Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tottori
Population
613,229

Kurayoshi

And the award for most picturesque scene goes to...

Winning the award for most cinematic setting is the historic castle town of Kurayoshi in the center of Tottori Prefecture. At Shirakabe Dozo Gun, white-walled storehouses dating back to the Edo period are neatly laid out along canal-lined streets, all set against a deep green mountainous backdrop. From above, it looks like a movie set for a samurai biopic.

Once the home of the provincial government of the Houki region, Kurayoshi has since swapped politics for a more leisurely pace of life. Though the Shirakabe area is designated as a nationally important preservation district, you won’t find the picturesque lanes or charming traditional stores packed with tourists. On the contrary, this is the perfect place to get that totally Instagrammable shot of you in a kimono embodying #timelesselegance.

Photo by: Photo by Rie Miyoshi, seen here dressed in the traditional kimono of the region.

The local style of kimono, Kurayoshi-kasuri, is the color of deep indigo. Check out the Kurayoshi Furusato Souvenir Shop to see the manufacturing process of this unique textile.

Many of the Edo-era buildings have been carefully restored, transforming into boutique cafes and vintage stores. Others continue the trade they’ve been plying for decades; as you stroll the streets you’ll notice the distinct aroma of soy sauce and sake being brewed behind lattice windows.

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Temples and small museums are also dotted throughout so you’ll have plenty to keep yourself occupied, without feeling overwhelmed. Make your way over to the Akagawara Craft District for a chance to experience hands-on crafts from doll and kite-making to ceramics. Reservations should be made in advance.

Ask a local for their recommendation on what to do in the wider area, and there’s a chance they’ll point you to a public restroom. This isn’t miscommunication but a nod to Kurayoshi’s special effort to create stellar public bathrooms around the city.

However, if toilets aren’t your thing, head to the rather lovely Utsubuki Park instead. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area during sakura season, Utsubuki is often listed as one of the best places in southwest Honshu to see the cherry blossoms.

Topics:

Trivia

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How To Get There

Address

841 Aoimachi, Kurayoshi-shi, Tottori-ken 682-0822, Japan

By train

The main sights are accessible from Kurayoshi Station, on the JR Sanin Line.

By bus

Take the Nihon Kotsu or Hinomaru bus from Kurayoshi Station and get off at the Akagawara/Shirakabe Dozo bus stop

Where To Stay

Hotel Ark 21
  • Agei-cho 2-4-6 Kurayoshi-Shi, Tottori 682-0022
  • 7.6/10
  • 3.1 km
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Hotel St Palace Kurayoshi
  • Agei-cho 1-9-2 Kurayoshi-Shi, Tottori 682-0022
  • 7.9/10
  • 3.4 km
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Misasa Royal Hotel
  • Ooze 1210 Tohaku-Gun Misasa-Cho, Tottori 682-0121
  • 7.1/10
  • 3.9 km
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Misasa Onsen Toenkan
  • Yamada 118-1 Tohaku-Gun Misasa-Cho, Tottori 682-0122
  • 6.2/10
  • 6.1 km
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