Welcome to the Tottori-shi (鳥取市) guide. The aim of this page is to exhaustively cover everything that can be found in Tottori-shi.
Tottori-shi is the largest city in Tottori Prefecture with a population of 200,022 (2006 est.) It is located on the eastern side of the prefecture, which neighbors Hyogo Prefecture to the east. Tottori-shi is located east of Tottori Prefecture's two next largest cities, Kurayoshi and Yonago.
- 1 Food and Drink
- 2 Shopping
- 3 Entertainment
- 4 Health
- 5 General Services
- 6 Gyms and Sports
- 7 Government Resources
- 8 Accommodations
- 9 Special Attractions
- 10 Festivals
- 11 Travel
- 12 Owning a Car
Food and Drink
A 'yakitori' restaurant near S-Mart on Suehiro-Dori. Assorted chicken meat on sticks and other great dishes. Each stick will run you about 84-200yen. Tottori is a great place to eat, and the tofu-dote is highly recommended.
Shanghai 上海 [Y-20, TCE-1]
This is one of the most popular restaurants in the city. Chinese food, cooked by real Chinese people with the option of a sweet Chinese beer to drink if you are keen. Shanghai, situated right next to Lawson on Suehiro-dori, has the equivalent to the meat pie, hot chips or yiros/doner-kebab/gyro in the form of a steaming bowl of ramen. It is guaranteed to ease the pain. Personally though, Shanghai is best at the beginning of a night as the food is best had in the state known as sobriety. Pick of the menu is a bowl of tantanmen - spicy noodles in a sesame sauce. The fried chicken is worthy of a Homer Simpson drool, and the yakigyoza (fried dumplings) are equal to any other in Tottori. Also try the gyubara - as close to braised steak and onion as you will get in Japan. A meal here will set you back about ¥1500 to ¥2000 depending if you're drinking, but if you are wanting something cheaper go for the plain ramen at ¥450. There is also a new Shanghai on the main strip in Koyama; you can't miss the flaming torches at night. It's a lot bigger and the food is well worth making the trip.
(Each letter is read separately, A-I-U-E-O as in the 1st five letters in the Kana syllabary) Opposite Odeon on the other side of the canal. A highly recommended izakaya (a type of Japanese pub which serves food). The menu includes food not found in other restaurants in Tottori with things like oxtail. Don't forget each person who comes in will be served a tsukidashi that you will be charged for.
Daikichi 大吉 [TCE-17]
An excellent place for yakitori (chicken on a stick). If you are a fan of fried chicken and don't mind parting with about ¥4000 for a decent feed then you'll find this place heaven. There are several outlets of this nationwide chain in Tottori and its surrounding areas. Seating is limited so it's best to get here between 6 and 7 to make sure you get a seat and can make the most of the full menu. The later you arrive the less likely you will be able to order what you want. Going there in a group of more than 4 can also cause seating problems, as the capacity of the restaurant is only about 12. Recommended is the shisomaki, which is fried chicken, plum sauce and shiso, the Japanese equivalent to basil. The only problem with this restaurant is that the food is not filling and you can quickly go through a lot of money. For a good appetite stopper try the yaki-onigiri, a fried rice ball doused in soy sauce. The people who run Daikichi are always friendly and it's a bit of a cultural experience too, as the food is cooked on a BBQ grill only centimeters away from you. You can also be an active participant by yelling at the staff when you are ordering your food – a good place to take the parental units or mates if they come out to visit. There are various locations around the city, including one on Suehiro-dori about 10 minutes walk from Mobs. The Daikichi in Koyama even has an Australian owner.
A relatively new addition to the Tottori dining scene. Gyukaku actually means beef corner so you guessed it - it's yakiniku. Situated at the bottom corner of the Rainbow building along the canal, you can't miss the flaming charcoal in the front window. It looks very stylish and the food tastes awesome. The miso beef is highly recommended. Try it and see. This is a really great yakiniku place and it has plenty of veggies for grilling for non-meat eaters. Other than the miso beef (which is absolutely awesome) the non-yaki dishes are also really good, like the various types of bibimba (Korean style rice, meat and veggie dish that you mix together) and Koupa (Korean style soup/stew that has meat and rice, incredibly hearty and incredibly delicious especially on cold Tottori nights). Though a bit pricey, the different types of kimchi (hot Korean style pickles) are incredibly tasty. Definitely try the Gyukaku "Daikon kimchi."
Hakuto Kaikan 白兎会館 [Y-22]
Hakuto Kaikan has specials almost every month. All you can eat Nabe(soup pot dish), all you can eat sushi, etc...The restaurant is sometimes turned into a 'beer hall' with all you can drink and buffet. Very reasonable prices during the special deals! (1000yen)
Kaisen Dhall [Y-22]
Good Japanese fare, including salads, fried chicken, yakisoba, etc. Located in the Rainbow building along the canal with a Blue Marlin on the sign. Open from 5:00 pm until midnight.
Just down the road north of Lawson's, across from Falkenstein's. Do-it-yourself okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is made from chopped cabbage and something like pancake batter to which you add things like bacon, noodles, squid etc. and is many peoples favorite Japanese food.
