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Yasugi4A visit to Shimane Prefecture is never complete without time spent at one of its signature attractions, the Adachi Museum of Art. Between April 2015 and March 2016, some 24,000 visitors from abroad put it on their travel itinerary.

Wataru Takeda, a manager at the facility, explained that the museum is “an independent institution open to everyone. We wish to be a valued and proud member of Yasugi City, and our goal is to be a must-visit museum for tourists and expats in Japan.”

Established in 1970 to develop Japanese art and nurture promising Japanese painters, the museum houses about 1,500 works—including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics—by masters of Japanese art.

Among the museum’s star attractions are the work of such artists as Taikan Yokoyama (1868–1958), known simply as Taikan, who co-founded the Nihon Bijyutsuin (Japan Art Institute), and Seiho Takeuchi (1864–1942), a master painter from the pre-war era.

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Another of the museum’s main attractions is the spectacular landscape garden. According to the museum’s founder, Zenko Adachi, the garden is “a picture scroll; a living painting.”

The Journal of Japanese Gardening, published by the US-based Japanese Gardening Organization, has given the garden its top ranking since 2003.

To complement its regular exhibits, the museum’s displays are changed each season. In addition to a recently completed two-story annex—housing around 200 masterpieces by contemporary Japanese painters—there is a theater where visitors can learn more via explanations of the exhibited works and films.

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At the Hirose-gasuri Center, you can take part in traditional indigo dyeing. Hirose-gasuri are intricate and detailed patterns created on cotton by weaving different shades of indigo by hand. This process has been designated an intangible asset of the prefecture.

To satisfy your taste buds, a number of venues offer traditional vegetarian shojin-ryori (devotional food), which contains neither fish nor meat. A staple of trainee monks at local Buddhist temples, the food typically includes intricately prepared dishes using tofu and mountain vegetables, seasoned with vegan dashi (stock) or soy sauce.

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The museum houses about 1,500 works—including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics—by masters of Japanese art.