Photo By: Laura Payne
Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tottori
Population
613,229

Yonago Castle Ruins

A historic site famed for cherry blossoms and panoramic views of Yonago city, Mount Daisen and Lake Nakaumi.

By Laura Payne

The ruins of Yonago Castle in Tottori are a historic site and public park located about 90 meters above the surrounding environment. Reaching the ruins is only a short hike up a wooded trail. Upon emerging from the woods, stone foundations from the 1600s and panoramic views of Yonago, Mount Daisen and Lake Nakaumi are revealed.

These ruins are among Yonago city’s most unique cherry blossom viewing spots. Come spring, pink flowers bloom against a backdrop of centuries-old stone walls and the sky.

History of the ruins

Photo by: Wikicommons/ Saigen Jiro Cherry blossoms line the castle ruins.

The western part of Tottori Prefecture was once called Hoki Province. During Japan’s Edo Period (1603-1867), Yonago Castle and its surrounding grounds were home to the feudal lord of Hoki, samurai and other officials.

In the late 1800s, Japan began efforts to modernize. One consequence of this was the dismantling of castles because they were believed to be relics unnecessary for the country’s future. Yonago Castle was demolished during this time, and local legend claims its beams were used as firewood for nearby bathhouses.

Panoramic views

Photo by: Laura Payne Photographers are often seen snapping pictures of cherry blossoms against the city skyline or Mount Daisen.

Visitors hike to the castle ruins throughout the year, but the number of trekkers increases during cherry blossom season. Cherry trees are planted around the ruins. The main grounds have benches and open lawns for sitting and enjoying the flowers.

Outside of spring, another popular time to climb to the ruins is sunrise on February 20 and October 22. If the weather is clear on these days, the sun can be seen rising from behind Mount Daisen. The view of the sun emerging from the mountain’s peak is called “Diamond Daisen” by locals, and many people aim to see it at least once.

Regardless of the season, a quick hike up the mountain on which the ruins sit rewards visitors with a bird’s eye view of the city. On clear evenings, this view also includes a sunset over Lake Nakaumi, Japan’s fifth-largest lake.

How To Get There

Address

Kumecho, Yonago, Tottori 683-0824

By train

If traveling outside the region, take an express train from Okayama station and alight at Yonago.
If traveling within Shimane or Tottori Prefecture, Yonago is accessible via local or express trains on the San’in Main line. The castle ruins are about a 15 to 20-minute walk from Yonago station.

By car

Yonago is accessible via local toll roads or the Route 9 highway. Public parking is available at the base of the ruins, but parking lots can be busy during cherry blossom viewing season.

Where To Stay

Green Rich Hotel Yonago Ekimae Futamata Yunohana
  • 175 Meijicho, Yonago-shi, Tottori, 683-0053 Japan
  • ¥7,645 - ¥42,240
  • 4.22/5 (312 reviews)
  • 0.9 km
Yonago Universal Hotel (Universal Hotel Chain)
  • 121 Mannocho, Yonago-shi, Tottori, 683-0065 Japan
  • ¥5,200 - ¥12,460
  • 3.24/5 (842 reviews)
  • 1.0 km
Washington Hotel Plaza Yonago
  • 125 Meijicho, Yonago-shi, Tottori, 683-0053 Japan
  • ¥5,600 - ¥6,900
  • 3.9/5 (1,280 reviews)
  • 1.1 km
Hotel Route-Inn Yonago
  • 2-200 Kojimachi, Yonago-shi, Tottori, 683-0054 Japan
  • ¥6,500 - ¥24,300
  • 4.35/5 (360 reviews)
  • 1.5 km
Smile Hotel Yonago
  • 1-1-55 Nishifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori, 683-0805 Japan
  • ¥4,700 - ¥23,200
  • 3.75/5 (430 reviews)
  • 2.1 km

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