The best Korean home-cooking to be had anywhere, and by far the friendliest welcome! Excellent place for yakiniku (barbecued beef), bibimba (Korean rice dish), tofu and kimchi nabe, and chijimi (like Korean okonomiyaki). Be sure to try some makkori, a traditional alcoholic drink. Reasonable (but not cheap) prices, and highly recommended. A bit hard to find: go up the Odeon road along the small river and take a left on the street after the ramen shop. It's the red entrance a few stores down on your right. It's on the small side, so reservations are a good idea. Call (0857) 21-8600.
Mobs is a big favorite amongst the gaijin in Tottori. The wooden floor of Mobs has long been a home to the ex-pat crew. Food and drink are relatively cheap and the food is pretty good. Decent sized salads and an array of pasta dishes make Mobs a place to come to for the food just as much as the drink. Like Shirakiya it's open a little later than some of the other bars and serves as a "sobering" way station between bar and bed.
Ph: (0857) 24-0184.
Murasaki versus Shirakiya. Sumo versus baseball. The old school and the new school of Japanese pubs and both of them in Tottori. Who'd have thought? Shirakiya offers all the glitz and glamour of new Japan with its bright lights, uniforms and gaudiness whereas Murasaki offers tatami, soothing light and distinct Japanese decor. Basically they are both the same when it comes to food and serve up your standard izakaya food: fried chicken, pizza, fish, ramen and the like. Vegetarians can get a feed as well. You'll have to pay for a small Japanese entrée known as tsukidashi, so remember that when you are adding up the bill at the end of the night. There are two locations, one near Yoro-no-Taki the other is underneath Mobs.
Naniwazushi 浪花ずし [Y-3]
A really good sushi bar. Located across from the Murasaki Restaurant in Yayoi-cho, about 50 meters down from Yoro-no-Taki.
Each table is surrounded by I guess what could be described as a mosquito net type thing, which makes it a good place if you want some privacy. If you go on a Saturday you will get the bonus of witnessing a light show. On the same street as the Rainbow building, it's impossible to miss the huge glowing ODEON sign. There is a Rongo Rongo karaoke above it. It can handle large groups.
Renga Te れんが亭
A small restaurant/bar. The owner speaks German, English, Japanese, and something else. Located in Yayoi-cho down the street from Pepeniro's and Café del Girasole.
Shirakiya 白木屋 [TCC-10]
If Shirakiya were a fast food chain it would be McDonald's. Green, bright, cheap and beers bigger than the size of a small child are the outstanding features of this chain izakaya (pub) that spans Japan. Open until 5 it is often the last place visited before home. Memories are therefore often blurred, but times have generally been good. It's as if the staff know this since they have installed what could only be described as a "vomit trough"  in the gents' room (not too sure about the ladies). However, Shirakiya is also a good place to start the night. The food and drinks are cheap and the huge photo menu offers a wide array of food – even if some of the portions are actually smaller than the pictures themselves. Really. At the end of the night the diced steak with radish goes down very well. If karaoke is your thing you can rent a party room with your own machine and TV. For larger organized parties this place is a viable option thanks to the price, the set menus and its size. Salads are also provided. Located on Wakasa-Kaido in the building on the left from the station with the game arcade, on the third floor.
Sumibi Yakitori [Y-15]
A brand-new place for yakitori (grilled chicken on a stick) right next to Shanghai. Inviting and bright, this restaurant serves chicken, beef, pork, scallops, and just about anything else you can think of that will fit on a wooden skewer. Good fun because you can mix and match, and inexpensive too (starting at 80 Yen for basic yakitori). Also serves side dishes and salads. The asparagus-bacon and chicken with ume (plum) sauce are especially good. The owners are young and friendly and might even speak a bit of English to you!
Beniya ベニヤ [Y-4]
A Japanese curry chain with reasonable prices. They are also home to some pretty famous shaved ice – believe it or not. If you like chocolate, the Indo-milk kagikori comes highly recommended. Located on the right side of Wakasa-kaido, less than a five-minutes walk from the station.
The Big Onion [TCC-11]
A Western/Japanese family style restaurant. The seafood platter comes highly recommended, as do the group set meals at about ¥4000 per person. Once again, it's a small place, so make reservations. Also located down the street from Richland Bowling Center. Ph: (0857) 27-5705
French cuisine in comfortable surroundings. Watch out for the daily specials - the sets are around ¥2000 to ¥3000 per person depending on the menu for the day. Or make reservations, agree on a price, and they will make a special menu for you. Located one street past the Kyufukuro River (over the bridge on Wakasa-kaido) on Hatsune-dori.
Miso-based chanko nabe – food of the sumo wrestler. This delicious treat will be served to you by an ex-sumo wrestler! Good for groups of 4 or 5 people, the cost is around ¥2000 per person. The restaurant is small and popular so it's best to make reservations. Located near the river turning left from Wakasa-kaido. You can't miss the sumo motif out in front.
