Sakaiminato, Japan Matsue Castle
Less than an hour by bus or train from Sakaiminato is the lakeside city of Matsue, capital of Shimane Prefecture and home to one of Japan's few still-standing 17th-century samurai fortresses, Matsue Castle. Another excellent piece of traditional architecture is the nearby Koizumi Yakumo Memorial Museum, dedicated to Greek-Irish writer Lafcadio Hearn.
Sakaiminato, Japan Okuninushi No Mikoto
Believed to be Japan's oldest Shinto shrine, Izumo Taisha is a revered sanctuary dedicated to Okuninushi, the god of marriage. The shrine is famous for its enormous shimenawa sacred ropes, and while its design dates back to the mid-18th century, this spot has been a place of worship since at least the year 950. The Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo next door has a comprehensive account of local history.
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