Though there are many large-scale domes scattered across Japan, the Izumo Dome is not one of the better known ones: those would be Fukuoka Dome or Tokyo Dome, but it does have some distinction, being the biggest wooden dome in Japan and by some accounts the biggest wooden building in Japan.
The Great Buddha Hall at Todai-ji in Nara is most often described as the biggest wooden building in Japan and even the world, but at 49 meters in height the Izumo Dome is a tad taller, and while the Great Buddha Hall has base dimensions of 57 by 50 meters the Izumo Dome has a diameter of 143 meters, a much larger area, but when it comes to the respective volumes of the 2 buildings the Great Buddha Hall checks in as the biggest by virtue of its shape.
Like its more famous counterparts in Tokyo or Fukuoka, the Izumo Dome was built as an indoor sports arena, but as there are no professional sports teams in Izumo its capacity is quite small with just 2,500 seats.
Izumo Dome was built in 1992 and designed by the Kajima Corporation. Its design is based upon the structure of Japanese umbrellas, and is really quite a strikingly elegant building, although that is more apparent from the inside.
The skin of the dome is translucent so the inside is bathed in warm light and so no artificial lighting is needed for daytime events. If you visit when there are no events taking place the staff will allow you to walk out to the center of the dome and if you look up you might imagine you were under the dome of a great European cathedral or Islamic mosque.
When there are no ticketed events taking place the Dome is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week for a 150 yen entrance fee.
Izumo Dome is located about 4km from Izumo Station and 6k from Izumo Taisha, and is accessible by a 12 minute bus journey from Izumo Station.
Tel: 0853 25 1006
Google map of Izumo Dome
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