After the expedition to find “Gegege no Kitaro” and his fellow Yokai, take a journey to visit the National Treasure “Matsue Castle”. And finally, visit a relaxing hot spring.
- From the Kansai area, take the Sanyo Shinkansen Line to Okayama, then change to the JR Limited Express Yakumo and get off at Yonago.
- As another option, you can go to Tottori or Kurayoshi with JR Limited Express Super Hakuto, and then get off at Yonago on the JR Sanin Main Line.
- Nippon Kotsu local bus runs from the Kansai area. Both overnight and daytime services are available, and the travel duration is 3 hours and a half to 4 hours.
JR Yonago Station
Travel drama from JR Yonago Station.
Train platform to Sakaiminato has a lively atmosphere with Kitaro and Kitaro’s Yokai friend, Ittan-momen Goblin. Each station on the Sakaiminato Line is named after the Yokai’s, and JR Yonago Station’s nickname is “Nezumi Otoko Station”. MAP
- From “Kitaro Train” on Sakaiminato Line platform, get off at Sakaiminato.
Mizuki Shigeru Road
Sakaiminato City is the city where manga artist Mizuki Shigeru, the creator of “Gegege no Kitaro”, spent his childhood.
Therefore, there are 174 miniature bronze statues of Yokai along Mizuki Shigeru Road in Sakaiminato. You can also find a Yokai footbath in front of the station.
As you walk down, you’ll see an Ikayaki (grilled squid) vendor and many other street food vendors along the road. There is a savory smell floating in the air. And don’t forget to try “Kaisendon” (Sashimi Bowl), Sakaiminato specialty dish. MAP
- About 20-minute walk on the road full of Yokai Monsters.
Mizuki Shigeru Museum
When you’re walking down the famous Mizuki Shigeru Road, you will find Mizuki Shigeru Museum. Yokai Monsters created by Mizuki Sensei is the central theme of this museum.
Many visitors visit Sakaiminato with their children, there are many places that children can really enjoy. Adults also will be absorbed in finding hidden Yokai in the city. Sakaiminato is a great spot for visitors of all ages.
(Opening hours: 9:30 to 17:00, admission fee: general 700 yen, junior high and high school students: 500 yen, elementary school students: 300 yen) MAP
- Walk back to Sakaiminato Station, it takes about 20 minutes.
- Although Ichibata Bus doesn’t have many bus services, Ichibata Bus “Matsue – Sakaiminato” is very convenient. Ichibata Bus is a direct bus from Sakaiminato Station to Matsue Castle. The bus ride takes about 1 hour.
Stands on the bank of Lake Shinji, Matsue Castle is known as “black castle” because it has black-painted wooden walls. The castle is also one of the 5 castles listed as National Treasure of Japan. Matsue Castle is an expansive castle and has lots of greenery, perfect for a short walk and to enjoy the atmosphere. From the castle tower, you can overlook the view of Lake Shinji.
(Opening time: April to September from 7:00 to 19:30, October to March from 8:30 to 17:00, admission fee: adult 680 yen, elementary & middle school students: 290 yen, foreign visitors: 340 yen) MAP
- Matsue Lakeline Bus operates bus service exclusively to watch the sunset. To get on this particular bus, get on from the National Treasure“Matsue Castle” (Otemae) bus stop, then get off at Yuhi Koen Mae Bus Stop. But if you take the regular bus course, get off at the Prefectural Museum of Art and walk about 10 minutes.
- The castle is quite far on foot, it takes about 30~40 minutes.
Lake Shinji Sunset Spot
A bit farther out from the Shimane Art Museum, you will find a place called “Lake Shinji Sunset Spot”.
As one of the photogenic spots that represent Matsue, here you are able to watch captivating sunset over Shinji Lake. MAP
- Ichibata Bus Tamatsukuri Line connects Matsue and Tamatsukuri Onsen. From the sunset spot at the nearest Saiwaicho bus stop, it takes about 20 minutes to Tamatsukuri Onsen.
- Take the JR Sanin Main Line from Matsue Station or Nogi Station to Tamatsukuri Onsen. The train ride takes about 4-8 minutes.
At the end of the trip, visiting a hot spring would be the best option. You will get tired after your journey, take a soak in Tamatsukuri Onsen, known as a famous hot spring, and your fatigue may go away.
There are many hot spring hotels with quite high cost lodging, but if you want to take a casual day trip bath, “Tamatsukuri Onsen Yuuyu” is great for this kind of trip. MAP
Sakaiminato City in Tottori Prefecture and Matsue City in Shimane Prefecture that we traveled this time is situated between two large lakes, Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi. The atmosphere is really peaceful with picturesque scenery.
The region that spans across two prefectures is a travel destination where you can experience the charm of Sanin region.
- To get back to the Kansai area, take the JR Limited Express Yakumo to Okayama, then take Sanyo Shinkansen from there. And if you also want to enjoy Sanin region, take JR Sanin Main Line from Tamatsukuri Onsen Station to Tottori and Yamaguchi areas.