Tsuwano has outstanding shrines and temples, incredible festivals, hot springs, sake breweries, a Christian history, an amazing garden, and even a steam train. It's really worth doing an overnight trip. Climb the slope and stairs to see Youmeiji Temple with its lovely garden. (It might be a little steep for anyone with mobility issues.) Successive Tsuwano lords are laid to rest here. To your left after the gate, you can also see the grave of Mori Ogai, the famous novelist who was born in Tsuwano. Ogai trained as a doctor and was the youngest person to gain his medical licence at the age of 19 in 1881. He then spent four years in Germany, nearly marrying a German woman. Ogai's most popular work is The Wild Geese, so you might want to read it after your visit, while The Dancing Girl deals with a love affair between a Japanese man and German woman. His real name was Rintaro Mori (森林太郎), so if you're interested in him, please look for these characters to the left of the main gate.
Go up the stairs to a beautiful Japanese garden, which is especially beautiful in autumn, becasue of the large number of maple trees with red leaves. The leaves are usually best from early to mid-November. But like all Japanese gardens, it is designed to be attractive in every season.
The temple was established in 1420 and rebuilt in 1720. You can see Buddhist statues and other historical objects. There is a treasure room at the back of the temple, but unless you read Japanese well, you might not understand much of the explanations. Still, for 300 yen you can enjoy looking at the garden and entering some rooms in the temple.
Open: 8:30 – 15:00
Entrance fee: Adult 300 yen, junior high school student 200 yen, elementary school student 150 yen
Shimane, Kanoashi-gun, Tsuwano town, Ushiroda-ro,
Tel: 0856‐72‐0137 (in Japanese only)