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First award in Japan! Digest of the charms of Unnan City, Shimane Prefecture, which was evaluated in the "World's Most Beautiful City Contest" sponsored by Shanghai Media

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In 2023, Unnan City, Shimane Prefecture became the first city in Japan to win the "International Most Beautiful City Award'' at the "World's Most Beautiful City Contest'' sponsored by Shanghai Media. In this article, we will focus on spots that were highly rated in the contest, as well as introduce ...

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A trip to Unnan City, where the ancient way of life is alive and well

Local travel is attracting attention, and Unnan City, located to the south of Izumo City in
Shimane Prefecture, is a place also known as the 'source of Izumo', close to the source of the Hii River, which is
said to be the setting for the Izumo myth.  It is one of the places visited by people from Shimane-fan, as it has
beautiful seasonal nature and a townscape made of red Sekishu tiles, and is close to Matsue and Izumo. In the recent
"International Most Beautiful City Award,'' the city received high praise for its beautiful Japanese-style satoyama
landscape and the way its traditional food culture has been passed down.

This time, we will head to Unnan City by car from Izumo Enmusubi Airport, the gateway to
eastern Shimane Prefecture. Let's go on a 1 night 2 day trip to Unnan City together!

Day 1
After arriving at Izumo Enmusubi Airport, we recommend renting a car to head to
Unnan City. Be sure to reserve your rental car in advance. For details about rental car companies that handle
rental cars, please check the official website of Izumo Enmusubi Airport ( Frequently Asked Questions | Izumo Enmusubi Airport

It takes about 20 minutes to get from Izumo Enmusubi Airport to the
center of Unnan City, Shimane Prefecture by driving on National Route 54. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the
first spot, Suga Shrine. (There are several convenience stores and supermarkets along the way.)

Suga Shrine

Start your Shimane sightseeing from this place! Let's pray for a safe journey and
good luck in the fresh air! Parishioners work in the shrine office in shifts every day. Please give us a call
and listen to our local stories.

Suga Shrine Okumiya

Okumiya is located less than 10 minutes by car from the main shrine of Suga Shrine.
From the parking lot, walk along the mountain path for about 20 minutes. (Comfortable shoes are recommended.) A
stone monument with a 'waka' poem engraved on it is placed next to the approach, which is unique to the
birthplace of 'waka' poetry.

Rice terraces at Sannoji Temple

Next, we will visit Sannoji Temple Rice Terraces, which has been selected as one of
Japan's top 100 rice terraces. It is a spot that symbolizes the beautiful landscape of Unnan City's Satoyama.
The early morning sunrise and sea of ​​clouds are especially breathtaking. This is a great spot to stay nearby
and enjoy the spectacular view.
From Suga Shrine, it takes about 10 minutes by car along the
mountain road. There are many curves along the way, so please drive safely!

Okuizumo Vineyard

For lunch, we recommend the winery Okuizumo Vineyard, which has many fans among wine
connoisseurs. At the Niwa Cafe, located in a corner of the garden, you can enjoy pizza made with flour from
Shimane Prefecture, local dairy products and vegetables, as well as carefully selected free drinks and sweets.
Of course, you can also enjoy our own wine!

Once you've had your fill, let's head to 'Sugaya Tatara',
which is said to have been the motif for 'Tataraba' in 'Princess Mononoke'. It takes about 30 minutes by

Yoshida townscape

From Okuizumo Vineyard, take the San'in Expressway Onomichi Matsue Line to
Yoshida-cho, Unnan City. Get off at Unnan Yoshida I.C. "Roadside Station Tataraba Ichibanchi" and drive for
about 5 minutes on the prefectural road, and you will see the townscape of Yoshida, which flourished as a tatara
steel mill. Don't miss the documentary video of the restored tatara ironworks at the Iron History Museum, which
tells the history of iron in this region. It's worth seeing!
There is no parking lot along the
street, so we recommend parking your car at a nearby public parking lot and taking a stroll.

