Shimane Prefecture


Main City: Matsue

Population:  694,000 people, ranking 46/47 prefecture (2015) [1]

Area: 6,707 km2 [2]

Geographical / Landscape description

The prefecture has an area elongated from east to west facing the Chugoku Mountain Range on the south side and to the Sea of Japan on the north side. It is divided into the Izumo Region in the east, the Iwami Region in the zest and the Oki Region, a small group of islands off the northern coast. Most of the cities are near the shoreline of the Sea of Japan. Forest area is 80% of the land making it one of the highest rates in Japan. [2]


The prefecture has a sub-tropical climate. Winter is cloudy with some snow and summer is humid. [2]

Time zone: GMT +7 in summer (+8 in winter)

International dialling code: 0081

Recent history, culture

Shimane was the first place of residence in Japan of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) an Irish-Greek writer who became one of the first foreigners to take Japanese citizenship due to his passion for the country. With a passionate interest in Japanese traditional culture, he used Matsue as a stage to introduce Japanese culture to the world through his writings; he is also the “exporter” of Judo to America. Still today, his history and fame are well known in the area and his museum and the villa where he lived are two tourist attractions not to be missed. [3][4]

More chapters:

  • Economic overview
  • Infrastructure
  • Major types of economic activities
  • Opportunities for EU Investors / Exporters / Importers
  • Setting up a business in the prefecture
  • Other contacts