I purchased (juseki) non-reserved ticket and I boarded the Yakumo bound for Yasugi Station, Shimane Prefecture. From my train window Okayama looks like any other rural Japanese town. Going deeper into the backbone of Shimane you'll see acres upon acres of rice fields, dated houses with modern insulated tile roofs, quiet, and sleepy.
I could've flown to this part of Japan, but I would've missed out on so much of the verve and energy of the place. Shimane and Tottori Prefectures are regarded as spiritual places untouched by time. The birthplace of the Nation of Japan and the birthplace of Japanese sake, two of the most important reasons for visiting this region, make it one of the most spiritual places in the whole country, the place where all Japanese gods intersect and mingle - 8 million gods.
In the second map you can see how my route cuts through from the Pacific coast to the Sea of Japan side. From Niimi on you'll take in pristine views of the backbone of one of Japan's most quiet and most well -preserved vistas. Winding through valleys and lowlands, you'll see flowing rivers meandering around tiny man-made waterways and eddies.
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I had organized a lunch box for this two hour trip. When visiting this region of Japan just about every train station will have its own unique lunchbox. Having lunch during a long train ride is the quintessential Japan experience, and has been for many rail fans. I tend to focus a little more on the local sake of whatever region I am visiting. The picture below is of a bottle of Shimane Prefectures own Rihaku Nama Tokubetsu Honjozoshu. Can't think of a better sake that paired so well with the lunchbox I was having. This is a nice all-around sake that's light on the palate. Seimaibuai 58%. unpasteurized. I didn't notice any distinguishable fruity notes, just a perfectly well-balanced sake that I am officially in love with.