Ph: (0857) 23-5522
Han no izakaya [TCE-16]
(Or Korean Izakaya as it literally means). This place opened last year and has been busy ever since. All sorts of Korean food, not just yaki-niku. This place has got it all, great food, décor, music, atmosphere, even the menu has pictures to point at if you can't read Japanese. It's in Kumoyama, right opposite the Kitchen En, Lawson, Rongo Rongo building. Take the road past Fade IN cinema, Gullibar's Mama and keep going across the bridge. About a 10 min cycle from the station, a bit out of the way perhaps but definitely worth it.
Gin no utsuwa 銀の器 [TCE-17]
A pleasant atmosphere, and a choice of meat, curry, vegetable and seafood dishes – all reasonably priced at under ¥1000. The lunch set is also a great deal and is available at any time during the day. Located on the same street as Johoku High School on the right side as you head towards Koyama.
Kaburate かぶら亭 [TCE-13]
Japanese cuisine served in the old country style setting. A great place for large group, just don't forget to book ahead! It’s on the expensive side - you can get a very good set meal for ¥4000 per person. Located next to the Big Onion near Richland Bowling center.
Ph: (0857) 29-8668
Kitchen en [TCE-4]
Located on the same road as Fade-In Cinema, towards Kumoyama in the same plaza as Lawson. This place has a soothing atmosphere as well as a variety of food - both Japanese and Western. There are cheap sets available at lunchtime. You can also order a set whereupon you can sing karaoke upstairs at Rongo Rongo at a bargain rate.
Ki no kaori [Y-7]
Go down Wakasa-kaidou from the station, and turn right immediately before the bridge. The restaurant is on the second floor, and in summer has a pretty roof garden that looks out over the waterfront. The restaurant has a slightly idiosyncratic feel, from the decor (tables made from huge planed-down logs and plants everywhere) to the food (which is essentially Japanese-style curry, but with enough original and pleasant twists to make it worth recommending). The curry offered is the standard omrice, chicken and tonkatsu, although spicier than the usual bland Japanese fare and served with jasmine rice and flavored water. The homemade curry cake (much nicer than it sounds) and big selection of herbal teas make a nice accompaniment to a lazy weekend afternoon. Open for lunch and dinner. Around 800 yen for a curry.
A fabulous little restaurant serving many ethnic foods, curries and Japanese food. The owner, Ito-san, is particularly friendly and has indulged in his fair share of traveling. From the rotary (roundabout), walk about five minutes down the street that goes over the river (Chizu-kaido). It's on the corner on the left just over the bridge.
A family-style Japanese chain with large portions at cheap prices - such as donburi, sushi, and udon. They usually have a good lunch special for around ¥700. There are several locations: in the Sanrodo arcade across from the station, near the rotary, near Tottori Kogyo on Rte. 53 (past Jusco) and in Koyama. (If you find the Maneki opposite the station a little 'on the nose', look no further than the fish market for your answer!)
Italian food served in a casual atmosphere. Not the greatest food but cheap, easy and right in the center of town. Located in the basement of the Daimaru Department store. Orders stop at 8:30 pm. Ph: (0857) 25-2177
Porco Rosso [TCC-8]
An Italian restaurant named after a Studio Ghibli film. Located across the street from the main post office, behind Hello's Bakery and next to Book Off. Good lunch sets, including soup, salad, and all the bread you can eat. They are also open for dinner from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm, and reservations are recommended. They serve delicious pizzas and pastas. Ph: (0857) 20-2094
A family style chain restaurant with reasonably priced steaks, chicken, and pasta dinners. Located north of the Koala video store near Johoku High School.
Located right before the rotary on the Daimaru Street. A quiet restaurant with a variety of meat, poultry, pasta, seafood dishes and sets. The menu changes everyday.
Saint Marc's [TCE-5]
Continental style cuisine served in an elegant atmosphere. They serve excellent bread with the sets – might have something to do with the bakery on the premises! It is however a little on the pricier side. You'll find it diagonally across from OZ video on Sangyo-doro. Ph: (0857) 37-0309
A Chinese restaurant with a selection of individual dishes, ramen, and a good set meal for one person. However the set meals for parties seem a bit pricey. There are several locations - near the rotary, heading towards Tsunoi on Rte. 353, and in Koyama.
A family restaurant with a variety of foods. Head towards the sand dunes on Rte. 53, away from Kencho, and look for it just before the bowling alley.
This cozy café offers a relaxed atmosphere, delicious Italian food and seats around 20. However it's a little on the expensive side. The set menu price is about ¥3000 per person (keep in mind that you need to have as least two people to order the set), or you can tell them how much you want to spend and they will prepare a menu for you. Located parallel to the river near Chanko, turning left from Wakasa-kaido. Ph: (0857) 29-4739
Tomato and Onion [TCE-6]
Another family style restaurant. A good place to eat, sit and contemplate the state of Western food – as found in Japan. You can deliver the verdict after your meal. Several locations - there's one on Rte. 323 heading out towards Tsunoi, and another one in Koyama next to the big Shizu discount shop.
