IZUMO, Shimane Prefecture--It's "the land of the gods," and home to Izumo Taisha shrine, where all Japan's deities are said to assemble each October, but this city still isn't on the radar for most foreign tourists.
To convey the charms of the city connected to a myriad of myths and legends, Izumo's city government created "Ancient Japan, Izumo," its first English-language website, and enlisted two foreigners to write for it.
An association founded to promote Izumo, which is registered as a Japan Heritage site, began preparing the site in August last year with the aid of a production company. The association's secretariat is based in the city government.
The writers act as local guides, penning personal pieces about visiting spots, including Izumo Taisha, Ichibata Yakushi temple, the Yunokawa Onsen hot spring resort, and the Hinomisaki lighthouse, and uploading photos to go with them.
Their posts feature the pair sitting in "zazen" meditation, strolling around town dressed in kimono and nibbling on local cuisine, such as "soba" noodles and sake, city officials said.
About 6,200 foreign tourists stayed in Izumo in 2017. But more likely visited because some of them didn’t stay overnight, the city’s tourism division said.
The site will also be available in French and other languages in the future, officials said.
Visit Ancient Japan, Izumo at (https://ancient-japan-izumo.com/).