Lake Nakaumi and Lake Shinji

Large Photo:Lake Nakaumi
Large Photo:Tundra swans
Large Photo:Lake Shinji
Click on the following three photos to enlarge. Please select the photo you want to see.

Nature and History

Lake Nakaumi, the fifth largest lake in Japan, straddles the boundary between eastern Shimane Prefecture and western Tottori Prefecture. Both Lake Nakaumi and adjacent Lake Shinji connect to the Sea of Japan by means of the Sakai Channel. Although both lakes are brackish, the salinity of the water, and subsequently the resident wildlife species, differs in each.

Around 200 species of birds have been recorded at Lake Nakaumi and Lake Shinji. Visitors can observe up to half of these, including many rare species, at the Yonago Waterbird Sanctuary and the Shinjiko Green Park. Lake Nakaumi and Lake Shinji serve as one of Japan’s largest wintering grounds for waterfowl, including the Asian subspecies of tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus). The two lakes are registered as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.


Visitors can cruise across Lake Nakaumi and Lake Shinji aboard a boat, go for a ride in a seaplane, or try bird watching at Yonago Waterbird Sanctuary and Shinjiko Green Park. The sanctuary is particularly enjoyable in winter when the tundra swans arrive.


Yonago Waterbird Sanctuary takes about 15 minutes to reach from Yonago Airport by car. From Yonago Station, it takes about 20 minutes by bus (Oki Renraku-sen Setsuzoku Bus) to Yonago Mizudori-kouen Iriguchi and about 15 minutes on foot. Or it takes about 25 minutes by bus (the Uchihama line bound for Shimoyoshizu) to Norikoshi and about 20 minutes on foot.

Shinjiko Green Park takes about 10 minutes to reach from Izumo Airport by car. From Izumoshi Station, it takes about 25 minutes by Ichibata Electric Railway to Koyukan Shin-eki Station. From Matsue Station, it takes about 30 minutes by car.