JSPS Quarterly
No.51 2015 Spring

Introducing Japan: Yonago

By Panagiota Tsounapi

Sunset at Minatoyama Park

Sunset at Minatoyama Park

Facing the Sea of Japan, Yonago is located in Tottori Prefecture. It is a beautiful city that combines both the sea and mountains. In Yonago, there are many things to do and enjoy during the whole year—from skiing or snowboarding to surfing, canoeing or kayaking, and trekking, even horseback riding. One thing that I appreciate about Yonago is its urban structure; though a small city compared to Osaka or Tokyo, nothing is missing in way of convenience or availability.

Gaina Matsuri

Gaina Matsuri

There are many cultural events that take place throughout the year, with the most popular being the Gaina Matsuri, which means “big festival.” Held during the summer, it is a 2-day event with a lot of dancing and singing, a mantos parade, and beautiful fireworks on the last day. Mantos are paper lanterns lit with real candles and hung by the dozens from several crossbeams on 10-orso meter poles, which in a completion are balanced nimbly in the air by a single team member. Both days, people can enjoy the amazing rhythmic sound of the taiko drums! Although the season is very hot and humid, everybody comes out to enjoy this festival. In fact, meeting those friendly and polite residents, always ready to help with a warm smile, is one of the most enjoyable things about the city’s events.

Yonago is also famous for its Kaike Onsen, a hot springs that wells up from the seabed, the soaring 1,729-meter volcanic Daisen Mountain, and Tottori Hanakairo Flower Park, one of the largest flower parks in Japan— really beautiful with many seasonal flowers and themes all year around! Furthermore, Shigeru Mizuki, who wrote the manga series “Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro” was born in Sakaiminato, a city close to Yonago. In his honor, the city built the Mizuki Shigeru Road, lined with 153 bronze-casted yokai (Mizuki’s cute goblin characters). The lane is very interesting and fun to walk! All of these places are very easy to access either by car, train or shuttle bus.

All of you who intend to visit Yonago should prepare yourselves to eat the most delicious freshly caught fish meals, experience wonderful hospitality, stroll through beautiful parks, and bask in lovely sunsets!

Yonago on the map of Japan

page top

JSPS Quarterly No.52 2015