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

Kyusho Park (Tottori Castle Ruins)

Admire cherry blossoms and avoid large crowds in a park featuring castle ruins, a history museum and a mansion from the 1900s.

By Laura Payne

Tottori—the least populated prefecture in Japan, invites visitors to experience sand dunes, delectable food and classic anime and manga. Best of all, Tottori is off the beaten path and a great place to avoid large crowds. The prefectural capital, Tottori City, is a particularly popular destination because it offers convenient access to the sand dunes and cherry blossom viewing spots such as Kyusho Park.

Built atop the ruins of Tottori Castle and home to hundreds of cherry blossom trees, Kyusho Park is a place where visitors and locals alike enjoy the seasons and connect with regional history. Here are some of the park’s highlights.

The “Little Brother” Castle

Tottori Castle

Photo by: PIXTA/ m.Taira Visitors can hike up the old stone foundations to see a bird’s-eye view of Tottori City.

Tottori Castle was renowned for its defenses during Japan’s Sengoku Period (1467-1615)—an age of civil war between regional feudal lords. In 1581, Tottori Castle withstood a siege for months until starvation pushed the castle’s forces to surrender.

When the Sengoku Period ended, control of the castle transferred to Ikeda Mitsumasa—grandson of the lord of Himeji Castle. This familial connection and the fact that craftsmen who worked on Himeji Castle later maintained Tottori Castle caused this fortress to be nicknamed the “little brother” of Himeji Castle. Unlike its sibling, however, Tottori Castle was left to ruin during the Meiji Era (1868-1912)—Japan’s modernization period.

The grounds of Tottori Castle were later converted into Kyusho Park, and today visitors can hike up the old stone foundations to see a bird’s-eye view of Tottori City.

Cherry Blossoms, the Mansion and the Museum

Kyusho Park (Tottori Castle Ruins)

Photo by: PIXTA/ 福田 浩志 The Jinpukaku was a symbol of modernization.

Hundreds of cherry blossom trees bloom at Kyusho Park from about the end of March to mid-April, and visitors are free to enjoy them day or night thanks to lanterns that are erected during peak bloom.

Jinpukaku—a French Renaissance-style mansion located next to the castle ruins—is one of the best places to admire cherry blossoms during the day. Built in the early 1900s, Jinpukaku was a symbol of modernization as it was the first building in the prefecture outfitted with electric lights. It also served as lodging for Japan’s crown prince in 1907. Nowadays, people visit Jinpukaku to admire the interior architecture or take a stroll through the adjacent Japanese garden.

To learn even more about local history, stop by the Tottori Prefectural Museum—located at the edge of Kyusho Park. Through fossils, items from Tottori’s feudal past and other treasures, this museum tells the full story of how the prefecture came to be.

Things To Know

Hours and fees

Kyusho Park and the Tottori Castle Ruins have no admission fee and are accessible 24 hours. 

Jinpukaku and the Tottori Prefectural Museum are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and require paid admission. (Open on Monday if it is a national holiday.)

How To Get There

Address

By train

Kyusho Park is accessible by bus from Tottori station. The Tottori City Tourist Information Center (located inside the station) can provide the most up-to-date transportation timetables.

Tottori station is accessible from outside the region via the Super Inaba Limited Express departing from Okayama station. If you are traveling to Tottori from within the region, take a local or express train along the San’in Main Line and disembark at Tottori.

The city is also accessible via Tottori Airport.

Where To Stay

Green Rich Hotel Tottori Ekimae Futamata Yunohana
  • 102-6 Eirakuonsencho, Tottori-shi, Tottori, 680-0834 Japan
  • ¥8,140 - ¥14,360
  • 4.2/5 (547 reviews)
  • 1.6 km
Washington Hotel Plaza Tottori
  • 102 Higashihonjicho, Tottori-shi, Tottori, 680-0835 Japan
  • ¥6,400 - ¥8,900
  • 3.98/5 (1,315 reviews)
  • 1.7 km
Tottori Onsen Kansuitei Kozeniya
  • 651 Eirakuonsencho, Tottori-shi, Tottori, 680-0834 Japan
  • ¥16,000 - ¥16,000
  • 4.78/5 (1,227 reviews)
  • 1.7 km
APA Hotel Tottori-Ekimae Minami
  • 2-138-2 Tomiyasu, Tottori-shi, Tottori, 680-0845 Japan
  • ¥7,700 - ¥22,800
  • 1.9 km
Shiitake Kaikan Taisuikaku
  • 1-84 Tomiyasu, Tottori-shi, Tottori, 680-0845 Japan
  • ¥5,800 - ¥5,800
  • 2.1 km

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