Shimane lies near the western tip of Japan's main island on the Sea of Japan side. Although sparsely populated it was once a center of trade with China, so it boasts a good number of important historic sites, including Matsue Castle. Izumo Taisha is said to be Japan's oldest Shinto shrine and the place that the gods gather once a year to do business. However, there's more to this historical prefecture than ancient shrines and temples, as a bit of cutting edge technology is present as well. Of note to tech trivia fans: Matsue is the birthplace of the programming language Ruby. For the creative traveler, beauty and inspiration are alive in The Adachi Museum of Art which pairs Japanese artwork and gardens. During your travels be sure to try the regional specialties of taimeishi (sea bream steamed on rice) and shijimi jiru (clam soup).