Japan's '47th most famous prefecture' aims for Tokyo tourists

Japan's '47th most famous prefecture' aims for Tokyo tourists

Sparsely-populated Shimane aims for fame as Japan's most forgotten destination
shimane, travel japan
Travelers watch sunset on Lake Shinji in Matsue, Shimane prefecture.

Shimane prefecture, Japan's second-least populated prefecture, has self-deprecatingly decided to advertise itself in Tokyo as the "47th most famous prefecture in Japan," according to Japan Today.

Of the 47 prefectures in the country, Shimane considers itself the most overlooked, located in the west of Honshu on the north coast facing South Korea.

In a new calendar, on sale for ¥1,680 at Shimane prefecture's shop in Nihombashi, printed comments include "Where in Tottori Prefecture is Shimane?" in reference to the region's better known neighbor.

Another states "No, we don’t have sand dunes," pointing out another misconception that one of Japan's largest dunes is in Shimane, when it is in fact in Tottori.

According to Hirotaka Fujihara of Shimane Prefecture Tokyo Office, "The self-deprecating comments on the calendar come from love for our hometown. I hope it can draw many people’s interest in the prefecture."

Shimane is a mostly mountainous prefecture and its capital city Matsue is home to around 200,000 citizens. Its regional specialities are rice, beef, grapes and stone lanterns.

The calendar is also notable for renaming October as Kamiarizuki (the month when the gods are present) as opposed to the traditional Kannazuki (the month of no gods), in reference to the Izumo Taisha shrine which according to a Shinto legend, sees 8 million deities congregate in that month.

shimane, travel japan A boat sails as the sun sets on Lake Shinji in Matsue, Shimane.