Located at the tip of the Shimane Peninsula, west of Matsue in Shimane Prefecture, Mihonoseki is known for being the stage and beginning of Japanese legends. This old port town has events and buildings that originated and are based on the origins of Japan and still exist in this mythical area. These events and buildings are still continuously passed down throughout time, from generation to generation.
Miho Shrine is the symbol of Mihonoseki, where every morning and evening they conduct shrine rituals. You can have the chance to watch the beautiful shrine maidens dance during these rituals.
In front of the shrine’s gate, there is a “blue” cobblestoned alley that still exists and originates from the Edo era. Try and enjoy eating dried fish such as “hoshi-ika,” dried squid that is hung out to dry in the ocean breeze, in addition to some delicious regional seafood from Masutani Sengyo Shop. You can also try the distinct regional soy sauce ice cream from Taiko Soy Sauce Shop, as well as tasting the different varieties of soy sauces available here. You can experience eating other regional foods while walking around and exploring the area.
Built over 100 years ago near the fishing port, Mihokan is a well-established inn that still exhibits and expresses the feeling and atmosphere of the good old days. While viewing the scenic view of the harbor from the window of a room, you can experience learning traditional Japanese flower arrangement, Ikebana, from the landlady of the inn.
Also, you can borrow a fishing rod and go fishing in the port in front of Mihokan. While enjoying some fishing, you will be amazed by all the cats that gather and are living in the harbor!
While being wrapped in the flow of eternity, you can spend time conversing and interacting with people whose normal lives are intertwined with old traditions from the distant past. Visit Mihonoseki, where your trip will be a journey to the origin of Japan.
Hino is located in Tottori Prefecture at the foot of the highest mountain in the area, Mt. Daisen. Hino was once known to have been the biggest producer of Japanese traditional tatara iron making. Along the old streets of the city, there are many old stores and private houses that remain from the past. Taking a walk in the area, you can experience the simple and cultural experiences that are not affected by outside influences.
This area is known for its cultivation of buckwheat noodles, and you can experience eating and making fresh and delicious soba noodles made from local buckwheat flour. In an old private house called “Tokiwasure Shimizuya,” you can eat great soba noodles prepared by local craftsman, and of course, experience making soba and enjoying eating the soba noodles you made.
At the guest house, “Orenchi,” you can have a unique experience making mini bonsai plants. Once completed, you can take the plant home with you! Also, you can find a relaxing cafe called “Ocha Ogata,” where you will find a relaxing atmosphere and even enjoy learning how to properly drink green tea. You can leisurely spend time surrounded by and taking in the Japanese culture.
If you are willing to stretch your legs a bit and go for a walk, you can visit one of Japan’s three major river sources, “the head of the river, Okudaisen: Kitanizawakeiryu.” If you rinse your mouth with the beautiful mysterious water that is reminiscent of the water in Studio Ghibli animated movies, you will be able to cleanse your body, mind, and spirit.