Night train to Shimane's land of the gods

Travel Dec 13, 2014

Night train to Shimane's land of the gods

by Davey Young

The 10th month of the lunar calendar is known throughout most of Japan as Kannazuki, or the "month of no gods." During this time, Okuninushi, the kami (Shinto god) enshrined at the renowned Izumo Taisha shrine, summons myriad deities to decide the fate of ...

Shimane mascot boasts rice paddy art

National Aug 20, 2014

Shimane mascot boasts rice paddy art

While there are many "yuru-kyara" mascots created to promote prefectures and municipalities nationwide, the one for Shimane Prefecture has grabbed public attention as rice-paddy art. Shimanekko, a cat mascot with the roof of the renowned Izumo Taisha shrine on top of its head, has been ...

National Jul 4, 2014

Traditional ceremony held for Princess Noriko's engagement

Princess Noriko, a daughter of Emperor Akihito's late cousin Prince Takamado, became engaged Friday at a traditional ceremony to a senior priest of Izumo-taisha, one of Japan's most important shrines. The "Nosai no Gai" ceremony involves an exchange of gifts. More ceremonies will follow ahead ...

National Jun 6, 2014

Princess Noriko sets wedding date

Princess Noriko, second daughter of the late Prince Takamado and Princess Hisako, will be married in a Shinto wedding ceremony on Oct. 5 with Kunimaro Senge, eldest son of the chief priest of the Izumo Taisha Shrine in Shimane Prefecture, sources said Thursday. The wedding ...

National May 28, 2014

Wedding to commoner highlights royal dilemma

The announcement Tuesday that Princess Noriko is engaged to marry a commoner was greeted warmly around the nation, but it has also fueled concern that the Imperial family is losing another member and will have fewer royals to carry out public duties. "Since my childhood ...

Princess Noriko to wed son of Izumo-Taisha chief priest

National May 27, 2014

Princess Noriko to wed son of Izumo-Taisha chief priest

Princess Noriko, second daughter of Princess Hisako and the late Prince Takamado, has become engaged to the eldest son of the chief priest of Izumo-Taisha, the grand shrine in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, the Imperial Household Agency said on Tuesday. Princess Noriko, 25, and Kunimaro Senge, ...

National Jan 31, 2014

Grand shrine Izumo-Taisha drew record 8 million visitors in 2013

The number of visitors to Izumo-Taisha, the grand shrine in the city of Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, reached a record 8.04 million in 2013 after major repair work on its buildings was completed for the first time in 60 years, the prefectural government said. The figure ...