Italian cuisine with a creative twist, the Italia Garden (MAP)
This is another good Italian restaurant in town, that doesn’t skimp on flavour. In fact, its original dressing is so popular that it is sold by the bottle, and also in gift sets, and is even available for online purchase. For more info about how to purchase and prices, see HERE !
Takeouts are offered, and lunch specials are pretty good here too. At the moment they are running a salad lunch special, lots of fresh tasty salad and vegetables for you yen ^ ^ Along with pasta and other additions of your choice.
Here are some pics of the set meal provided for a party reservation for two hours.
[entrée of salad, apple quiche, salmon etc, prawns and onion in garlic sautee served with Iinan pork, seafood bouillabaisse, miso-flavoured mince meat and spaghetti, and finally for dessert, ice-cream with extra-sweet locally sourced tomato dressed with balsamic vinegar]
“Manai Shrine is located in the southern suburbs of Matsue City, at the southeast foot of Mount Chausu, and is dedicated to the god Izanagi no Mikoto. This shrine is one of the ancient shrines described in the ‘Chronicles of the Izumo Province’ and in another ancient book called ‘Engi-shiki’ (927-967). It is also one of the Ou-Rokusha, or ‘the six shrines of the Ou region’ and is situated close to Kamosu Shrine dedicated to Izanami. The present main hall of Manai Shrine was constructed in 1662, and has been designated as a Prefectural Cultural Asset.” (A Guidebook to the Province of the Gods, p.26)
The gods of Japan are actively remembered here in the Izumo region, not only in such place names as Yatsuka or Izumo (itself derived, it is thought, from the very name of the goddess Izanami), but by the many shrines, some of which claim to trace their origins, through various re-locations over time, to original places described in the Kojiki (over 1,300 years old). Six shrines in particular, each with “a long and distinguished history,” seem to be of special importance: known jointly as the Ou Rokusha (“the six shrines of the Ou District”), and central to the tradition of Rokusha Mairi, or “six-shrine pilgrimage festival, dating back to ancient times”. These are: Manai Jinja, an Izanagi shrine, in Yamashiro-cho; Kamosu Jinja, an Izanami shrine, in Oba-cho; Iya Jinja, or Shrine of the Dead, in Higashi-Izumo-cho; Rokusho Jinja, the Six Deities — or Six Creation Gods — shrine, in Okusa-cho;Yaegaki Jinja, a Susa-nö-wo shrine, in Sakusa-cho; and Kumano (or Kumano Taisha) Jinja, another Susa-nö-wo shrine, in Yakumo-shi.
The kite makes its home in Matsue annually, and its coming is most recognisable by its high-pitched call.
Perched on high, this birds is quite a fine image, but beware…
Should you take to the idea of having your lunch outdoors, say… on the scenic Lake Shinji’s shore to enjoy this view
watch out for this fella…
because he might swoop down and snatch your precious lunch right from your hands!
Which might put a downer on what was otherwise a pretty enjoyable afternoon…
unless you decide to play with the birds by taunting them ><
Now, you need not be on the look-out for food snatchers at all times,
this guy is pretty safe ^^
The comfortable weather of spring seems to have passed by in the blink of an eye, with the humidity and high temperatures of summer on the horizon.
Things are due to cool down a bit here in Matsue over the weekend with a little bit of rain forecast, but for those summer days to come, when you’re dying to get out of the sweltering heat, I highly recommend taking a trip to a waterfall, where the air is cooler, there’s usually plenty of shade offered by the surrounding trees, and depending on the make-up of the water itself, the air can be filled with negative ions that will give you a refreshing boost ^ ^ just like here! Yae-daki
If you’re not quite in the position to break away to a nature-filled escape, check out this video with relaxing music to at least get a feel of the atmosphere~
One of the options for waterfall hunting in Shimane are the eight waterfalls clustered together in Kakeya-cho, in Unnan City district.
And it’s only about a 50 minute drive from Matsue City.
This blog seems to be introducing bakeries so frequently, any coeliacs out there might start to develop an allergy to checking in here ><
That said, there is just one more (I promise!) bakery that I simply cannot share with you!
Homemade Merci (ホームメード・メルシー) not only has a brilliant view out over the lake (because it’s located right on the shore), despite being located a bit out-of-town, it makes gourmet breads so good that they don’t even need to advertise to have a large customer base, with people going out of their way to take a bite of what’s on offer here. Its run by a middle-aged(?) couple, who are passionate about good baked goods, and the place itself is tiny, but cosily so. ^ ^
Matsue has it’s fair share of bakeries, and it’s places like this, with its own individual style that bring more than your average fare to the table ^ ^ Unless you don’t mind cycling or walking quite some distance, it’d be best to visit here by car. Here’s a map!
First of all the view…
An interesting exterior
And a quick look inside…
I recommend the German black bread with currants^ ^
There’s no denying this age-old adage at Matsue‘s English Garden this month, as the lawns and shrubs and flowers seem to have all come out for a bit of sunshine! Entrance to this 10,000sq/m garden is free of charge, and you can take a picnic and enjoy some lunch outdoors with a beautiful view of the lake. There is also a restaurant and shop here.
The gardens are easily accessible by the ichibata train from Shinji-ko Onsen station, which is just on the north side of the lake.
Here is a short video of the garden by staff there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UhuyvndoHw8
Looking for somewhere new to grab some lunch on the go? Bakeshop Rose, located near Yaegaki Shrine is perfect for those who may be cycling or walking to see the Shrine and its famous mirror pond ^^
The exterior is a bit old-looking, but the food on offer is well up to par!
There is a large selection of sweet breads and danishes, eg. french toast baguette with blueberry and hazelnut, and other savoury goods such as curry bread and even burdock root with cheese and black sesame bread!
Of course, the list on offer goes on. There is also yeast-free bread, sandwiches, and a fridge with a selection of drinks.
If you’re in the area, give it a try!