Nestled along the Tamagawa River in the city of Kurayoshi, you’ll find a charming district that looks like it was lifted straight from Japan’s past. Nearly sixty elegant white-walled storehouses line the river banks, creating the perfect ambiance for a romantic stroll.
The area has been designated as a special historic architectural district, and you’ll be amazed at how well the buildings—primarily former sake and soy sauce breweries, have been preserved from their Edo and Meiji Period (17th to 19th century) roots. Stop by the venerable Gensui Brewery to savor a cup of sake crafted with time-honored brewing techniques, or visit the traditional craft center to marvel at a variety of goods produced by the traditional Kurayoshi-gasuri cloth dyeing process, with its deep indigo hues.
You can also delight in the combination of retro visuals and modern comforts, as you’ll find buildings that have been renovated to house coffee and tea shops, art galleries, wine bars, and more. It’s a destination sure to charm anyone with a love for traditional architecture or Japanese craftsmanship of both the past and present.
From Izumo Airport, take a shuttle bus to JR Matsue Station (about thirty minutes). From there, take a JR San’in Main Line special express train to Kurayoshi Station (about one hour). From there, take the Nihon Kotsu or Hinomaru Bus line (about twelve minutes).
Hours: The district can be visited at any time. Gensui Sake Brewery offers tours from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (reservation required). The Traditional Craft Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed Wednesdays). Hours of other individual shops vary.
Address: Centered around the areas of Shinmachi 1-chome, Higashinaka-machi, Uo-machi, and Togiya-machi, Kurayoshi City, Tottori