The Greens of Shimane

A visit before rainy season

By Kim B    - 2 min read

Visiting Shimane in May a couple of years back, I noticed so many shades of green throughout my trip.

The picture above was taken from Juryu-an, one of the teahouses at the Adachi Museum of Art. Unfortunately in the time since I visited that teahouse is now closed, but they still operate the Juraku-an teahouse which offers fantastic views. If you visit, you'll quickly understand why the museum has won numerous awards for their gardens. They are maintained with such precision, and you're not actually able to walk out among the ones below - they're for viewing only, much like you'd appreciate a piece of artwork.

Forever one of my favorite places - the gardens at the Adachi Museum of Art
Forever one of my favorite places - the gardens at the Adachi Museum of Art

Another very green component of my visit was the amount of green tea I consumed! There were numerous tea houses, cafes, and even temples that offer green tea and traditional sweets. The cup of matcha you see below was enjoyed with some zenzai, a type of traditional sweet soup made from azuki beans. It's served warm and is topped with deliciously chewy balls of mochi. You'll find a number of different stores selling zenzai in the streets around Izumo Taisha Shrine, since zenzai actually originated in Izumo!

Zenzai and matcha
Zenzai and matcha

You'll also find plenty of greens around Matsue Castle, and a fun experience to get a glimpse of the castle and learn about the history of the area is by boat cruise. Boats depart from three different locations close to the castle, and the boats have quite a unique feature: their roofs are retractable in order to fit under some of the lower bridges you pass under. The captain actually asks all the passengers to duck their heads down at certain points of the tour, if that gives you any indication of how low some of the bridges are!

A boat cruise around Matsue is a great way to see the sights
A boat cruise around Matsue is a great way to see the sights

Getting there

While there is no direct shinkansen to Shimane, the region is accessible by air, local train, or by overnight bus from Tokyo.

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Kim B

Kim B @kim.b

I'm an Australian who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan - specifically Tokyo and Niigata. I've  visited 44 of 47 prefectures, with only Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Kumamoto left to check out. I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's growing vegan scene.

Join the discussion

Elizabeth S 4 months ago
This sounds like my kind of vacation - tea, castle, garden, and a boat ride. It looks so serene.
Kim B Author 4 months ago
It ticked all the boxes for me! I want to go back!!
Sleiman Azizi 4 months ago
Aesthetics are just... great. They really are.
Elena Lisina 4 months ago
Wonderful places and shots! I wish I was there... :)