1. Matsue: Private Customized Tour with Izumo Taisha Shrine
Explore Matsue and the famous Izumo Taisha Shrine in your own way with a private licensed guide. Choose the 6 or 4-hour option depending on what fits with your schedule. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. All guides hold the nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification. It is issued by the Japanese government and requires a good understanding of Japanese culture and history. Matsue is the capital city of Shimane Prefecture. It sits on the southwestern portion of Japan's main island of Honshu, and is the perfect spot to visit if you're looking for an off-the-beaten-track travel experience. Often overlooked by visitors in favor of more well-known destinations, the region has culture, nature, and history by the bucketload – and all without the large crowds. You can customize your itinerary according to the places you want to visit. See some suggestions below. Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine is one of the most important shrines in Japan. It is considered the oldest shrine in Japan, dating back to the early 700s. According to the myth, the gods around Japan all gathered at this shrine once a year to conduct meetings. Nowadays many visitors from all over the country come to pay a visit, hoping for good fortune when the meetings occur. Adachi Museum of Art is known all over the world for its garden boasting an uncommon beauty. In addition to the various attractions of the garden, you can see the works of master Japanese painter Taikan Yokoyama, and other masterpieces of pottery. Matsue Castle is a national treasure with over 400 years of history. You can view the surviving castle tower which is a rare sight in Japan. The area has been selected as one of the top 100 places in the country to view the cherry blossom, which occurs in the first half of April. Other popular places you could visit on this tour include the Adachi Museum of Art, Shinji Lake, Matsue Vogel Park, and Matsue Castle Town.