San'in region

The San'in Region (山陰地方 San'in Chihō) is an area in the southwest of Honshū, the main island of Japan. It consists of the northern part of the Chūgoku region, facing the Sea of Japan.[1]

San'in region

Map of the San'in Region
Map of the San'in Region
 • Total11,680.73 km2 (4,509.96 sq mi)
 (June 1, 2009)
 • Total1,416,011
 • Density120/km2 (310/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (JST)


The name San'in in the Japanese language is formed from two kanji characters. The first, , "mountain", and the second, represents the "yin" of yin and yang. The name means the northern, shady side of the mountains in contrast to the yang "southern, sunny" San'yō region to the south.


Early history

The San'in region has numerous Paleolithic and Jōmon period (14,000 – 300 BC) remains, but its Yayoi period (300 BC – 250 AD) remains are the largest in Japan. The Mukibanda Yayoi remains in the low foothills of Mount Daisen[2] in the cities of Daisen and Yonago, Tottori Prefecture are the largest in Japan.[3] The site is still only partially excavated, but indicates that the San'in was a regional center of power in the period. The mythology of the Shinto religion is largely based in the Izumo area of the region,[4] and the Izumo-taisha, or Izumo Grand Shrine in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, is one of the most ancient and important Shinto shrines in Japan.[5] The eastern part of Shimane Prefecture also had cultural and economic connections to the Asian mainland from an early period.[4]


The San'in region corresponds to San'indō (山陰道), one of the gokishichidō, or five provinces and seven circuits established in the Asuka period (538–710) under the Ritsuryō legal system.[6] San'indō refers not only to the ancient geographic region, but also the main road through the region that connected it to the capitol in Kyoto.[7] The San'in encompassed the pre-Meiji provincial areas of Tanba, Tango, Tajima, Inaba, Hōki, Izumo, Iwami and Oki.[8][9]

San'indō route

While the San'indō route was used for military logistics in numerous conflicts after the Asuka period, it more importantly served as a route for the transport of good to and from the region. The route reached its highest period of importance in the Edo period (1603–1867) when the Tokugawa shogunate formalized its route and shukuba post stations. The daimyō regional rulers used the San'indō for their sankin-kōtai mandatory journeys to Edo (modern Tokyo).

Modern usage

The San'in region now has no administrative authority. In modern Japanese usage it generally refers to the prefectures of Shimane, Tottori and northern area of Yamaguchi.[6] The northern areas of Hyōgo and Kyōto prefectures are sometimes included in the region as well.[10] Japan Route 9, the San'in Expressway, and the JR West San'in Main Line follow the historical route of the San'indō, and remnants of the shukuba, some well preserved, remain throughout the region.


The San'in Region has a long coastline along the Japan Sea that dramatically sweeps south to the Chūgoku Mountains along the length of the region. The area is primarily mountainous with few plains.[6] While the climate of the San'in region is not as harsh as that of the Hokuriku region to the north, winters are characterized by heavy snow and rainfall typical of areas on the Japan Sea.[9]


The San'in region is far from the industrial and cultural heartlands of Japan, and the region is consequently economically undeveloped compared to the other regions of Japan.[6] The landscape remains rural and unindustrialized, and the urban areas of the region are decentralized.[9] Tottori and Shimane are the least populated prefectures in Japan, and the population is aging at a rate faster than the rest of Japan. Cities in the region with a population of over 100,000 remain only the prefectural capitols of Tottori and Matsue, the more recently industrialized Yonago, and Izumo, a city formed from numerous smaller cities and villages after World War II. The agricultural output of the San'in region, however, remains very high. Its broad coastal and mountainous areas are protected as national, prefectural, and municipal parks, and these areas are now popular tourist destinations.


The San'in region is connected by several JR West rail lines and some highways, but transportation is relatively undeveloped compared to other regions of Japan. Projects to connect the region to the wider highway network of Japan continue.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "San'in" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 817, p. 817, at Google Books; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 65., p. 65, at Google Books
  2. ^ "Mukibanda-iseki (妻木晩田遺跡)". Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (日本歴史地名大系 (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
  3. ^ Muki-Banda Remains Archived 2012-09-04 at
  4. ^ a b "Tone-gawa". Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (日本国語大辞典) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  5. ^ "Kurayoshi Plain". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  6. ^ a b c d "San'in region". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  7. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 65., p. 65, at Google Books
  8. ^ Titsingh, p. 65 n3., p. 65, at Google Books
  9. ^ a b c d "美保湾 (Miho-wan)". Nihon Daihyakka Zensho (Nipponika) (日本大百科全書(ニッポニカ) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  10. ^ "山陰地方 (San'in chihō)". Dijitaru daijisen (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-15.


