Shimane’s Lake Shinji is sure to make a striking first impression on any traveler. Until mere moments before you touch down at Izumo Airport, you’ll sail over its pristine waters, nestled amidst the mountains deep in the home of Japan’s ancient gods. But at this point, you’ve quite literally only skimmed the surface of this natural wonder, a romantic destination you won’t want to miss.
So stunning you’ll think you’ve traveled to another world, the sunset over Lake Shinji has inspired Japanese poets and writers across the centuries. It’s said to have been a particular favorite of Lafcadio Hearn, the world-renowned writer who became one of the first Westerners to introduce Japan to the English-speaking world in the 19th century. Visitors can stroll along the lakeside and admire a host of sculptures curated by the Shimane Art Museum, which also sits atop the shore.
Gaze upon the evening sky as the sun falls behind the mountains, silhouetting the island of Yomegashima—home to a shrine to the goddess Benten, complete with a sacred Torii gate and elegant pine trees—and you’re sure to understand why it’s one of the most sought-after spots by couples from across Japan and abroad. With the ancient gods and goddesses watching over you, it’s a perfect place to form an eternal bond with your soulmate.
It is a short 20 to 30-minute drive from Izumo Airport to the terraced stretch of the lakeshore famed for its sunset views. The city of Matsue is right nearby to explore.
Airport: Izumo Airport