Sugaya Tatara Yamauchi

Sugaya Tatara Sannai is located less than 10 minutes by car from the streets of
Yoshida. It has been certified as a component cultural property of the Japanese Heritage "Izumo no Kuni Tatara
Fudoki,'' and has also been selected as a stopover tourist destination on JR West's "TWILIGHT EXPRESS
The symbol tree is the Katsura tree. The Katsura tree, which is said to be over 400 years old,
sprouts red buds when the cherry blossoms bloom, and then the leaves change color to yellow and then green. When
the leaves turn brown in autumn, they emit a sweet smell similar to tortoiseshell candy.

Kokuminshukusha Seiranso

Villa 'Kokuminshukusha Seiranso' has a variety of guest rooms, including
Japanese-style rooms and a mix of Japanese and Western styles, as well as open-air baths in both the men's and
women's baths. Izumo Yumura Onsen is a famous hot spring that is described as a "medicinal hot spring'' in the
ancient document "Izumo no Kuni Fudoki,'' which dates back more than 1,300 years. Even today, fans come from all
over the country in search of the highly effective hot springs. When you soak in the smooth hot water, you'll
feel moist after the bath and don't need lotion. Hot spring water is even used in lotions made by famous

Across the Hii River that flows by Seiranso, there is also a day-trip hot spring called
Shitsuni no Yu, which is the source of the original hot springs of Izumo Yumura Onsen. There is also a
semi-open-air family bath where you can take a bath while looking out at the river!

Day 2

Yae Falls

About 30 minutes by car from Seiranso. Stroll around the waterfall while walking
along the promenade along the mountain stream. A relaxing walk in nature while listening to the murmuring of the
river and the voices of birds will leave you feeling refreshed!
You can also enjoy shower
climbing in the summer. ([FY2020 full house!] Refreshing♪ Iinami
Shower Climbing | Satoyamania (Iinan Town Tourism Association Official Homepage) ( )
The representative local cuisine of Unnan City is 'Yaki Saba Sushi (grilled mackerel
sushi) .' Loosen the grilled mackerel, mix it into chirashi sushi, and enjoy it with Kinshi tamago (Kinshi
tamago is thin, sliced egg) . In Unnan City, each family makes it at festivals and other times when people
gather together. You can also eat it at restaurants in Unnan city if you make a reservation. Some restaurants
even offer take-out lunch boxes!

In addition to the above-mentioned places, there are many historical and cultural experiences
unique to this area that we recommend, such as Izumo Kagura performances and folk craft workshops. For more
information, please visit the Unnan City Tourism Association official website and SNS!

The Kisuki Line also runs from Shinji Station on the JR Sanin Main Line.

This time we introduced an example of a one-night, two-day rental car trip departing from Izumo
Enmusubi Airport. However, what should you do if you want to go to Sugaya Tatara without renting a car?

Rest assured! The local train Kisuki Line runs from Shinji Station on the JR San'in Main Line.
Although the number of trains is limited, it is perfect for enjoying a relaxing local train journey. And there is a
shared car in front of Kisuki Station. Destinations in Unnan City are limited by public transportation alone, so
please plan your trip well in advance!

Written by

Unnan City, Shimane Prefecture is a mountainous area located south of Izumo City with a population of approximately 35,000 people. Natural landscapes such as cherry blossoms, waterfalls, and rice terraces decorate the area throughout the four seasons, as well as folklore sites related to Izumo myths and the remains of the ancient Japanese iron manufacturing method, ``Tatara Iron Works''. We are also proud of our diverse food resources, including grilled mackerel, dairy products, local sake, and wine. Please come and experience the many ``authentic things'' of Unnan City that are preserved by the hands of the people who live here.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting. Some of our articles contain affiliate links. We kindly ask our readers to exercise careful judgement when making a purchase or booking a service online.

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