External links

Bantan Line

The Bantan Line (播但線, Bantan-sen) is a railway line that connects Himeji and Wadayama station in Asago City, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. The line is operated by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) and serves as a connector between the Sanyo Main Line and the Sanin Main Line. The name refers to the ancient provinces of Harima (播磨) and Tajima (但馬), which the line connects.

The line is 65.7 kilometres (40.8 mi) long, with 18 stations.

Chūgoku Mountains

Chūgoku Mountains (中国山地, Chūgoku Sanchi) is a mountain range in the Chūgoku region of western Japan. It runs in an east-west direction and stretches approximately 500 km (311 mi) from Hyōgo Prefecture in the east to the coast of Yamaguchi Prefecture. The range also reaches under the Pacific Ocean.The two tallest mountains in the group are Daisen and Mount Hyōno, which are 1,729 m (5,673 ft) and 1,510 m (4,954 ft), respectively. Many other mountains in the ranger are also over 1,000 m (3,281 ft), while some of the smaller mountains are less than 500 m (1,640 ft). Granite is the most common stone found among the mountains, much of which has been exposed through erosion.

Chūgoku dialect

The Chūgoku dialect (中国方言, Chūgoku hōgen) is a group of the Japanese dialects spoken in most of the Chūgoku region and in the northwestern Kansai region. It may be separated into two groups according to the form of the copula.

copula ja group (San'yō region)

Aki also known as Hiroshima dialect (western Hiroshima Prefecture, formerly known as Aki Province)

Bingo dialect (eastern Hiroshima Prefecture, formerly known as Bingo Province)

Fukuyama dialect (Fukuyama)

Okayama dialect (Okayama Prefecture)

Yamaguchi also known as Chōshū dialect (Yamaguchi Prefecture)

copula da group (parts of San'in region)

Iwami dialect (western Shimane Prefecture, formerly known as Iwami Province)

ja is also used in western Iwami region.

Inshū also known as Tottori dialect (eastern Tottori Prefecture, formerly known as Inaba Province)

Tajima dialect (northern Hyōgo Prefecture, formerly known as Tajima Province)

Tango dialect (northernmost of Kyoto Prefecture, formerly known as Tango Province except Maizuru)Although Kansai dialect uses copula ya, Chūgoku dialect mainly uses ja or da. Chūgoku dialect uses ken or kee instead of kara meaning "because". ken is also used in Umpaku dialect, Shikoku dialect, Hōnichi dialect and Hichiku dialect. In addition, Chūgoku dialect uses -yoru in progressive aspect and -toru or -choru in perfect. For example, Tarō wa benkyō shiyoru (太郎は勉強しよる) means "Taro is studying", and Tarō wa benkyō shitoru (太郎は勉強しとる) means "Taro has studied" while standard Japanese speakers say Tarō wa benkyō shiteiru (太郎は勉強している) in both situations. -Choru is used mostly in Yamaguchi dialect.

Pitch accent of Chūgoku dialect is similar to the Tokyo accent and is a contrast to Kansai dialect and Shikoku dialect.

Chūgoku region

The Chūgoku region (Japanese: 中国地方, Hepburn: Chūgoku-chihō, pronounced [tɕɯːɡokɯꜜtɕihoː]), also known as the San'in-San'yō (山陰山陽地方, San'in-San'yō-chihō), is the westernmost region of Honshū, the largest island of Japan. It consists of the prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi. In 2010, it had a population of 7,563,428.

Gainare Tottori

Gainare Tottori (ガイナーレ鳥取, Gaināre Tottori) are a Japanese football club, based in Yonago, Tottori. They play in the J3 League. Their team colour is green.

Their team name Gainare derives from the Tottori dialect word gaina meaning "great" and Italian sperare meaning "to hope".

Their team mascot is a Japanese horror anime character Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro created by Shigeru Mizuki, a native of Sakaiminato, Tottori.

