Beach: 40 minutes by bus from JR Izumo-shi Station.

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine: Approx. 10 minutes walk from Izumotaisha-Mae Station on the Ichibata Electric Railroad. Alternatively, take the Ichibata Bus (bound for Izumo-taisha or bound for Izumo-taishi / Hinomisaki) from JR Izumoshi Station, get off at Izumo-taishi bus stop, then walk approx. 1 minute.

Note: Hinomisaki Shrine is a 20-minute drive to the northwest from Izumo Taisha Grand Shine. It is a beautiful ocean-view drive.



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