Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo

Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo: Hours, Address, Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo Reviews: 4.5/5

Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo

Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo
Visitor Centers • History Museums
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The origins of japan,enfolded in mystery. Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo is dedicated to exhibiting the heritage of the ancient Izumo culture. Central Lobby Exhibition In the Central Lobby stand the "UZUBASHIRA PILLAR" a pillar found in the ruins of the Izumo Grand Shrine,discovered in 2000. Theme Exhibitions ”Izumo Grand Shrine and the Festivals of the Land of the Gods” offers an introduction to the mysteries of Izumo Grand shrine, said to have been vast in scale in ancient times. "Bronze implement and decorative sword" showcases the bronze inplement of the Yayoi period (approx.500 BC-250 AD) and the luxuriously decorated long swords,(tachi,) of the Kofun period (approx.250-600 AD)
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Popular mentions

363 reviews
Very good

France119 contributions
Should probably be your first stop in Izumo before the shrine
Oct 2019
This museum is packed with artifact and info about the area.

You should probably visit this before heading to the shrine.

The audio guide was really nice and I enjoyed this museum a lot!
There's a place to leave your backpack etc...

The staff was nice and helpful too.
Written August 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

East Sussex, UK1,337 contributions
good for take time visit here
Nov 2017 • Friends
good for take time visit here to know more about japan ancient story & religion esp for Izumo is important place of it.
Written July 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tinagar Gopal
Klang, Malaysia378 contributions
Good history lesson with discount
Dec 2017 • Solo
Foreigners with passport got discount. But not sure if this is permanent or for limited time. Discounted price is ¥300 & we can also take a free english audio guide that explains each display. Can easily take up 1 to 2 hours if you like culture & history.
There's an observatory deck on 3rd floor but since it was raining ice, I didn't go up. 2nd floor is a cafe. Staffs here do speak english and as most Japanese I've seen, they are very polite & helpful. Always wear a smile to get extra attention. *wink wink*
Written December 8, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Paradise, CA193 contributions
Good exhibit on Izumo but limited English description available
Oct 2017 • Couples
Visiting this definitely help you understand Izumo better, worth a visit if you are interested in history

- many different types of exhibit
- very friendly and helpful staff even with limited English ability
- close to Izumo Taisha - convenient

- most of the exhibit does not have or very limited English description. We got a hand held device for English translation but it is only available for few artifacts
Written November 8, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kobe93 contributions
It showcases the rich history of Izumo region, which is widely attributed as the cradle of Japanese nation and culture
Sep 2017 • Friends
Izumo region is rich in history, as described in Izumo chapter of “Fudoki,” or geographical reports. The nationwide compilation of such reports was initiated in early 8th century, as a commemorative effort of the establishment of Yamato Dynasty with its capital in Nara. Much of Fudoki records are lost in time, but the report on Izumo region has survived well, to tell us about the life and livelihood, as well as oral mythology, of ancient Japanese people in the region.

As the museum displays well demonstrate, archeological finds and discoveries in the region convincingly prove that Izumo was a preeminent political and cultural center of Japan, before the establishment of Yamato Dynasty. Therefore, it is all the more puzzling, or rather mythical, why Izumo clan had conceded the political supremacy to Yamato Dynasty, without any evident power struggle. The mythology tells us that Izumo clan had chosen to keep its cultural preeminence instead, and it was allowed to build the grandest shrine of all in the land. Izumo Grand Shrine, which still commands many worshipers and tourists today, is merely its descendant.

No record of the original shrine remains today. Instead, the museum shows a few scale models, suggesting its mythical nature. One common feature of these models is the tall tower structure, on the top of which stands the house of gods. An attendant feature is the long slope of steps for the priests to reach the house. The structure was said to have had a commanding height of over 50 meters and visible from miles away. Fortunately, the remains of one supporting column of the shrine were discovered in 2000, and now displayed in this museum. The column’s size and structure well justify the mythical claim on the shrine.

