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San-in Coast

There are plenty of opportunites to catch a glimpse ordinary Japanese life as you travel east along the northern shore from Shimonoseki  - Honshu’s westernmost point. Shimonoseki itself acts as a gateway to both Kyushu and Korea and is well served by a shinkansen service to Fukuoka and beyond. A thriving port in its own right, it is best seen as a gateway to the quiet, peaceful countryside to the east.

East along the frequently deserted San-in coast, Hagi, an old castle town and hot-bed of pre-Meiji-era revolt, boasts a lovely group of old samurai houses and atmospheric temples.Tsuwano is another small castle town nestling in a tranquil valley, further east in Shimane prefecture. This area is the heartland of Japan’s eight million Shinto deities, who gather each year in October at the venerable shrine Izumo Taisha, near the attractive capital Matsue.

Roughly mid-point along the San-in coast, Matsue has the region’s only original castle tower as well as some old samurai houses and interesting museums. The sand spit Amanohashidate , at the far eastern reaches of the region (although strictly speaking in the Kansai Region), marks the end of the San-in coast, and provides some of Japan’s most scenic views.


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