Chugoku/ Tottori Pref.

Kurayoshi 

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
100 Best Aromatic Scenery
100 Best Beautiful Historic Japanese Scenery

Access 12 min. by bus from JR Kurayoshi Station and get off at Akarenga Shirakabe Dozo Stop, then, a 3-min. walk from there

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.

100 Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Site
100 Best Urban Park in Japan
100 Best Forest Bathing Site

Access 17 min. by bus from JR Kurayoshi Station and get off at Shiyakusho Utsubuki Koen Iriguchi Stop via the City Hall, or take other bus for 12 min. and get off at Akarenga Shirakabe Dozo Stop, then, an 8-min. walk from there

Daigaku-in Temple

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.

Access 10 min. by bus from JR Kurayoshi Station and get off at Sakaimachi Stop then, a 5-min. walk from there

Dairen-ji Temple

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.

Access 12 min. by bus from JR Kurayoshi Station and get off at Akarenga Shirakabe Dozo Stop then, a 3-min. walk from there

Hase Temple

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.

Access 21 min. by bus from JR Kurayoshi Station and get off at Hasedera Nishiguchi Stop via city hall, then, a 10-min. walk from there

Kurayoshi Yodoya

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.”

Access 13 min. by bus from JR Kurayoshi Station and get off at Shinmachi Stop then, a 3-min. walk from there

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

Third Saturday of February
Hase Temple

At midnight, many people visit the temple to receive a special amulet called “Go-o,” a stick-like amulet which is believed to protect the person and bestow good fortune.

Kannon Market in Hase

Third Sunday in February
On Honmachi Street between Nishimachi and Higashi Nakamachi

After the Go-o Sazuke ritual at Hase Temple, a market will open in the town called Kannon Ichi with a number of stalls along Honmachi Street between Nishimachi and Higashi Nakamachi.

Kurayoshi Spring Festival

Late March to early May
Utsubuki Park and other locations in the city

500 Large and small lanterns will be set in Utsubuki Park, the best cherry blossom viewing site in the Sanin area. A number of people come and enjoy cherry blossoms and azalea flowers. Many fun events will be held during the festival period.

Kurayoshi Utsubuki Nagashi-bina

First Sunday of April
Along the Tama River around the storehouses with white earthen walls

People release little dolls onto the Tama River wishing for the health and good growth of their children.

Kurayoshi Utsubuki Festival

First Saturday and Sunday of August
Around the storehouses with white earthen walls, red brick area, Kurayoshi Bridge

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, 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

There are eight kilns in Kurayoshi which produce fine ceramic works born from the combination of traditional and contemporary techniques.

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, and lunch.

“Kurayoshi Tsumugi Walking Plan”
Contact: Kurayoshi MICE Association
Tel: 0858-24-5371

[Available at]
Kurayoshi Furusato Craft Museum
Address: 2606 Higashi Nakamachi, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Tel: 0858-23-2255

Hakota Doll

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.

[Available at]
Hakota Doll Studio
Address: 2529 Uomachi, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Tel: 090-1185-9732

Bamboo Craft

A variety of bamboo crafts, from traditional to contemporary, are displayed.

[Available at]
Nakano Chikugei in the Akarenga #3 Building
Address: 2573 Higashi Nakamachi, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Tel: 0858-23-7500

Kurayoshi Ika (Kite)

The diamond shape kite has been called “Ika” in Kurayoshi. At Tako Kobo, visitors can try painting on the Kurayoshi Ika, framing, and attaching thread. Original kites can be ordered with the name of your child or grandchild, or the name of a company.

[Available at]
Tako Kobo
Address: 2586 Higashi Nakamachi, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Tel: 0858-23-3453

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.

[Available at]
Ishitani Seikado
Address: 459-1 Saiwai-machi, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Tel: 0858-23-0141

Shirakabe-dori

Aromatic manju sweet dumpling using locally brewed sake.

[Available at]
Kurayoshiya
Address: 2-16 Dakyoji-cho, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Tel: 0858-23-0150

Kura-no Mochi Rice Cake

Chestnut seeds and finest quality red beans are two main ingredients of this simple yet tasty sweet.

[Available at]
Fushimiya
Address: 61-13 Sumiyoshi-cho, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Tel: 0858-22-2887

Mochi Shabu-zen

Popular dish using rice cake with over 100 years of history.

[Available at]
Machiya Seisui-an
Address: 1-876 Sakaimachi, Kurayoshi, Tottori
Tel: 0858-22-4759

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.

[Available at]
Many places in the city

Gokumi Watermelon

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

Access
2 min. by bus from JR Kurayoshi Station and get off at Akarenga Shirakabe Dozo Stop, then, a 3-min. walk from there
Contact
Kurayoshi Shirakabe Dozo Tourist Information Center
TEL:0858-22-1200 / FAX:0858-24-5015
E-mail: kanko@apionet.or.jp
URL: https://kurayoshi-kankou.jp/

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