As with neighbors anywhere, the Japanese prefectures of Tottori and Shimane are playful rivals. While both are sparsely populated and somewhat regionally isolated by the Chugoku mountain range, Shimane likes to flaunt…

For those living in Tokyo or other metropolitan locales, it can be easy to lose touch with the traditional cycles that often underpin rural life. Reconnect with these natural rhythms in Shimane…

Sometimes one forgets how feral a place Japan can be. In Tokyo, stray cats assessing me with utter contempt and the odd rat marching through the Saturday night detritus of Shibuya are…

Animal lovers with a passion for travel have been raving about Japan’s ‘rabbit island’ Ohkunoshima for half a decade, but only a handful of visitors that make their way to the ferry…

The origins of Japan’s beloved beverage – sake – are said to lie in Shimane Prefecture where ancient myths and traditions flow as deeply as the freshwater streams that flow from the Chugoku Mountains and into…

If Shimane were a fantasy character, she would be the quiet one pretending to be just an ordinary person while, in fact, she’d be the one leading the story in a genuinely…

This hotel boasts a luxurious terrace and lounge on its 14th floor. Various services are offered throughout the day, including a vegetable-rich breakfast, coffee, buffets, a delicious dinner and even late-night snacks. While sipping your cup of joe, guests can browse the library and learn about Hiroshima's rich culture. Address: 16-5 Teppo-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Website: www.intergatehotels.jp/hiroshima/  Tel: 082-224-6110

In the seminal travel book, The Inland Sea, author Donald Richie wrote, “The Japanese are the last people who stand in reverence of the natural world. Rather than attempting to eradicate it,…

If you’re looking for a slice of Japan that radiates the charm of yesteryear, look no further than Kurashiki. Only a 15-minute train ride away from nearby capital Okayama, Kurashiki was once…

Address: 1491, Gakutou, Hikawa-cho, Izumo-shi, Shimane-ken Website: www.yuyado-souan.jp    Tel: 0853-72-0226

Address: 1-3-15 Chuo, Kurashiki, Okayama Website: www.turugata.jp    Tel: 086-424-1635

Address: 1572 Toyosaka, Maniwa-shi, Okayama Website: hakkei-yubara.jp    Tel: 0867-62-2211