Kurayoshi, a Nostalgic Town Filled with Vigor
Located almost at the center of Tottori Prefecture, Kurayoshi is surrounded by famous hot spring areas such as Togo, Misasa, and Sekigane. The town has a long history which dates back to the 14th century when it was called the Province of Hoki. There was a castle on Mt. Utsubuki and a town was developed around the castle. Old storages with white earthen walls and traditional merchant houses still retain the atmosphere from that time.
Sightseeing Highlights in Kurayoshi
Storehouses with White Earthen Walls
Old storehouses with white earthen walls stand along the Tama River. Many of them were built between the end of Edo and early Showa periods. A stone bridge crossing the Tama River and the white plaster walls emanate a nostalgic ambience in the town as if time flows more slowly here.
National Important Preservation District of Historic Buildings
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Utsubuki Park and Mt. Utsubuki
Utsubuki Park is the best cherry blossom viewing site in the Sanin area. About 1,000 cherry trees and azalea trees reach full bloom and welcome tourists. There is a museum, mini-animal park, sumo wrestling ring, baseball studio, tennis court and athletic stadium.
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This old temple, built in 1605, belongs to the Soto Sect of Buddhism. Here can be found the graves of the last samurai governor of this region (southern Chiba Prefecture) and the castle master of Tateyama Castle, Tadayoshi Satomi, along with his eight faithful retainers. They are said to be the models of a famous Edo-period novel, “Nanso Satomi Hakkenden.” Tadayoshi passed away at the age of only 29. He resided in Kurayoshi for eight years and a pottery plate which is said to have been donated by Tadayoshi is still cherished carefully today.
Between 1573 and 1592, a Buddhist monk, Zenren Janen Yobunno Shonin, merged three temples into one and built a new temple at the present location. The main hall looks modern as it was restored in 1955 and is made of reinforced concrete which is a rare example of such a temple in the prefecture. This temple is known to be the place with which the samurai warrior, Yoshisuke Wakiya and a powerful merchant from Osaka, Seibei Yodoya, had strong connections.
The main hall’s interior is designated as an Important Cultural Property and is one of the few remaining examples of a building from the late Muromachi period in the Sanin area. Inside the hall there is a display of about 50 large and small ema (wooden votive tablets) which tell of the life and culture of people from the Muromachi to Meiji periods. The ema of a legendary white horse is a worth taking a look at.
The oldest machiya traditional house in Kurayoshi City existing since 1760. The Makita Family ran a company called “Yodoya” and were extremely successful in Kurayoshi. They had a strong connection with a powerful merchant from Osaka whose company was also named “Yodoya.”
Sekigane Onsen Hot Spring
Located in the southern part of the city, Sekigane Onsen hot spring has an extremely long history dating back to 1300 years ago. The water is colorless and is without taste or scent. It has long been called “Shirogane (platinum) Hot Water” and was selected as one of the 100 Best Hot Springs in Japan. It is a simple thermal, radioactive spring (natural radium spring) which is effective for nerve pain and rheumatism. The area flourished as a popular lodging location in the Edo period.
Important Annual Events in Kurayoshi
Hase Go-o Sazuke
Kannon Market in Hase
Kurayoshi Spring Festival
Kurayoshi Utsubuki Nagashi-bina
Kurayoshi Utsubuki Festival
A decorative float parade, mikoshi portable shrine carried by women, gorgeous fireworks and many other fun events will welcome visitors. In the Mitsuboshi Dance Festival, around 1,500 dancers enjoy dancing all together.
Traditional Crafts of Kurayoshi
Kazuwa-yaki Ceramic, Kazuwa-yaki Kazuwasan Kiln, Fukumitsu-yaki Ceramic, Kuyomi-yaki Ceramic, Kurayoshi Hachiman Kiln, Tamahaku-yaki Ceramic, Kokuzo-yaki Ceramic, Utsubuki-yaki Ceramic
Kurayoshi Kasuri Textile
Extremely fine and complicated patterns are woven on the fabric. The more it is used and washed, the more beautiful the fabric becomes. At Kurayoshi Furusato Craft Museum, the craftspeople of Kurayoshi Tsumugi demonstrate Kasuri-ori weaving and sell their items. Kurayoshi MICE Association provides the “Kurayoshi Tsumugi Walking Plan” which includes Kasuri kimono rental, hair arrangement.
“Kurayoshi Tsumugi Walking Plan”
Contact: Kurayoshi MICE Association
Kurayoshi Furusato Craft Museum
Address: 2606 Higashi Nakamachi, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Hakota is a traditional paper doll made of paper. In olden times, parents made a Hakota doll and let their children keep it as an amulet.
Hakota Doll Studio
Address: 2529 Uomachi, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Food & Specialties of Kurayoshi
Utsubuki Dango Dumpling
Ishitani Seikado has offered Utsubuki Dango sweet dumplings for over 120 years. The dango is a signature sweet from Kurayoshi. Small rice cakes are covered with sweet bean jam in three colors: white, red and matcha green.
Address: 459-1 Saiwai-machi, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Kura-no Mochi Rice Cake
Chestnut seeds and finest quality red beans are two main ingredients of this simple yet tasty sweet.
Address: 61-13 Sumiyoshi-cho, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Beef Bone Ramen Noodles
In the central and western part of Tottori, there are many ramen restaurants offering soup prepared from beef bones which was a popular soup in the area after the war. Kurayoshi has many recommended beef bone ramen places. Not only ramen restaurants, but local diners serve this ramen, too. Try some and compare the difference.
Many places in the city
In general, watermelon is grown on the grafted tree of a gourd in order to avoid replanting failure and disease. On the contrary, in Kurayoshi, watermelon seedlings are grown on a watermelon tree. Though this method requires much more time and effort for the farmers, doesn’t allow for replanting and has a risk of disease, the fruits grown with this method taste just excellent. The number of Gokumi Watermelon is very limited but it is a must-try if you visit Kurayoshi in the summer.
Season: early to mid-July
- 2 min. by bus from JR Kurayoshi Station and get off at Akarenga Shirakabe Dozo Stop, then, a 3-min. walk from there
- Kurayoshi Shirakabe Dozo Tourist Information Center
- TEL：0858-22-1200 / FAX：0858-24-5015
- E-mail： firstname.lastname@example.org
- URL： https://kurayoshi-kankou.jp/