Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo holds a great deal of history and culture over a millennium old just waiting to be discovered.
Ancient Izumo is deeply seated in the creation of many myths and legends of Japan and with its political power at the time Izumo would even be referred to as the “Land of the Dieties.” Many artifacts from Izumo’s history (some as old as 800 BCE–300 CE) have been respectfully preserved as culturally significant national treasures, and the Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo was created to display these artifacts for everyone to view and learn from.
The exhibits primarily focus on items originally from Shimane Prefecture, especially the region known as Izumo, the museum itself is divided into various themed exhibits:
- The Izumo Grand Shrine, it’s said at one time the main part of the shrine stood a staggering 48 meters (~157 feet) high, an amazing feat given it was built over a thousand years ago. In this exhibit you can get up close to a scale replica of what it used to look like.
- Based on Ancient imperial court manuscripts dating back to the early eighth century, this exhibit hosts life-size dioramas displaying a slice of life in this ancient time.
- Many ancient archaeological finds, such as bronze swords and bells to name a few, are on exhibit. While many of the aged and worn pieces are displayed, reproductions are also presented to give visitors a glimpse at what these national treasures once looked like.
- Mythology Theater and the Corridor of Myth and Legend, learn about the tales that first started in Izumo that influence stories, movies, manga, and even anime still today.
- The General Exhibition (Life and interchange of the Shimane people), further explore life in the ancient Shimane Prefecture through their tools, pottery, art, and replicas of cultural objects.
Admission Costs: Adults 310-yen, University Students 200-yen, Students 100-yen. Hours of operation Mar.-Oct. 09:00 – 18:00, Nov.-Feb. 09:00 – 17:00.
Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo is in Izumo City, Shimane Prefecture. It is a 10-min walk from the closest station, Ichibata Electric Railway’s Izumo Taisha-Mae, which is accessible.
There are accessible parking spots for those driving.
The museum is flat, with large aisles making it very easy to navigate in a wheelchair. Exhibits are fairly low and easy to view, even when sitting down.
There are several places to sit and rest in the hallways and an elevator to the second floor. Wheelchairs, walkers, and baby strollers can be borrowed at the entrance.
Tactile blocks can be used in the hallways (unfortunately not the exhibit area) and audio guides are available. A writing/communication board is available at the front desk along with a tactile floor map. Service dogs are allowed within the building.
There are wheelchair accessible toilets available inside the building, at the accessible parking space, and in the experience factory. Some of these restrooms feature many assistive fixtures including: ostomate facilities, accessible sink, multiple grab bars, changing table, and bidet.
This is the place to be for anyone captivated by Japanese myths and legends, being literally the birthplace of some of the more widely known Japanese deity mythos that still inspire to this very day. Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo is a beautiful museum full of cultural and historic artifacts found nowhere else, definitely worth seeing if you find yourself in Shimane Prefecture.
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