To the southwest of the main island of Honshu, bordered on one side by the Sea of Japan and on the other by the Chugoku chain of mountains, the prefectures of Shimane and Tottori make up the San'in region. Literally translated, this means "shady side of the mountain". In other words, the temperate climate is quite humid here and heavy snowfall is not infrequent even along the coast. A trip to this region will take you deep into "Ura-Nihon", the secretive and authentic heart of Japan. A genuine conservatory of tradition, this rural region, off the main transport routes, has remained unspoiled, mysterious, genuine and under populated. Often ignored by most tourist tours, it is nonetheless rich in grandiose scenery, such as the dunes of Tottori and the Oki Islands, fascinating cultural sites, starting with Izumo Taisha, one of Japan's oldest Shinto shrines, a wide range of outdoor activities in the Mount Daisen vicinity, relaxing onsen and ancient feudal cities steeped in history.