Sunday, April 16, 2017

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Yonago JR Station 米子駅

Yonago JR Station serves the following railway lines:
(1) San-in main line (山陰本線). From here, trains commute eastwards to Kurayoshi (倉吉), Yura (由良) and Tottori (鳥取); commutes westwards to Tamatsukuri Onsen (玉造温泉), Izumo (出雲), Masuda (益田) and Yamaguchi (山口). 
(2) Terminus station on Sakai line (境線) and the gateway to Sakaiminato, the hometown of Shigeru Mizuki, who is the creator of the popular manga series, Gegege no Kitaro. From here, trains commute northwards to Yonago Airport and ends at Sakaiminato (境港).
(3) Hakubin line (伯備線). From here, trains commute southwards to Kurashiki and Okayama. 

Limited express/themed trains serving Yonago Station includes:
(1) Ltd Exp Super Matsukaze, commutes along San-in main line, between Tottori and Masuda.
(2) Ltd Exp Super Oki, commutes along San-in main line, between Tottori and Shin Yamaguchi.
(3) Ltd Exp Yakumo, commutes along Hakubin line and San'in main line, between Okayama and Izumo.
(4) Gegege no Kitaro themed trains, commutes along Sakai line, between Yonago and Sakaiminato. 

A yokai station? Because Sakaiminato is the hometown of Shigeru Mizuki, all train stations along Sakai line were creatively given nicknames based on characters (or yokai 妖怪) which appeared in his most popular manga series, Gegege no Kitaro. Therefore, Yonago Station is also known as Nezumi Otoko (ねずみ男) Station. In fact, Yokai exploration starts from Platform 0, where trains serving Sakai line depart from. Signage, posters, ornaments bearing the characters can be spotted at different areas on the platform. And if you are lucky, you may find yourself on board one of the few Gegege no Kitaro themed train serving Sakai line, to make your yokai exploration complete! For my trip, I managed to hop onto a train featuring Medama Oyaji (目玉おやじ), the father of Kitaro, at Yonago Station.


What's nearby?

(1) Bus Terminal, located just in front of train station.
Platform 5: Free shuttle buses depart from here to Tottori Hanakairo (鳥取花回廊). For my trip, I utilised this convenient complimentary service to travel to and fro Tottori Hanakairo.

Platform 7: Originally, there was a free shuttle bus which departs from here to Adachi Museum of Art. However, I found out that this service has ceased. An alternative bus route was recently introduced by Hinomaru Bus, which departs from Kaike Onsen, stops at Yonago Station and ends its route at Adachi Museum of Art. Unfortunately, there is only one bus service per day (arrives at Yonago Station at 0920 hrs) and bus fare is quite pricey (1,000 yen).

Kaike Onsen (皆生温泉): It takes about 20 mins by bus from Yonago Station to Kaike Onsen, a hot spring town in Tottori Prefecture, located by the beach overlooking Sea of Japan.
Yonago Station <> Kaike Onsen:

Airports: There are buses departing for both Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport (鳥取砂丘コナン空港) and Yonago Kitaro Airport (米子鬼太郎空港) as well.
Yonago Station <> Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport:
Yonago Station <> Yonago Kitaro Airport:


Commemorative stamps:

Yonago JR Station
Yonago Station is also known as Mezumi Otoko Station, named after a character from Gegege no Kitaro.

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