Many places in Japan are best explored on two wheels - there's something about being able to chart your own course and enjoy the fresh air while you do it that makes traveling all the more enjoyable. When I visited Izumo in Shimane Prefecture, I headed to Izumo Taisha Shrine as my first stop - but then I wanted to investigate some more of the local area. Inside Izumo Taisha Mae Station there are bikes available to rent for a small fee, allowing you to explore the region at your own pace.
One of the first places I rode to was Inasanohama Beach. The beach here is renowned for the iconic shrine that sits out on a rock, known as Bentenjima, said to be home to a female sea deity who keeps a watchful eye over seafarers. Once you've checked out the shrine, it's pleasant to just cruise around the coastline for a while - or if you're really feeling like putting the pedal to the metal, you could ride all the way to Hinomisaki Lighthouse, another of the area's well known attractions. The lighthouse is approximately 8 kilometers one way from Inasanohama Beach.
Whatever you plan to do on two wheels, be sure to treat yourself to some matcha and zenzai after burning all that energy. Zenzai is a sweet red bean soup which comes topped with deliciously chewy mochi balls - and it originates from Izumo itself!