Viva Shiva [TCE-7]
Unfortunately, Viva Shiva has closed. However, several of their signature dishes can still be had at DNA. Go check it out! Tottori's number one gaijin (pick up) spot! Run by Steve, an ex-JET from Aoya and his wife Junko. Steve originally thought he would only be in Japan for one year, fortunately for us he decided to stay and set up a gorgeous candle-lit restaurant specializing in Indian-influenced cuisine. The menu is meat-free, with an exception for fish and seafood, and many of the vegetables come handpicked direct from Steve and Junko`s garden! The main dishes on the menu change every month, but you can keep track of the latest (and check out some seriously dodgy photos of Steve trying to look intellectual) on the restaurants webpage: www.vivashiva.com. Speaking of intellectual, if you fancy giving your brain cells a work out, look for the fortnightly Viva Shiva Pub Quiz! A mix of (ridiculously impossible) questions, half in English, half in Japanese and a great chance for JET's and their JTE's to eat delicious food, get drunk and put a little more warmth into their working/after work relationship!
Phone: 090 8606 0540
Pasta and Pizza
Like all most things, the Tottori JETs can't quite agree about Pasta and Pizza パスタ & ピザ, which is located about midway on the strip. Some would say that the pizzas are thin enough to get the right crunch, that the garlic bread is soft and fresh out of the oven and that the gnocchi tastes like something that our Italian neighbours used to make. On the other hand some would say that the Pasta and Pizza has 'less charm than an English football supporter in Portugal' and the food has 'less taste than a Glaswegian grandmother in a souvenir shop', the only real way to settle this, is to make your own way there and try it for yourself. You can get pizzas and pastas from ¥300 and a glass of chilled red with for ¥190…go on, be brave!!
Right next door to Pasta and Pizza you will find a place we affectionately call 'le dirty shop', otherwise known as Sukiya ( すき 屋 ). With enough ocha available to rehydrate the Sahara, this shop is the perfect place to disseminate the previous night's events, and because it is open 24 hours you can make it the 'kebab shop off Tottori'. Classy. A variety of beef dishes are on offer, most of which are served with rice and a choice of many different sauces, you can get also get mini sets for a deliriously cheap ¥350.
The sushi just goes around and around and around at Hokkaido Sushi 北海道 すし (just turn right at the end of the Koyama station road and it is on your right; just across from the ¥100yen shop). Great food at reasonable prices, just pull up a seat and eat until you are full, before shouting for the lady who will total up your plates and take you to the cash desk to settle up. Who knew it could be so simple!?! As well as the slippery sushi stuff you can also get some fried chicken, chawan mushi and some well spun deserts. Remember to inspect the contents of the plate before picking it up, so to avoid mistaking the plastic food for the real stuff (oh how we laughed!). Plates of sushi start at ¥150.
If your hair is still crisp and salty from the sea and your surf board is still under you arm, then you are the perfect customer for this aussie-surf inspired restaurant. With big chunky wooden tables and a hearty meal at reasonable prices you will be rubbing shoulders with the surfer students of Tottori University while the hip hop station thunders out some fairly decent tracks. From Daigakkumae Station turn left (walking away from the city) and when you get to the first set of lights, turn right; you will see a log cabin type building on your left, just look out for the dream catchers. Meals start from a decent ¥600 and you can enjoy enthnofunk dishes (ok, so I made up the word 'ethnofunk', but I really don't know how else to describe it).
Joyfull is a cheap, 24-hour family restaurant. There's one in Tottori near Nanba ナンバ and in front of La Mu. You can think of Joyfull being to Gusto what Old Navy is to the Gap.
Juju-An is a yakiniku restaurant in Yayoi-cho. If you're facing the Lawson's that's right beside DNA, walk to your right until the end of the block. It's the restaurant surrounded by bushes.
After Hours [Y-8]
After Hours is one of the most "gaijin friendly" bars in town. It often has bands playing for a ¥500 cover charge. The music is mainly blues and soul but they do have a heavy metal night from time to time where some university students get up and strut their stuff. They also hold an acoustic night about once a month. There is a wider range of food and more space than most of the bars in town. It also offers an onsen downstairs if the need for cleansing before or afterwards should arise. It's situated along the canal in Yayoi-cho. There is seating at the bar if you want to go alone and there are also very big tables that seat up to 10, so it's a good place to go if you have a large number of people. On the busy nights when bands are playing you pay for your drinks as you go which means there is no awkwardness at the end of the night when drunken people try and remember what they drank. The owners are really open to hosting foreign parties and offer a reasonable buffet style menu (and often a band) for about 3 to 4 thousand yen per head. It's a good deal if you want to hold a birthday or wedding party.
Bistro Iori 庵
A nice change from all the "local" haunts of the foreign community. The extensive cocktail menu has reasonable prices. Of course beer and spirits are also on offer, but the clientele seem to stick to the more colorful and lavish drinks. Providing seating for large groups and with relatively friendly service, Iori is a good option for a unique night out. As it's right next to Mobs it's also a good place to come for "one for the road". Remember: Don't drink and drive. You might spill your drink! The main attraction at Iori is Tomo, the head bartender - currently ranked #3 in the world at flair bartending (after the last competition in Miami or Las Vegas or wherever it was), he can be seen performing flair even on weekdays. On weekends he is usually backed up by the rest of the staff (including his brother who is ranked #8); the place is almost always packed with girls standing on chairs and cheering Tomo on as he spins flaming bottles.