The political and cultural predominance of Izumo region in the ancient time is evident from the museum’s impressive collection of bronze implements, such as bells and ceremonial swords. They are discovered in several locations around the region. Similar bronze implements have been discovered in many other places in Japan. However, the size and number of the discoveries in Izumo region stands out, to prove the region’s political, as well as economic, preeminence. The region’s advantage stemmed from its favorable geographical features, for agriculture, fishery, and trade with Korean Peninsular. Indeed, the bronze material in its early period was said to be import from Korean Peninsular.

Nonetheless, Izumo region was rich in other mineral resources, particularly silver and iron. For example, the museum presents attractive and informative displays of Iwami silver mine, which was said to have produced one-third of the world’s silver production at its peak period. Likewise, the museum displays the ancient method of iron production. All in all, the museum well merits a half-day visit for visitors to the region.

As mentioned by others, the museum offers a few favors to foreign tourists, such as a discount entry ticket and free audio-phone service. Although the audio-service is rather limited in coverage, any serious visitors to the museum may make an advanced booking for volunteer English guide.

The access to the museum is the same as Izumo Grand Shrine, as they are practically next to each other. In other words, access by public transportation is very easy. If you are so inclined, cycling from JR Izumo City station to the shrine/museum is an attractive alternative. As I have done, you can rent a bicycle for less than $5 at the station, and the road network in the region provides comfortable paths or space for cyclists. All you need on top is your physical fitness, to pedal the 8km distance. "Bonne chance!"
Written September 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Fujisawa, Japan3,945 contributions
Good learning about Taisha shrine
Aug 2017 • Family
Good display, video, and story here.
It's a must to understand Taisha shrine, I suppose.

When I visited, special exhibition was about Iwami Silver mine.

I've learned Taisha, Iwami and lots of myths here.

Thank you very much
Written August 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Toronto, Canada14 contributions
Tourists as well as history buffs should find much to discover here
Jun 2017 • Couples
Historical insights regarding the origins of Japanese culture are to be gained from seeing the valuable artifacts preserved at this museum adjacent to Izumo Grand Shrine. Though some are replicas, several objects on display are priceless national treasures.

Taken at a leisurely pace -- Don't rush! -- the many exhibits reveal a great deal about early Japan, the construction and re-construction of the Grand Shrine over centuries, and its significance (both religious and otherwise) to successive generations.

My wife and I took in the museum before going to the Grand Shrine, which enhanced our appreciation of the shrine immeasurably. Had we done it the other way around there still would have been a lot for us to learn.

An English-language audio guide is free with admission.
Written June 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan278 contributions
Good for learning about ancient Japan
Jun 2017 • Solo
Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo is located at the next of Izumo Taisha.
There are so many displays about ancient Izumo, for example, bronze swords, bronze bells, comma-shaped beads and earthenware.
Especially, the miniature of ancient Izumo Taisha (existent Izumo Taisha is the restoration) and mined large pillars are must see.
You can feel the origins of Japan here.

If you use Ichibata Railway to visit here, I recommend you to buy one day railway ticket with museum ticket, because one day railway ticket is 1500 yen and museum ticket is 610 yen, but you can get both ticket for only 1800 yen!
Written June 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Okayama Prefecture, Japan712 contributions
Too much stuff, too little discrimination
May 2017 • Couples
You will find it all here. Literally, every document, every artifact, every folk tale relating to the Izumo area. Illustrated, explained. lavishly contextualised both in national and international terms. Folk tales? We have folk tales. Here they are illustrated and brought to life, along with folk tales from around the world. Battles? Artefacts? Roof tiles? Ditto, ditto.

After our visit to the grand shrine, we were attracted by the proximity and gleaming glass/concrete of this place, enticed inside by a discount for foreigners. Much of the stuff was mildly interesting. Some of it very interesting. But it was all presented with the same exhaustive thoroughness.

Eventually, we gave up trying to bear with the lavish, plodding explanations, used the beautiful restrooms and left.

What a pity. For a tenth of the money, they could have given us the highlights and had a much more interesting museum.
Written June 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hong Kong, China218 contributions
Must see!!
Mar 2017 • Friends
Reminder: there is a discount for foreigners for the entrance fee!! remember to bring your passport! there is also free audio guide in english! free parking lot.
You can get to know more of the history of the Izumo shrine and the people of ancient times.
Written April 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 21
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing