Mt. Azumayama on the Hiroshima/Shimane border, Okuizumo-Cho

So you’re coming to Okuizumo?! That’s great! I’m sure you’ve already googled away and looked in complete amazement at all four sentences on the Wikipedia page. Not to worry! There are resident JETs here to help you *cue superman music*! This page may seem thin but it’s just hard to describe our corner of Shimane. Yes it may not be the liveliest, but it’s steeped in mythology and history going back to the very roots of Japan. Anyone can live in a city, but you rarely get the chance to live somewhere this unique.

So, first things first – Okuizumo is NOT Izumo. They are two completely different places. Izumo is one of Shimane’s buzzing metropolises located 1 hour north of Okuizumo. Okuizumo is home to the Yamata-no-Orochi legend and is comprised of two towns, Nita and Yokota, which merged in 2005.

There are approximately 12,600 people living in Okuizumo (March 2017) and the two towns are just a 15-20min drive apart. Yokota is the larger of the two and holds many of Okuizumo’s amenities, including Juntendo (a mini Japanese Walmart… sort of). Nita has two beautiful shrines and hosts the Summer Matsuri (festival). One Junior High School/Elementary JET resides in Yokota and another in Nita. Okuizumo’s only Senior High School, Yokota High School, is visited by an Unnan JET. That mightn’t seem like many people but we’re a tight-knit group and love to have fun!

Town Highlights

  • Oni no Shitaburui
  • Itohara Family garden
  • Life-Extention spring
  • Orochi loop station
  • Tane Museum of Natural History
  • Cycling terminal
  • Misawa Shrine
  • Chuang Tamaminesan Hotsprings (Kamedake)
  • Sentsuzan
  • Museum of Tatara (traditional Japanese iron/steel furnace) and swords
  • Miinohara ski area
  • Oharashinden terraced rice fields

Also, check out the TripAdvisor page for Okuizumo!

Things JETs Do in Their Spare Time

Taiko drumming is a popular pastime here.

If you’re a runner, Okuizumo is the place for you! If not… it’s still the place for you! Okuizumo is home to many beautiful and breathtaking running/walking paths.

Feel free to drive the enchanting Orochi-loop and indulge in Okuizumo local ice-cream, while watching the sunset on the bridge.

For some downtime, visit the jazzy Sinatra or the local izakaya restaurant. For a change in taste, eat at the French or Italian restaurants located at the train station.

Restaurants and Cafes

Local favorites include the jazzy Sinatra or the local izakaya restaurant. For a change in taste, try the French or Italian restaurants located at the train station. And if all else fails, go for a drive!

Getting Around

Unnan: 45 mins
Yasugi: 1 hour
Izumo: 1 hour
Matsue: 1 hour
Tottori: 1 hour
Hiroshima: 2 hours by expressway

Why not check out some of the other towns:

YasugiMatsueThe Oki Islands IzumoUnnanOkuizumoOdaIinan