From the Kansai region, take the Shinkansen to Okayama and then transfer to the Super Yakumo train which gets you to Izumo in 3 hours (¥6710 from Okayama, ¥12,300 from Kyoto). Those without JR Passes may want to travel by highway bus. From Kyoto, bus rides cost ¥6000 and take 6 hours. Night buses (From Osaka, Kyoto or Kobe) will save you time and money, but they are a bit hard to sleep in and they make a pit stop halfway through in order to arrive on time.
From Tokyo there are three basic ways to get to Izumo. There are 5 flights per day (¥28,800) from Haneda Airport which will get you to Izumo in 80 minutes (plus 30 minutes by bus to Izumo Station). The Sunrise Izumo Limited Express sleeper train (¥21,110) leaves Tokyo at 10:00 P.M. and arrives in Izumo at 10AM. There are also sleeper buses (¥12,070), which also take 12 hours but are cheaper and less comfortable. They leave Tokyo at 7:10PM and return buses leave Izumo Station back to Tokyo at the same time.
From Hiroshima, going by bus (¥4000 one-way, ¥7200 round-trip) is the best option. 8 buses per day leave from Hiroshima Station (Shinkansen-guchi exit) and get to Izumo just over 3 hours later. Those using the J.R. Pass may want to save money and take the Shinkansen back to Okayama and hop on the Super Yakumo train (total travel time 4 hours).
By car, Izumo is about one hour drive from Matsue on Route 9, the main road through the Japan Sea side of western Japan from Kyoto to Shimonoseki.
Trains will get you to Izumo Taisha or out of the city, but otherwise bus, taxi or rental car will be your only option.
There are 2 different train companies in Izumo. The JR West Sanin Main Line and the Ichibata Electric Railway  (Ichibata Densha Kabushiki-gaisha [一畑電車株式会社]). The JR West Izumo Station is next to the Ichibata's Dentetsu Izumo Station. Ichibata has 2 lines, the Kita Matsue Line which runs for 33.9 km from Dentetsu Izumo Station to Matsue Shinji-ko Onsen Station in Matsue, and the Taisha Line which runs 8.3 km from Kawato Station (on the Kita Matsue Line) to Izumo Taisha-mae Station, near Izumo Taisha.
- Izumo Taisha (出雲大社). The big draw here... many skip Izumo proper and go straight for the shrine, which is one of Japan's most famous. It is the oldest and one of the most important Shrines in Japan. The main shrine is about 25 meters tall, though records say it is only half the size it was 800 years ago. Izumo Taisha is where all the Shinto gods in Japan are supposed to go when they have their yearly meeting. Note that if you wish to pray at Izumo Taisha, it is customary to clap four times instead of two (as is the custom at other shrines in Japan). Watch many people attempting to toss small change until it lodges in the large rice-straw rope--getting ¥45 stuck in or on the rope will bring good luck.
- The nearby Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo  is an elegantly designed complex with interesting and enlightening displays. Exhibitions feature: speculative designs of the original Izumo Taisha shrine, explanations of the history and development of nearby Iwami Ginzan, and a dramatic collection of ceremonial bronze bells and swords. 9AM-6PM March to October, 9AM-5PM November to February, closed the third Tuesday of each month, ¥600 adults, ¥400 yen university students, ¥200 children.
- Hinomisaki Lighthouse. Supposedly the tallest lighthouse in Asia... the lighthouse itself is not spectacular, but the bus ride out there and the chance to see a fishing village makes it worth the 1/2 hour trip.
- Tachikue Gorge (Tachikue-kyo), south of Izumo City. A pleasant hike that ends with hundreds of stone figures with red hats on them. Buses go here as well (1/2 hour) and there's an onsen/youth hostel.
Izumo soba (出雲そば), the local variety of noodles, is the region's most famous food, but the beef (Shimane wagyu) is good as well.
- Shimane Winery, . Try yakiniku (barbecue). Also offers free tours and wine tastings, though connoisseurs will likely be unimpressed.
- Hara, a good selection of small dishes is available here in addition to soba. Go straight out the north exit of JR Izumo station and look for the purple banner on the right just past the Toyoko Inn. Good food with an interesting crowd of local patrons from construction workers to groups of young women out for a party.
Just northeast of Izumo Station is Daikancho, Izumo's drinking district. It's mostly "snacks" and hostess bars aimed at the older crowd, but there are a few venues for young people.
There are a few low-priced minshuku and ryokan throughout the city. Pick up an English map at Izumo Station.
- Izumo Green Hotel Morris, 6-1 Minami Honmachi, Imaichi-cho, ☎ 0853-24-7700 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 0853-24-7711). A business hotel just south of Izumoshi Station. Singles from ¥5145
- Izumo Royal Hotel is a short taxi ride from the JR Station in town. Tel. 0853-23-7211. Rooms from ¥5400 include parking and wireless Internet.
- Matsue to the east has a nice castle, among other things.
This page was last edited at 07:46, on 30 March 2008 by Ted O'Neill. Based on work by Ann, Christopher Bishop, Stacy Hall and Jani Patokallio, Wikitravel user(s) KakinokiJames and Episteme and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.