Soak yourself in Lake Shinji’s sunset
“I Went to Izumo Shrine and prayed for good fortune at Shimane.”
In order to get the full experience of Shimane prefecture, you must also witness the sunset on Lake Shinji. How about taking a cute little yellow train from Izumo Taisha over to Matsue City? Nowhere else in Japan can you experience the peaceful bliss of the sun setting on the water, than at this particular lake.
Lake Shinji is still not very well known even among Japanese people, so it is possible to peacefully watch the sunset along the yawning shore without a lot of traffic from tourists. Because there is little chance for inclement weather, Matsue citizens watch the blazing red sun sink into the waves on a daily basis. How romantic is that?
It should also be noted that Matsue only has a few high-rise buildings, which makes the sky seem broader than what you would see in big cities like Tokyo or Osaka. Seagulls, white herons, and kites spread their wings while flying across the lake. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the “blue gem” Kingfisher skimming across the surface of the lake!
The tiny island floating near the shore is called Yomegashima. Keep your camera ready for when the sun dips behind the Japanese pine trees. The sun’s rays shine through the branches and sparkle onto the waves.
Take a break at the Shimane Prefectural Museum garden
The best place I recommend to see the sunset in Matsue is definitely on the lawn of Shimane’s prefectural art museum. The lake curves around the museum while the waves lap against the shore.
Anyone can visit the garden at any time; 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The sunset time is posted inside the museum lobby every day, and here’s a fun fact; the museum closes thirty minutes after the sun set.
The statues of the white rabbits of Inaba ‘hop’ along the garden, and it is said that good luck will come your way if you pet the second rabbit from the front.
The Shimane Prefectural Art Museum always features famous exhibits from all over the world, whether it be Japanese or Western artwork.
How about spending some quality time at the museum, then end the day by watching the breathtaking sunset from the garden?
The sunset is only one of the many beautiful features that Matsue City offers. Sado (Japanese tea ceremony) and wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery) are cultures, deeply rooted in Matsue citizens’ lives, but that’s for another article!