Hare of Inaba

The Hare of Inaba (因幡の白兎, Inaba no Shirousagi) can refer to two distinct Japanese myths, both from the ancient province of Inaba, now the eastern part of Tottori Prefecture. The Hare of Inaba legend belongs to the Izumo denrai, or tradition of myths originating from the Izumo region. The Hare of Inaba forms an essential part of the legend of the Shinto god Ōnamuchi-no-kami, which was the name for Ōkuninushi within this legend.The hare referred to in the legend is the Lepus brachyurus, or Japanese hare, possibly the subspecies found on the Oki Islands known as the Lepus brachyurus okiensis. The Japanese hare ranges between 43 centimetres (17 in) and 54 centimetres (21 in) in length, and is much smaller than the common European hare. Japanese hares are typically brown, but may turn white during winter in areas with a varying climate, such as that of the Inaba region.

Kameoka, Kyoto

Kameoka (亀岡市, Kameoka-shi) is a city in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.

As of October 1, 2015, the city has an estimated population of 89,479, with 33,915 households and a population density of 398 persons per km². The total area is 224.80 km².

Kirara Beach, Shimane

Kirara Beach (キララビーチ, Kirara Biichi) or Kirarahama is a recreational beach on the Sea of Japan in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. It is located in the area of former town of Taki, which was merged into Izumo in 2005.

The name Kirara (雲母, "mica") or "isinglass," is similar to the Japanese sound effect "kirakira" used for something glittery. Kirara Beach glitters in the sunlight, fitting the appearance of mica.

Kirara Beach is the first beach to open in the San'in region in early June; kids' events are planned for the opening of the beach. The beach has clean water and offshore stacks of cement tetrapods to break the waves. Nearby is health spa and onsen, and an eatery with an all-you-can-eat "baikingu" buffet, whose dining area commands a view of the beach and the Sea of Japan.

Miho-Yonago Airport

Miho Airbase (美保飛行場) (IATA: YGJ, ICAO: RJOH), also known as Yonago Airport is a Japan Air Defense Force (JASDF) base located 11km northwest of Yonago in Tottori Prefecture. It is owned and operated by JASDF and shares the runway with civil activities.

Mount Hōbutsu

Mount Hōbutsu (宝仏山, Hōbutsu-san) is a Japanese mountain located on the border of Hino and Kōfu, Tottori. The area around the mountain was incorporated into as a part of Daisen-Oki National Park, in March 2002.

It has an elevation of 1,005 metres.

This mountain is one of Chūgoku 100 mountains and Tottori 50 mountains.

Namako wall

Namako wall or Namako-kabe (sometimes misspelled as Nameko) is a Japanese wall design widely used for vernacular houses, particularly on fireproof storehouses by the latter half of the Edo period. The namako wall is distinguished by a white grid pattern on black slate. Geographically, it was most prominent in parts of western Japan, notably the San'in region and San'yō region and, from the 19th century, further east, in the Izu Peninsula.

Railway Construction Act

The Railway Construction Act (Japanese: 鉄道敷設法, Hepburn: Tetsudō Fusetsu-hō, Law No. 4 of 1892) was promulgated by the Diet of Japan on June 21, 1892, and designated government support for a network of thirty-three railway lines covering most of Japan, with the exception of Hokkaidō. On April 11, 1922, the Diet amended the law to add an additional network of regional and local routes. Today, these lines form the backbone of the national railway network, JR (although JR has relinquished control of some of the more minor ones).

Sakaiminato, Tottori

Sakaiminato (境港市, Sakaiminato-shi) is a city in Tottori Prefecture, Japan.

San'in Main Line

The Sanin Main Line (山陰本線, San'in-honsen) is a railway line in western Japan, which connects Kyoto and Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi, operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West). It is the major railway line of the San'in region, approximately paralleling the Japan Sea, crossing Kyoto, Hyōgo, Tottori, Shimane, and Yamaguchi prefectures. The main portion from Kyoto to Hatabu is the longest single continuous railway line in Japan at 673.8 km, although no regularly scheduled train operates over the entire line.

The section between Kyoto and Sonobe, connecting Kyoto and its northern suburbs, is a part of JR West's Urban Network and is nicknamed the Sagano Line.