Chigai Hoken 治外法権 [Y-12]
Less visited by the local gaijin, it's similar in style to Shuko, Rosanjin etc but maybe the lighting is a little darker. When you want to go somewhere different for a change. Located above Café del Girasole in the heartland of the drinking district.
The Master and Mister “Ichiban Sukebe”  Koichi have been providing amusement for, and have been amused by, the local foreigners for almost seven years now. The DDs crowd is fun to hang around and it is one of the few bars that you can go to for a sobering ale all by yourself. The food is good but usually takes a while to prepare, as the cooking is pretty much a one-man operation. Parties have been held there in the past so if you have a birthday or something coming up you can organize something with them.
Hmmmmmmmmmm.Run by a German guy who is married to a Japanese woman, Falkenstein's offers German beer (expensive but good), German sausage (expensive but good) and German service. Well, sort of German service. It's usually the Mama-san, the German guy's missus, running the show. She's a real hoot and very friendly which is a bit of a contrast to her husband. Still, it offers a few different types of beer and food that you can't get anywhere else in Tottori. There have been reports of anti-American sentiment though - maybe he has seen one too many episodes of Webster! But it's worth visiting for a bit of a change and who knows, leopards might change their spots.
Possibly the antithesis to Shuko, and could well be known as the 'anti-date bar'. This used to be called Surfer's bar and various other things before that. Although the staff has limited English, they are really friendly and from time to time there are private parties, which are unbelievable if you get an invite. There is an upstairs section where you can have a little privacy with tables and seats at the bar.
If Japans were an item of clothing it would be a pair of old comfy jeans. One of the most established bars in the drinking district with good service and original food, such as squid ink spaghetti, various types of pizzas and Guinness on tap (that counts as a food, right?) Excellent décor and private party rooms make it a great place for a large number of people, yet it also offers enough intimacy for that night out with a special someone. Once again, if you are keen to have a party you'd be advised to book ahead. You can reserve a room that can seat up to 20 people. Small kegs are also on offer but it's actually cheaper to order drink by drink. Ph: (0857) 24-3939.
Ki no hara [Y-11]
(Japanese Dining bar). This bar is similar in style to Shuko (Kitchen bar) or Rosanjin, you can just drink or you can order food as well. The interior is very swish, maybe so much so that it intimidates our friendly Tottori residents as any time I’ve been there it’s been pretty much empty. It just needs to be a little busier to create some atmosphere and it could easily become a favorite. In the heart of Yayoi-cho, around the corner opposite Café del Girasole. Look for the wooden under lit stairs (which tell you that you are entering a classy place) and you’ve found it.
Up the stairs directly opposite Shuko (Kitchen bar) and it's a similar type of place. It's spacious enough to handle a large group of people. Look out for their anniversary party. The other year from Sept 16th to the 20th they offered a 500yen beer nomihodai (all you can drink) with no time limit. The year before that they had a similar offer so put it down in your calendar for this year. Be warned to avail of this deal of a lifetime you need a ticket so go before hand and ask for one (or four) and you too can behave like a character from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and jump around shouting I've got the golden ticket.
Go out the south exit of Tottori station and follow the road to the left. Walk for about 7 minutes, past Book-Off, past Toyota, to the area of a big, fenced parking lot, and you will find Shubidubar on the right side of the street next to a beauty shop. Inside you will find a mostly standing bar, but there are tables on the second floor and a big tv on the first. The back room offers pay-as-you-go Famicon and Super Famicon (a.k.a. Nintendo and Super Nintendo) Drink choices are relatively low-priced but limited to beer and a few hard liquors or cocktails. Food is available but it is mostly of the instant variety. Check out the toy area for such classics as plastic snakes, superballs, and mousetrap gum. Be prepared to pay 150yen for your non-optional snack. The staff is, to date, friendly with the JET crowd and personally I find it a nice place to go. Proximity to Kopo Hestia, home to a large group of ALTs, is a plus. The second floor is occasionally rented out to parties, especially around New Year's.
Shuko (Kitchen Bar) [Y-9]
The definitive first date bar. Well lit, clean and if your date is bright enough to know how to use the faucet in the bathroom then they could be a 'keeper'. (Sadly, the author of this review's date didn't.) Done by the same people who designed the Chugai Hokken in Yonago's infamous Asahi Machi, the décor is really nice. Backlit wheat lines the bottles at the bar and the main seating area is comprised of one huge table and two smaller ones. The food isn't bad and there is a wide range of spirits. The beer is served in beautiful ceramic mugs with the name of the bar on them. The master, who merely acts as a supervisor, is really friendly. The waiters are also a favorite amongst the gaijin set for different reasons. Remember: if you are there on a date, watch them attempt to use the faucet before deciding to take that next step. Take note: this bar accepts Visa, so if it's the end of the month and you are strapped for cash you can put it on credt.
