Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tottori
Population
613,229

3 Surprising Eats and Drinks in Kurayoshi, Tottori

From a cat selling roasted sweet potatoes to 12-colored cuisine, this historical city in Tottori is full of surprises.

From the 12-colored cuisine to characters only found here, the lovely city of Kurayoshi is truly a multi-layered attraction in Tottori Prefecture.

Kurayoshi Tottori

Explore the picturesque Shirakabe Dozo Gun district of Kurayoshi.

You’ll find the spirit of the people here is strong and they adhere to the traditional way of life. That’s expertly on display at Shirakabe Dozo Gun — a historical Meiji-era setting of white-walled warehouses and a place you can spend all day exploring. In between, why not try out these unique foods and drinks for a spot of cultural refreshment.

1. Drink and grind your own coffee at Kura

With traditional scenery, you’ll be greeted by wooden buildings parallel to the street-side Tama River with koi fish maneuvering to and fro. It offers more than scenery, though. Have fun strolling around various boutiques, kimono shops with indigo handmade garments, sake shops and traditional restaurants.

Try stone ground coffee sweetened with adzuki beans at Kura cafe.

You can even visit a coffee shop called Kura, where you can hand-grind your own coffee. Kura is a quaint spot for a delicious Japanese-style cup o’ joe, not to mention an instance of the town’s lasting charm. The hand-ground coffee gives the shop an amazing aroma. Don’t forget to order the coffee set that gives you adzuki beans to add to your coffee for sweetness instead of cream and sugar!

Address: 1-2424-2 Shinmachi, Kurayoshi-shi, Tottori. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2. Meet a cat who runs a baked sweet potato food truck

Among the tradition is a surprise in the form of the gem of all hidden gems — a joyously weird and very friendly cat character. “Mike” (pronounced me-keh in Japanese) has been an unsung hero of local tourism for more than three years. He is just your friendly neighborhood yaki-imo (baked sweet potato) selling guy in a catsuit with strikingly real features. Underneath the suit, when he winks, so the does the cat. When he talks, the cat’s mouth move perfectly in sync.

Mike Sweet potato Tottori

Mike the Cat is a specialist in cosplay and sweet potato.

We are still baffled as to if this is just his hobby, or if he is a guerilla marketing genius. But here in Kurayoshi, he’s just another cute quirk that the area is proud of. While in town, if you see his cart, which travels around to different spots each day, try a yaki-imo and say hello. Mike the cat does not have a fixed schedule, so check his Twitter or Facebook page for updates.

3. Have a 12-colored lunch at Seisuian

Now, what about that mysterious 12-colored dish that’s famous here? Try a proper meal at one of the local eateries, such as at Seisuian, where the portions make a hefty bowl of ramen seem like child’s play.

Mochi Shabu Shabu Tottori

Make room for mochi at Seisuian.

On the menu is mochi-shabu, with veggies, thin layers of colorful omochi and beef — all raw. The dish is a hearty Tottori favorite that you cook at the table in flavorful broth boiling in front of you. Fun fact: The dish’s 12 different flavors of mochi like blueberry, pumpkin and carrot, are meant to symbolize the 12 layers of kimono historically worn.

Address: 1-876 Sakaemachi, Kurayoshi-shi, Tottori. Mochi shabu dishes from ¥1,080.  Open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m..

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Things To Know

Kurayoshi Visitor Center

Website: http://www.apionet.or.jp/kankou/f/e/, Phone: 0858-22-1200

How To Get There

Address

Japan, 〒682-0887 Tottori-ken, Kurayoshi-shi, Meijimachi, 県道205号線

By train

From Osaka station, take the JR Tokaido-Sanyo line to Himeji station. Transfer to the San-yo line toward Okayama to Kamigori station. Then take the Super Inaba Limited Express to Tottori station. From there, take the San-in line to Kurayoshi station. The total trip time is about 4 hours.

By bus

From Kurayoshi station, take the Nihon Kotsu or Hinomaru bus Nishikurayoshi line from Kurayoshi Station. It is a 5-minute walk from Akagawara/Sirakabe Dozo bus stop.

Bus Pass: The Tottori bus pass costs ¥1,800 and lasts for three days. It is called the 3-Day Wooden Bus Ticket (Tottori-Han Noriai Bus Norihodai Tegata). You can ride most buses around Tottori with this pass, excluding th express bus. In some cases, the ticket includes discounts for some sightseeing spots.

By car

Kurayoshi is about a 3-hour-and-15-minute drive from Osaka City.

Where To Stay

Hotel Ark 21
  • Agei-cho 2-4-6 Kurayoshi-Shi, Tottori 682-0022
  • 7.6/10
  • 3.0 km
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Hotel St Palace Kurayoshi
  • Agei-cho 1-9-2 Kurayoshi-Shi, Tottori 682-0022
  • 7.9/10
  • 3.3 km
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Misasa Royal Hotel
  • Ooze 1210 Tohaku-Gun Misasa-Cho, Tottori 682-0121
  • 7/10
  • 4.2 km
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Misasa Onsen Toenkan
  • Yamada 118-1 Tohaku-Gun Misasa-Cho, Tottori 682-0122
  • 6.3/10
  • 6.3 km
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