San'indō (山陰道) is a Japanese geographical term. It means both an ancient division of the country and the main road running through it. San'in translates to "the shaded side of a mountain", while dō, depending on the context, can mean either a road, or a circuit, in the sense of delineating a region. This name derives from the idea that the northern side of the central mountain chain running through Honshū was the "shaded" side, while the southern side was the "sunny" (山陽 San'yō) side. The pre-modern region corresponds for the most part with the modern conception of the San'in region.The region was established as one of the Gokishichidō (Five provinces and seven roads) during the Asuka period (538-710), and consisted of the following eight ancient provinces: Tanba, Tango, Tajima, Inaba, Hōki, Izumo, Iwami and Oki. However, this system gradually disappeared in the centuries leading up to the Muromachi period (1333-1467).

The San'indō, however, continued to be important, and highly trafficked through the Edo period (1603-1867). Running mostly east-west, its eastern terminus, along with those of most of the medieval highways (街道, kaidō), was at Kyoto. From there it followed the coast of the Sea of Japan to Hagi, near Shimonoseki, the western terminus of both the San'yōdō and the San'indō, and very near the westernmost end of the island of Honshū. Though the road originally terminated in the west at Hagi, the lords of Chōshū Domain at some point during the Edo period changed it to end at Yamaguchi.

As might be expected, the road served an important strategic and logistical role in a number of military situations over the course of the years. Ashikaga Takauji in the 14th century, Akechi Mitsuhide in the 16th century, and many others used it to flee from conflict, to return to the core of the country (kinai), or to move troops. Many daimyōs also used this road as part of their mandatory journeys (sankin-kōtai) to Edo under the Tokugawa shogunate. Of course, the road also served the more everyday purpose of providing transport for merchants, traveling entertainers, pilgrims and other commoners.

Today, Route 9, the San'in Expressway, and the San'in Main Line of the West Japan Railway Company follow the approximate route of the San'indō.


Sanin may refer to:

Alexander Sanin (1869–1956), stage name of Alexander Akimovich Shoenberg, Russian actor and director

Vladimir Sanin (1928–1989), Russian traveler and writer

Joseph Volotsky (secular name Ivan Sanin; 1439 or 1440–1515), Russian theologian and saint

Sanin (novel), novel by the Russian writer Mikhail Artsybashev

San'in region in Japan

Umpaku dialect

The Umpaku dialect (雲伯方言, Unpaku hōgen) is a group of the Japanese dialects spoken in central San'in region. The name Unpaku (雲伯) is constructed by extracting a representative kanji from Izumo (出雲) and Hōki (伯耆), names of old provinces there.

The Umpaku dialect are:

Izumo dialect (eastern Shimane Prefecture, formerly known as Izumo Province)

Yonago dialect (western Tottori Prefecture centered Yonago)

Oki dialect (Oki islands of Shimane Prefecture)


In Japanese folklore the Yobuko (呼子, Calling child) is a yōkai (a supernatural monster) thought to reside in the San'in region and the city of Tottori. It was believed to be the cause of echoing.

Ōsaka Station

Osaka Station (大阪駅, Ōsaka-eki) is a major railway station in the Umeda district of Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan, operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West). It forms the city's main rail terminal in the north.

Although it is officially served by only the JR Kobe/Kyoto Lines (Tōkaidō Main Line) and the Osaka Loop Line, Osaka is the starting point of JR Takarazuka Line service, and serves as the terminal for trains bound for the San'in region via JR Takarazuka Line and the Hokuriku region via JR Kyoto Line, while offering connections to trains bound for Nara, Wakayama and Kansai International Airport via the Osaka Loop Line.

Umeda Station (Hankyu, Hanshin, and Osaka Metro Midosuji Line), Nishi-Umeda Station (Subway Yotsubashi Line) and Higashi-Umeda Station (Subway Tanimachi Line) are directly connected to Osaka Station, and Kitashinchi Station on the JR Tōzai Line is within walking distance.

Osaka Station and Umeda Station, effectively part of the same complex, together constitute the busiest station in Western Japan, serving 2,343,727 passengers daily in 2005, and the fourth-busiest railway station in the world.Osaka Station also houses a large terminal for overnight bus services to other cities in Japan, and until March 2013 also had a nearby freight terminal complex, Umeda Freight Terminal, owned by JR Freight.

47 Prefectures


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