The best reason to go to this bar is for the couch. A big white leather couch is tucked away in a corner of the bar providing extreme comfort to anyone caught in its grip. No food but it offers one of the greatest variety of drinks in Yayoi-cho. The owner is an entrepreneurial young man by the name of Shimo. His English is pretty good and was at one time quite keen to make Vibe the resident 'Gaijin Bar'. It never really happened and remains a place for an occasional visit. The reasons are that there's no food, it's a little on the expensive side and you very rarely meet people there. You must pay 1000yen for the first drink so make it worthwhile and order one of the frozen cocktails (I recommend the Chocolate monster), which along with the couches make it worth the trip. It's just past Lawson on Seuhiro Dori. Should be easy to find as there is now a big sign at the bottom of the stairs.
Quite possibly every spirit ever bottled is in this bar. When you walk in you'll understand what I mean. Maybe a bit pricey, however.
Also near Lawson on Suehiro Dori. Small bar with occasional dance and reggae nights and a very aggressive strobe light. Home to some very memorable nights last year.
On the right side of Wakasa-kaido, and over the river towards Kencho you'll find a European-style looking coffee house. It’s a bit dark, but a nice place nonetheless. It has typical drinks and sandwiches at reasonable prices.
On the Taihei-sen street across from Daimaru's main entrance. With two floors, it has a pleasant coffee house atmosphere. In addition to a wide variety of coffees and teas, they also serve sandwiches, excellent waffles and hot chocolate at cheap prices. There is also an inexpensive lunch set available. A picture menu is at hand.
A two story coffee house/restaurant with a wide range of desserts. There is a large private booth, which is perfect for small conversation meetings. Located in Koyama.
Located near the station. Take a right at the main post office and keep going on that road towards 2nd Stock and you will hit Latte. It's on the corner across from Corp Hestia. Very cute coffee shop that serves lunch, dinner, and desserts too. Small bagel sandwiches, quiche, scones, and cheesecake are among the favorites on the menu.
A cake/dessert shop with further branches in Yonago, Kurayoshi and behind the station. Desserts are small and elegantly served (how about trying the Libido Rod???) and there are a variety of teas, coffees, and juices. There's also a flower shop. Located north of Koala Video near Queens Arms.
A small coffee shop affiliated with the Pandora's box Bakery. You can choose from a selection of cakes from the bakery and then proceed to enjoy them in this quiet shop.
An excellent little place that actually has the feel and atmosphere of a western coffee shop. It's a bit quiet and tucked away, so is the perfect place to settle in for an afternoon of good conversation or to curl up with your favorite book. The food is also excellent, with a daily lunch set that runs about ¥700, salads, pastas, entrees, and even some unusual varieties of pho. They also have a small selection of beer, wine, and mixed drinks for those so inclined. Bonus: there is a plaid, flannel blanket on every chair during the winter. Warning: the last two times I went there they played the same CD on repeat ad nauseam, so bringing your own music is highly recommended. To get there, walk due north from the station on Hon-dori. Turn left at the corner with the main Go-Gin building (one block north of Suehiro-dori, the street with Lawson's and DNA); Cafe Ne will be on your right, just across the street from the strange dome sculpture. There is also a small store downstairs from the coffee shop that sells a selection of organic food and some other offerings.
Cafe Source Located on Wakasa-Dori north of Palette Tottori, this coffee shop offers delicious food and a cozy yet high-class atmosphere. The owner runs a restaurant in Yonago with similar menu offerings (all delicious, though a tiny bit on the pricey side), and they have an excellent selection of wine and desserts. Of course, even though they have coffee, whiskey, and desserts with whipped cream all on the menu, they will insist that they can not make an Irish coffee. Go figure.
There are three McDonald's in Tottori-shi. One is in the train station, and the other two are in the two Juscos.
This is the Japanese version of MacDonald's. MOS stands for Mountain, Ocean, Sea – and that's a reference to preserving their beauty. 'Spicy Mos Cheese Burger' is a treat, the rice burgers (that's a burger in rice, not a bun) are worth investigating and the squid rings and fried chicken are mechiya oishii!
There is a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Koyama on the main strip (on the river-side of R. 29).
Mister Donut [TCC-3]
Mister Donut is a popular JET meeting spot, probably because the food is so cheap. It's mostly dounuts and other pastries (don't confuse this place with a bakery), with a very small meal menu. Of course, they have drinks, but that's where they make their money. The coffee is probably the best deal, but only because they have free refills. It's located right across from the train station.
Pizza, calzone, and ice-cream delivery! What a great combo. Interesting pizza combinations such as pizza with seafood and corn. Highly recommended are the teriyaki, spicy papa (covered in jalapenos), American meat and pepperoni. You can eat at the restaurant but you'll find limited seating. Located on Suehiro-dori, across from the Nikko Bus Center. Ph. (0857) 29-3701
Located in the homestore 'NANBA' ナンバ, which has a logo of a coloured square just off route 318 on route 29 back towards the city. There you can get your fix of unshakeable ice-cream passion and nip into the homestore for all of your DIY needs while you are there, perfect combination (non?). You will be joined at Baskin & Robbins by people of all ages falling in love over a giant dollop of ice-cream as it is the perfect dato rocation for the discernable Tottorite. Cones start at 200, cup, tubs and ice cream cakes are also available, prices up to 3000.
