View of Mount Daisen from a snowfield in Sakaiminato, Japan
SAMURAI BY THE SEA

Cruise to Sakaiminato, Japan

A busy port in Tottori Prefecture on the Sea of Japan, Sakaiminato is a gateway to some of Japan's best nature and slow-paced, traditional culture. Head to Daisen Oki National Park, where you can hike up volcanic Mount Daisen, stopping for a rest inside Daisen-ji Buddhist temple, which lies halfway to the summit. In Sakaiminato city, walk along Mizuki Shigeru Road, lined with statues inspired by Japanese comic legend Shigeru Mizuki's characters — pop into the museum of the same name to see the artist's original comics. Cruise to Sakaiminato and drive out to Matsue Castle — finished in 1611, it's one of the oldest still-standing castles in Japan — and continue on to the ancient Shinto shrine at Izumo Taisha.
National Language Japanese
Currency Accepted Japanese Yen (JPY)

Things To Do in Sakaiminato

Matsue Castle in Sakaiminato, Japan

Sakaiminato, Japan Matsue Castle

Storm the Castle

Storm the Castle

Less than an hour by bus or train from Sakaiminato is the lakeside city of Matsue, capital of Shimane Prefecture and home to one of Japan's few still-standing 17th-century samurai fortresses, Matsue Castle. Another excellent piece of traditional architecture is the nearby Koizumi Yakumo Memorial Museum, dedicated to Greek-Irish writer Lafcadio Hearn.

Statue of Okuninushi in Izumo Taisha grand shrine in Sakaiminato, Japan

Sakaiminato, Japan Okuninushi No Mikoto

Sacred Stop

Sacred Stop

Believed to be Japan's oldest Shinto shrine, Izumo Taisha is a revered sanctuary dedicated to Okuninushi, the god of marriage. The shrine is famous for its enormous shimenawa sacred ropes, and while its design dates back to the mid-18th century, this spot has been a place of worship since at least the year 950. The Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo next door has a comprehensive account of local history.

Eyeball shaped fountain in Sakaiminato, Japan

Sakaiminato, Japan Eyeball Fountain

Get Comical

If you prefer to stay in Sakaiminato, check out the legacy of local hero Shigeru Mizuki, a celebrated comic artist who created many yokai (monster) characters including the beloved GeGeGe no Kitaro. Mizuki Shigeru Road features 153 bronze statues of these creations, and the Mizuki Shigeru Museum offers a fascinating look at the artist's life and the world of yokai.

Crab seafood in Sakaiminato, Japan

Sakaiminato, Japan Crab

Local Cuisine

Sakaiminato offers some of the best seafood in Japan, so come hungry. There's sushi, sashimi and kaisendon — a bowl of sashimi and fish roe over rice. If you're lucky enough to visit in winter, don't miss matsubagani, the sweet-tasting regional snow crab: Enjoy it raw sashimi-style, tossed into a hearty stew or grilled with soy-based dipping sauce.

Sake bottles in a traditional bottle in Sakaiminato, Japan

Sakaiminato, Japan Sake Bottles

Shopping

Tottori Prefecture is known for its fine sake rice wine. Browse the selection at Chiyomusubi sake brewery off Mizuki Shigeru Road in Sakaiminato. You can watch the sake craftsmen in action with a brewery tour. During your Sakaiminato cruise vacation, pick up a figurine of GeGeGe no Kitaro or another of Shigeru Mizuki's characters in Sakaiminato center.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Be sure to check the return timetables for buses and trains if you're going to venture to Matsue or Izumo Taisha.
2 Reservations are required for tours of Chiyomusubi sake brewery: Book ahead if you want to see how the good stuff is made.

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