The whole town is themed up to the spooky comedy manga, Gegege no Kitaro (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎). This manga series is a Japanese classic from the 1960s, drawn by Mr Shigeru Mizuki. The story line is based on a collection of Japanese folklore and local superstitions. It essentially gained cult status and hence the crazy town & train line for this manga. Yup, the manga fixtures are all PERMANENT.
The theme runs strong from the moment I set foot onto the Yonago train platform…
*big load of photos alert*
Visually speaking… it is everywhere even before you arrive.
Still not in the mood? Drink some gegege no kitaro water?
Anyways, time to board the train…
Not every train comes with a character visit. Check the local schedule if you are really keen. I can’t find the info online at all. There are local pamphlet when you’re in the area. They do come in English, Chinese and Korean.
After a 45min train ride… arriving at Sakaiminato
There is a stamp rally here as well!!! Grab that stamp rally pamphlet from JR. Your first stamp is at the station itself.
Walking along the main avenue is CRAZY. Literately a small sculpture every 10 steps. Even after visiting this place twice in different season, I did not manage to endure taking photos with all of them. There are THAT many.
EVERYTHING is themed up here. Bread, traffic light, taxi, food, sewage lids, toilets…etc you get the idea. I am such a sucker for this type of tourism wahaha
As if that’s not enough… there’s still the museum… (no photos inside)
For interest sake, here are the night time photos. The town is completely dead by night. There are local accommodations, so if you wish to stay here, it is also possible.
Sakaiminato is not exactly easily accessible. It is in Tottori, Sanin region of Japan. The side with slow trains only… I loved Gegege no Kitaro as a child, so this is obviously a must do for me.
As gimmicky as it seems, this town offers unparalleled experience to explore the folklore from all over Japan.
How to get here?
Destination: Sakaiminato Station (JR rail)
There’s only 1 train per hour between Yonago and Sakaiminato. JPY320 one way, but it is included in the JR pass if you have one.
If you want to take the themed up train, you must take the train from Yonago station 😉
The closest large JR stations to Yonago are…
- Matsue: 22min to 37min depending on the train type
- Tottori: 62min to 131min depending on the train type
- Okayama: 126min to 253min depending on the train type & route
Official website: http://www.sakaiminato.net/foreign/
Photos are from 2 separate trips, hence the difference in my hair colour 😉 Yes, I liked it that much.
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