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Photo By: PIXTA/ セーラム
Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tottori
Population
613,229

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find in Tottori

Home to beef stock ramen, a myriad of coffee shops and more.

By Laura Payne

Tottori, Japan’s least populated prefecture, is the land of manga and yokai (creatures from traditional folklore) because two renowned manga artists were born here, and destinations such as Mount Daisen are steeped in yokai legends.

Tottori is also rich in nature, which supports various culinary industries. When traveling here, expect to find dishes from the mountains, sea and local imagination.

1. Pears

Photo by: iStock/kaorinne Something sweet to start your food trip.

Sweet, with a texture similar to apples, the Asian pears cultivated in Tottori are famous nationwide. Local pride in these fruits is so high that Kurayoshi, a town in central Tottori, has a pear museum where visitors can sample different varieties.

The best time to eat fresh pears is from around late August through November, and pear-flavored desserts such as ice cream and chocolate are available throughout the year.

2. Crab

Photo by: iStock/ Gyro A seasonal special.

Tottori is one of Japan’s largest crab-producing regions, and local restaurants sell them boiled, grilled or stewed in hotpots, among other serving methods. Between November and March, matsuba gani (male snow crabs) are the most sought-after variety. Meanwhile, beni gani (red queen crabs) attract foodies from September to July. Port towns like Tottori City, Sakaiminatio and Iwami provide the freshest catches.

3. Gyukotsu (beef bone) ramen

Photo by: PIXTA/ セーラム Calling all ramen lovers.

As the name suggests, the key ingredient in this ramen’s soup stock is beef bones. Rare in other regions, gyukotsu ramen is standard fare in Tottori, where restaurants throughout the prefecture offer their own interpretations.

4. Itadaki

Photo by: PIXTA/ kikisorasido A tasty, local appetizer.

This home-cooking staple is made by stuffing rice and vegetables into a triangular fried tofu pocket, then simmering the stuffed tofu in dashi broth. Itadaki can be eaten as a snack or light meal, and it is usually sold at restaurants, supermarkets and izakaya (Japanese pubs) in western Tottori.

5. Coffee

Photo by: iStock/ 100 Coffee lovers are spoiled for the choice.

Tottori is full of unique coffee shops. Local Starbucks branches are some of the newest in Japan because, until 2015, Tottori was the only prefecture that didn’t have a Starbucks. This fact was so infamous that the prefectural governor once joked that even if Tottori didn’t have a sutaba (Starbucks), it had the best sunaba (sandbox, a nod to the Tottori Sand Dunes). This comment inspired the opening of Sunaba Coffee, a local chain that has operated since 2014.

Other regional favorites include Kura—a cafe in Kurayoshi serving coffee from beans ground in a stone mill—and Sawai Coffee—a local company founded in the 1980s.

How To Get There

Address

Where To Stay

Washington Hotel Plaza Tottori
  • 102 Higashihonjicho, Tottori-shi, Tottori, 680-0835 Japan
  • ¥6,300 - ¥20,400
  • 4.02/5 (1,318 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
APA Hotel Tottori-Ekimae Minami
  • 2-138-2 Tomiyasu, Tottori-shi, Tottori, 680-0845 Japan
  • ¥6,600 - ¥81,200
  • 0.2 km
Green Rich Hotel Tottori Ekimae Futamata Yunohana
  • 102-6 Eirakuonsencho, Tottori-shi, Tottori, 680-0834 Japan
  • ¥7,920 - ¥30,360
  • 4.22/5 (552 reviews)
  • 0.3 km
Shiitake Kaikan Taisuikaku
  • 1-84 Tomiyasu, Tottori-shi, Tottori, 680-0845 Japan
  • ¥6,000 - ¥6,500
  • 0.5 km
Tottori Onsen Kansuitei Kozeniya
  • 651 Eirakuonsencho, Tottori-shi, Tottori, 680-0834 Japan
  • ¥13,500 - ¥32,000
  • 4.75/5 (1,230 reviews)
  • 0.6 km

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