Eight Ball Ramen
Ramen shop on Wakasa-kaido, near Mister Donut. The gyoza ramen is tasty and they have lunch sets that come with rice.
A chain ramen shop which serves really great ramen. There are two in Tottori, one opposite the hospital on Wakasa-kaido and the other behind the station (walk up the street between Hashio sports and the travel agents and keep going straight, it's on the right side.)
Satsuma Ramen さつまラーメン
A very friendly noodle shop. The guy that runs it can't stop smiling. Located on Suehiro-dori, just off Wakasa-kaido.
Another small, amiable noodle shop. The udon sets are cheap and taste great! Located on the corner under the railway tracks near Pandora's box.
Ramen Land ラーメン・ランド
Not the best ramen place in town, but one of the few with my favorite 'Tonkotsu Ramen' (the soup base is made from pork bones). They also have a 'Jigoku Ramen' (Hell Ramen) with 10 different levels of good chili hotness. If you finish a Jigoku Ramen, soup and all, at level 10, they'll take your picture and put it on the wall. Located in the small shopping arcade across Tottori Station, where Mister Donuts is.
Located across from Tottori station. The high-class department store in Tottori. Many name brands are sold here at what can only be described as outrageous prices. Basement: specialty foods, prepared foods, bakery, gift packs, alcohol, foreign food, fruits and vegetables. 1st floor: bags, accessories, cosmetics, shoes, women's clothing, and watches. 2nd floor: women's clothes. 3rd floor: men's clothes, jewelry. 4th floor: house ware, yukatas, and kimonos. 5th floor: children's clothes, toys, and music. 6th floor: beer garden, game room. The fourth floor is a good place to buy gifts.
Jusco, south [TCC-2]
The huge pink billboard, about a five-minute walk behind the station. 1st floor: grocery store, McDonald's, other fast food, photo developing, electronics, CDs, appliances. 2nd floor: games room, clothing, accessories, and import store, 100 Yen shop.
Jusco, north [TCE-10]
This particular Jusco is newer and much bigger. There isn't all that much there considering the size of it. However, there are quite a few good restaurants in the vicinity, as well as a home center and sports shop. Not bad for a rainy day's entertainment. Do yourself a favor though and give the Italian restaurant there a big miss. Don't pay ¥1500 for reheated pasta in a canned sauce - absolutely pitiful!
Located in the Tottori-eki station. The name means "No brand quality goods". This place has the pick of bachelor food. Many instant food kits for spaghetti sauces, curries and chili can all be found. It also has a variety of clothes, stationery, house ware and furniture.
This grocery store can be found in many locations: Koyama, Kumoyama and Tsunoi to name a few. Their main store is in the city and is like a small department store. The first floor has a supermarket, specialty stores, and a food court. The second floor has clothes, appliances, electronics, and home goods.
Gulli Bar [TCE-12]
Gulli Bar's Mama [TCE-11]
Gulli Bar's Mama was torn down in 2006. Rumor has it that Gulli Bar is gone too. Can anyone confirm? If so, please edit the Wiki with corrected info.
Gulli Bar is in Koyama and Gullibar's Mama is south of Tottori station. The one in Koyama has a huge liquor store with perhaps the best selection in Tottori. There is even a drive-thru for the liquor store! Both stock certain foreign foods and hard to find items. You'll find food here that you won't find in any of the other supermarkets.
Located pretty much everywhere these days, this supermarket has a wide selection and is open late.
One is located on Rte. 29 on the way to Tsunoi, another one near the sand dunes before you hit Rte. 9. (The jumbo tonkatsu is good value at only ¥150.)
Different from the S-Marts in Tottori City, which are also good places, near the Tottori Daigaku-Mae Station.
A discount food/liquor store that can be found in several locations. The big store in Koyama next to Tomato & Onion has a wide selection of alcohol and foreign foods. There are other stores in Yayoi-cho and on Sangyo-doro heading out toward Kokufu that mainly carry alcohol.
This shop is usually located right next to a TOSC. There is also one in Koyama next to Tonkatsu Maneki, and one near Tottori Kogyo next to a regular Maneki. Average prices and a decent selection.
Deodeo, south [TCE-13]
Deodeo, north [TCE-14]
Another giant electronics store with the obligatory huge selection. Take a look at the superstore on Rte. 53 - about a five-minute drive past JUSCO very close to Fuji Shoten. One of the salesmen at Deodeo in Koyama (north) speaks English very well. If you check out the competition first, he's been known to match the lowest price. Steve at DNA can tell you the guy's name (I can't remember it now, sorry [Kristen]).
Located just out of the city on the way to Fuse Sports Stadium, in a strip mall next to Cainz Home Center. This place has a huge selection and perhaps the cheapest prices in Tottori so before buying somewhere else you should check the prices here.
