My Izumo Taisha Travelogue
Written by aki
Category: Regions of Japan Sightseeing
I took a vacation trip to Shimane & Tottori, Japan!
I took the train all the way this time.
I will tell you my travel route and I hope it will be helpful for your trip.
Departure from Osaka Station for Izumo
This time, I went with a friend from Osaka, so we met at Osaka station.
Take a JR train from Osaka Station to Shin-Osaka Station and then take the Shinkansen bullet train from there.
*Note that the Shinkansen does not stay at Osaka Station.
The Shinkansen terminal is very close to JR Shin-Osaka Station, so you will not get lost.
After boarding the Shinkansen, go to Okayama Station from there.
Upon arrival at Okayama Station,We changed to the Yakumo limited express train.
A cute illustration was drawn on the body of the limited express Yakumo.
Arrival at Izumo Taisha-mae Station! We will quickly go around the town.
After further transferring from the limited express, we arrive at Izumo Taisha-mae Station!
We will go around the town as soon as possible.
There are many stores in front of Izumo Taisha Station. It is hard to decide where to enter.
Souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants…. We were hungry, so we bought rice burgers anyway!
Shimane Wagyu beef is sandwiched inside. Delicious and voluptuous.
Incidentally, the area near Izumo-taisha Shrine is famous for a sweet called zenzai.
*Zenzai is a Japanese sweet made by boiling azuki beans sweetened with sugar and topped with mochi (rice cake).
There are many cafes where zenzai is available, so be sure to give it a try.
Lots of bunny objects!
In Izumo-taisha Shrine, there were rabbit objets d’art in various places.
Rabbits are said to be the “sacred image of compassion” at Izumo-taisha Shrine.
By the way, in Japan we say “usagi(うさぎ)” for rabbit!
Let’s go to Izumo Taisha!
After enjoying a walk around town, we headed to Izumo Taisha Shrine.
Incidentally, the weather that day was unfortunately rainy.
I thought it was too bad, but a friend told me that a rainy day is more auspicious.
Izumo Taisha Shrine also has many rabbits.
This bunny was so cute.
There was also a statue of a rabbit making sake. Cute, isn’t it?
What is the relationship between Izumo-taisha Shrine and rabbits?
Izumo Taisha Shrine is said to be the most sacred place in Japan for the god of marriage.
It is dedicated to a deity called “Okuninushi no Okami.”
And there is a deep relationship between God and rabbits here.
Once upon a time, in the country of Izumo, there was a deity named Okuninushi no Okami. He had many brothers and sisters.
One day, Okuninushi no Okami and his siblings were passing by the cape when they spotted a rabbit.The rabbit was crying because its body was skinned.
The brothers of Okuninushi no Okami taught the rabbit a nasty lesson: “You should bathe in seawater and get some wind”.
The rabbit jumped into the sea, unaware that he was being tricked, and when the wind blew, the seawater dried his body and his wounds tingled and ached.
The rabbit was crying, more distressed than before, when Okuninushi no Okami came to him later and asked him why he was crying.
Okuninushi no Okami heard this and gave the following advice. “First, wash your body with fresh water. Then, pick some kabana flowers and lie down on them”.
The rabbit tried as he was told, and the hair began to grow back from the rabbit’s body, and it was completely restored to its original appearance.
The rabbit was grateful, thanked him repeatedly, and said, “You have a good heart. Yagamihime(princess) in the Land of Inaba will marry you with a kind heart”.
Later, Okuninushi no Okami married Yagamihime and became much beloved by the people.
This is a Japanese folktale called “The White Rabbit of Inaba”.
It is somehow understandable why it is adored as a god of marriage.
The approach to the temple, wet with rain, is also refreshing and pleasant.
It is beautifully maintained and very easy to walk.
Izumo Taisha Shrine is famous for its large shimenawa (sacred straw rope).Many people were also visiting the shrine on that day.
In the past, it was believed that if you threw money at this shimenawa and it stuck, it would bring you good luck, and there were many people who threw it.
Please note that it is now prohibited.
It is a beautiful shimenawa, so please take pictures!
We did Omikuji too!
Many people must have done Omikuji here.
A large number of Omikuji were bundled in trees.
Let’s eat Izumo’s specialties!
After visiting Izumo-taisha Shrine, We were a little hungry.
So we decided to try Izumo soba, a specialty of Izumo.
Izumo soba is said to have a low percentage of wheat flour, which gives it the flavor and texture of buckwheat noodles.Indeed, the soba noodles are dark in color!
Izumo soba is also popular for its high nutritional value. The noodles were firm and textured, which I loved!
On the way to the hotel where we are staying, we found a nice loaf of bread.
This is a specialty of Shimane Prefecture, where Izumo Taisha Shrine is located, and is called “Barapan”.
In Japanese, bara means rose and pan means bread. It means bread shaped like a rose.
A slightly sweet cream is sandwiched in the middle of the layered dough. The dough is moist and fluffy.
The Izumo-taisha Shrine and the Izumo-taisha area alone were enjoyable enough. After this, we stayed overnight at a hotel and headed to Tottori the next day. I’ll tell you more about that in my next blog!
Aki’s Kodawari Point
During our walk around town, we stopped at a restaurant that serves smoked eggs.The mother here was very kind and offered me tea even though I only bought one egg.
The people of Izumo were all kind and nice.