Welcome to the Shimane Nature Museum of Mt. Sanbe, an interactive museum surrounded by forest at the foot of the mountain. The museum, which opened in 1991, was originally conceived as a field museum where visitors could learn about the natural environment of Mt. Sanbe, but has grown to include exhibits on the entire prefecture. The museum also contains an astronomical observatory and the largest planetarium in the San’in region.
The museum has exhibits focusing on the creation of Mt. Sanbe and its volcanic activity, as well as the plants and animals found on the mountain and other ecosystems that exist around Mt. Sanbe, such as the beech forest and grasslands. Broader subjects include Shimane’s endangered species, the wetlands surrounding Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi, and the geological history and ecology of the Sea of Japan. Visitors can even see some of the colossal trees from the Azukihara Buried Forest, a 4,000-year-old grove that was preserved in ash by one of Mt. Sanbe’s eruptions.
Museum facilities include wildlife observation areas, terrariums containing live specimens of local species, a library, and a children’s museum. The museum also functions as the visitor’s center for Daisen-Oki National Park.