Izumo and Matsue in Shimane Prefecture in south west Japan are connected by two railway lines.
The JR San-in Line runs south of Lake Shinji and the Ichibata Railway Kitamatsue Line runs to the north of Japan's 7th largest lake. The JR San-in Line is the quicker of the two routes between the cities and is handy for Tamatsukuri Hot Springs and the small town of Shinji near Izumo Airport.
The Ichibata Railway Kitamatsue Line is good for Matsue Vogel Park, Matsue Water Village Museum & Garden and the terminus at Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Station is slightly nearer to Matsue Castle, the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum and Lafcadio Hearn's Old Residence.
The JR San-in Line actually runs between Kyoto and Shimonoseki via Fukuchiyama, Tottori, Yonago, Matsue, Izumo, Yunotsu, Hamada, Masuda and Hagi.
The Ichibata Electric Railway has two lines. The 40km line between Izumo and Matsue and an 8km spur from Kawato Station (on the Kitamatsue Line) to Izumo Taisha-mae Station, near Izumo Taisha. The Ichibata Railway Izumo Station is to your right as you exit the main JR Izumo Station.
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