Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Shimane Guide: Hamada Edition

For a real local Shimane experience, head to the city of Hamada, just 30 minutes by car from Oda or Ohana. Again, Hamada can be reached by the San-In line, but the train is slow, infrequent, and can’t be trusted. If you do manage to get there by train, there is plenty to do within walking distance, but most won’t impress those already familiar with residential Japanese life.

For a little taste of something different, I recommend the cultural experience of TRIAL.
TRIAL is a budget grocery store for low-income families. Much like Walmart in the U.S. Or rather, a Walmart in the rural U.S. in the 1990s. TRIAL is the kind of place you go to see people in adult onesies. The kind of place where people forget to wear pants. The kind of place where people may be smoking while in line at the register, or gambling at the attached pachinko parlor.
Seeing is believing. TRIAL.

For a more elegant experience, try Café Michele just down the road form TRIAL. This café is run by a Japanese woman who used to live in France, and it offers the best Japanese-esque French cuisine in town. The lovely ambiance of the café is also perfect for a date. Just sayin.

Latte art at Café Michele

Croque Monsieur at Café Michele

Amazing Parfait at Cafe Michele

If you really want to be impressed with local food, head over to Suminoya 炭乃家 a yakiniku restaurant. Grill some of the finest Shimane beef atop a charcoal pit, for the most savory and delicious experience in the prefecture. I’ve taken many savvy Japanese friends from Tokyo to this restaurant, and they were all impressed.

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