スミス英会話塚口校 出雲大社への旅




Trip to Izumo Taisha

Hi, it’s Derek from Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi. I earlier wrote about a trip to Tottori Sand Dunes in 2022. Today, I'm going to talk about a trip to Izumo Taisha that I made during the Smith’s Golden Week break in 2023. Let's get started!

Bus Ride to Mimasaka in Okayama Prefecture

My trip started on May 3, 2023. I took a Hankyu train from Hankyu Tsukaguchi Station to Umeda, Osaka. There, I took a JR express bus to Mimasaka, Okayama and joined my family at my wife’s parent’s house. I had some of my mother-in-law's homemade fried chicken. It was delicious!

Drive to Izomo in Shimane Prefecture

The next day, my wife’s parents, one of my wife’s brothers, my family and I all went to Izumo Taisha in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture by car. On our way there, we passed through many tunnels. Never had I ever seen so many tunnels on one trip. And some were so long! It was quite interesting!

Izumo Taisha

Izumo Taisha is a revered ancient Shinto shrine in Japan. It is said that every year in October, gods from all over Japan leave their shrines and meet at Izumo Taisha. It is also said that the god Okuninushino Okami, the god of love and marriage, is enshrined there. Many people go there to pray for good fortune. The etiquette there is different from that of other shrines. You have to bow twice, clap your hands four times then bow once. With guidance, I followed the etiquette. The oshimenawa rope at Kaguraden (Kagura Hall) is one of Japan’s largest sacred ropes. It was really big! There were also buildings with very steep roofs which were quite amazing. Izumo Taisha is also deeply related to the Japanese myth The White Hare of Inaba which is why there are some cute statues of rabbits there. I enjoyed visiting it.

Dango with Bean Paste

After our visit to Izumo Taisha, some of us wanted to go to a restaurant to eat famous Shimane Prefecture soba (buckwheat noodles). However, restaurants there were crowded, so we did not eat soba there. Instead, some of us enjoyed dango, a Japanese dumpling made from rice flour mixed with glutinous rice flour and uruchi rice flour. It was served with red bean paste on it and was delicious.

Inasa Beach (Inasa-no-hama)

Before leaving Izumo, we stopped at Inasa Beach which is said to be the waiting place for gods during the sacred season. I enjoyed the view of the sea and surrounding area. Although I did not see it during our visit, there is a large rock there called Benten-Jima on which stands a small shrine. It is dedicated to Toyotamabime, the daughter of Wadazumi, the God of the sea, and is said to protect seafarers. Apparently, the view of the evening sun sinking behind the silhouette of Benten-jima is stunning. It is a symbol of “Izumo, sacred place of the setting sun” and is even registered as a Japan Heritage Site. I am thankful to my wife’s brother for providing the photos of it.

Quick Stop in Matsue

We then went to Matsu briefly and looked for a restaurant that sold soba. We found one but gave up on eating there because the shop was going to close soon.

Soft Ice-cream and Soba at Service Areas

While driving back to Mimasaka, we stopped at two service areas. We enjoyed soft ice-cream at the first one and, finally, soba at the other one!

I also a bought souvenir (omiyage) for my students of English. I chose a rabbit-shaped, white bean paste-filled sweet. The rabbit shape was inspired by the famous White Hare of Inaba story of the region. I later tried one at Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi because I had some extra ones. It was cute and quite delicious!

Unicycling Challenge

Before leaving Mimasaka the next day, my wife, son and I all briefly tried riding a unicycle at my wife’s parent’s home. My daughter could already ride it so I wanted to try it. Even though I didn’t succeed and got scratched and bruised, it was fun trying! (^.^) I hope to master it one day! I enjoyed watching my wife and son try it too after I did. Great effort!

In Japan, some schools have unicycles which students can use. When she was in Grade 6, my wife practiced riding a unicycle at school during recess time, but she never mastered it. This time so many years later, she succeeded riding one a very short distance. Well done!

Melon Bread

I went back home the next day. When my JR express bus made a brief stop at a service area, I bought some freshly baked chocolate chip melon bread. It was delicious!

Another Nice Trip in Japan

I enjoyed my Golden Week trip in 2023. I wonder where I will go during the 2024 Smith’s Golden Week break? (^.^)



















次の日美作市を去る前、妻、息子と私は妻の実家で一輪車に挑戦しました。娘は乗ることができるので、私も挑戦してみたかったのです。上手く乗れずに、傷やあざを作りましたが挑戦するのは楽しかったです!(^.^) いつか乗れるようになりたいです!私の後に挑戦した、妻と息子を見るのも楽しかったです。頑張っていました!






スミス英会話塚口校 デレック