Tottori, Chugoku

Time seems to stop as you stroll past white-walled storehouses in this quiet city overflowing with history and romance.

The city of Kurayoshi is located almost in the center of Tottori Prefecture. Many of the old homes of merchants and white-walled storehouses built from the Edo Period to the Meiji Era remain standing there. This calm and peaceful city began as a castle town, and its dignity remains.

The Tama River flows through the city, and is lined with old storehouses with white plastered walls, accented by black burnt cedar siding and red roofing tiles, truly elegant scenery indeed. The area has been selected as a national important preservation district for groups of traditional buildings. This 400-meter-long section of storehouses once served to separate the districts occupied by merchants and tradesmen, and the storehouses belong to the merchants. Behind the storehouses were built traditional urban houses, with their distinctive lattice design known as "Senbon-koshi (thousand lattices)." Many of the urban houses still remain, and operate their soy sauce and sake brewery businesses. As you walk through the district, you will be greeted by the aroma of soy sauce and sake being produced throughout the year. Some of the storehouses have been remodeled, and are now used as shops, ateliers or cafes. For example some buildings that housed old soy sauce and sake breweries, renovated in a modern style and called "Akagawara (red tile)," are now used as popular shops. With the exterior being left as that of old storehouse, only the interior has been renovated to attract many shopping lovers.

A short walk from the storehouse area takes you to what can be said to be one of Kurayoshi's specialties, a public restroom. Much ingenuity has been put into the design of more than 20 public restrooms around the city. The first of these cozy restrooms was constructed in Utsubuki Park, located alongside the Tama River. Utsubuki Park is regarded as the best place in the Sanin region to view cherry blossoms, having about 4,000 cherry trees to entertain visitors each spring.

A short bus trip of about 40 minutes will take you from the city to the Sekigane Onsen. The area was once a tariff station where travelers soaked away their fatigue in the hot spring waters. The hot spring remains unchanged today. It is still surrounded by nature and its soothing waters continue to heal the body from its core.


From Tokyo:
[Rail] 3h 20 min from Tokyo to Okayama Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line "Nozomi," and 2h 30 min from Okayama to Kurayoshi Station by JR Sanin Line "Super Inaba."
From Osaka:
[Rail] 3h from Osaka to Kurayoshi Station by JR Sanin Line "Super Hakuto."

Around the Kurayoshi

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