A short trip to Shimane Prefecture: Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse
Let's discover the beauty of the lighthouse that was chosen as a tangible cultural property in Japan and one of the 100 historic lighthouses in the world.
Leaving Izumo Taisha after a leisurely morning, I went on the way to my final destination in my journey of exploring Shimane - the Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse.
After walking for 5 minutes from the shrine's main gate, you can catch the bus from the Izumo Taisha liaison office. It only takes 20 minutes on the bus, and the one-way ticket costs 500 yen.
It would take 2-3 minutes more to walk to the central area of the lighthouse from the bus stop. Along the way, you can see restaurants and souvenir shops selling local products huddling close together.
When talking about Izumo's cuisine, we cannot forget to mention seafood. Depending on the season and day, the locals will sell fresh ingredients in front of the stalls every morning.
Gradually appearing in front of my eyes was Himonisaki, standing tall and proud between the sky and earth. This tallest lighthouse of Japan was built in 1903 and is 43.65m high and 63.3m high if you calculate from sea level to the top of the lighthouse.
One unique trait of Himonisaki is that it possesses one of the largest lenses in the world. With a light whose luminous intensity is 480,000 Candela and can reach out to 40 kilometers offshore at night, this lighthouse has been quietly protecting the sea for over 100 years.
Therefore, Izumo Hinomisaki was chosen as a national tangible cultural property in 2013.
The entrance fee to see the inside and go to the top of the tower is 200 yen. It will take about 30 minutes to get up and down the 163 stairs, but it is worth it because the magnificent view high up there will definitely hold you back much longer than that.
For those who do not want to climb up the stairs, you can take a walk around the lighthouse instead. The paths surrounding this place are designed to allow visitors to walk around for about 40 minutes.
I chose for myself a corner on the cliff-top to sit on and see how the blue color of the sky mixed with the delicate white color of the lighthouse for a long time. The breeze's blowing loudly in my ears and the endless horizon blending's into the deep emerald blue sea made me feel so small in front of the magnificence of nature.
This place can ease our souls and relieve the pressures of busy daily life. I am delighted that I was able to come to this place on my trip.
Some notes for you
- There are only 5 bus rides from Izumo Taisha to Izumo Hinomisaku a day, so check the time of the bus carefully.
- It is pretty cold and windy in this area, so dress suitably.
- One suggestion is that you should try the grilled squid directly at seafood stalls on the way to the lighthouse. What in the world can compare with watching the sea while enjoying the thick and delicious grilled squid skewers?
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