Photo: iStock/ Thananat

5 things to do in Izumo this autumn

By Chehui Peh

Ever heard of Izumo in Shimane Prefecture, home to the most famous shrine in Japan for enmusubi (matchmaking)? Izumo is home to the only airport in Japan that can proudly name their airport the official enmusubi airport.

Along with visiting the shrine for celestial help with finding your perfect partner, career, or in any type of relationship, here are five things you could do in Izumo this autumn.

1. Visit Izumo Shrine in November for Kamiarizuki

It is believed that the week of October 10 on the lunar calendar is when eight million deities from around Japan congregate in Izumo for a yearly meeting. Hence, every November in Izumo is kamiarizuki (the month when the deities are present). In contrast, November is more commonly referred to as kannazuki (the month when deities are absent) around Japan.

Crowds flock to Izumo Shrine during those seven days as it is believed that one’s wishes are more likely to come true. There are also two festivals to mark the occasion, one to welcome the deities called kamimukaesai, and another to bid them farewell till next year called karasadesai.

195 Taishacho Kizukihigashi, Izumo, Shimane - Map

Admission: Free

6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

2. Explore the shrine grounds

Photo: iStock/ Alexander Pyatenko

Izumo Shrine is filled with little surprises along the way, so much so that it should take up two items on this list. Did you know you can see 46 statues of rabbits scattered throughout the shrine, all with different expressions, with some making sake and others gearing up for a sumo wrestling match?

There are also bronze statues of a sacred horse and cow, rumored to bring luck if you were to rub their noses.

Click here to read more.

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When the gods are absent around Japan, they are gathering in Izumo, same month.

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