Yamada Denki [TCE-15]
One of the cheapest electrical stores in Tottori. It has a lot of computer products, software and hardware, and often has sales where people line up for hours to have a chance to get a bargain. Cheap (but possibly not the best quality) products are sold here. Located 5-minutes from Tottori on the way to Fuse sports park, just over the Sendai River and before Cainz Homes.
There are also several used electronic stores around the city. Used items in Japan are usually in good condition (looks like new) and are heavily discounted. You might want to stick your head into a few of these places to check prices.
There are many good sporting goods shops around the city and in Koyama. Sports Depot beside the Koyama Jusco is the best. Hashio is right behind the station, Himaraya in Koyama is maybe the best for winter sports. Some other good shops include Taketa, Osaka, and Heart Sporting Goods.
Heart Sporting Goods is more or less kitty corner from Oz Videos, near Viva Shiva. Yazu works there and his family owns it. Yazu's English is excellent as he went to university in the U.S. and he'll always take extra time to help out JETs. If you need advice on what to get or have questions about the local sports scene, this is the place to go.
Cycling is a really good mode of transport for getting around the city, and can often be just as fast as a car. Bicycles are so abundant in Tottori-ken that they probably outnumber people. The cheapest option if you want to buy one is probably from a DIY (hardware) store, about. There are also many specialist cycle stores in the city it`s just a matter of locating them but these might be a bit more expensive. Below are some recommended stores:
Fukuhama Cycle Shop
This place is fantastic. They are really friendly and always more than helpful. A good place if you want good quality accessories and a better bike than you can get at the DIY stores. They sell mountain and road bikes. The shop is located just off the roundabout at the top of the road with Daimaru and the Premier internet place on it.
Honjo Cycle Works
Although he used to be Tottori's best source for a great handmade road or mountain bike, Honjo no longer makes bikes for general sales. He has broken into the keirin racing bike market, and now only makes professional bikes by special order (one of his bikes even made it to the Beijing Olympics!). As a result he has closed his storefront, although his workshop is still in the same location, down the street west of Wakasa-kaido, opposite Marafuku Coffee shop. The shop is under a yellow awning. Although he always keeps the security doors closed, you can pop your head inside and say hello. He loves visits from the local JETs, as he and his son used to spend a lot of time with the gaijin community. Also, if you have $30,000 to spend, he can make you a pretty mean custom bike.
There are many souvenir shops in Tottori, you just have to get out and explore!
A definite must if you in Koyama. One of the most beautiful gift stores in Tottori. It is full of Japanese pottery, clothes, accessories and imported goods. Located in Koyama, tucked away in Day Land Plaza across from Tottori Daigakumae Station on Koyama Kaido, close to Tsutaya.
A stationery shop that sells world famous handcrafted pens. They are made by a master craftsman who patiently carves your personalized pen from wood or water buffalo to form the perfect writing instrument for your hand. They are a must see. There is an English explanation in the front window of the store. Pens start at about ¥40,000 and take around 5 months. Located on Wakasa-kaido just a quick walk from the station at the first major intersection.
A great place to buy Tottori-made omiyage right in the station.
Tottori Gift Center
Located on Sangyo-dori on the way to Autobacs and also on Wakasa-kaido on the corner of Suehiro-dori. There is a great selection of gift sets, as well as vases, tea sets, and lacquer ware.
In addition, if you leave the station and go up Wakasa-kaido about 3/4 of the way to kencho and turn left, you'll see another covered shopping area that sells many antiques. You can get handcrafted furniture or kimono made here.
A famous stationery store on Wakasa-kaido. Its 2-stories and has almost everything you need. Some things are on the expensive side but the selection is second to none. Look at the Japanese paper on the 2nd floor, which can make a good gift for people at home.
A two-story store located in the covered arcade. They have cute stickers, stationery, pens, makeup, accessories, toys and so on. There is another Mammy House in Koyama.
In Tottori there are three main convenience stores: Lawson, Family Mart and ポプラ (Poplar). All three have dozens of locations throughout the city. Lawson accepts credits cards and is probably the more well known of three. Family Mart is usually the cleanest with newer buildings. Lawson's and Family Mart's signs are in English (romanji), whereas Poplar's sign is in katakana: ポプラ.
Open 24 hours, you can pick up bargain price meals such as sandwiches (some with wasabi), salads, fried chicken, pluto-pups, French fries, microwave burgers and reheatable "fresh" pasta.
You're also able to pay most of your bills at convenience stores. Just take a look at the back of your bill to see which ones will process your payment.
Some Lawson locations have ATMs. There's usually a sign (often next to the 酒 sign) out from that says "ATM" if they have one. Despite the fact that Lawson is open 24 hours, the ATM will have hours of operation that reflect your banking institution. The machine will tell you how much you'll be charged, but in my experience (with San-in Godo) it's the same as using their ATM.
The Lawson just behind the train station has an ATM that supports most bank cards.
The train station has ATM's for all the major local banks.
INTERNATIONAL ATM cards are accepted at the Central Post Office near Tottori Station, as well as at the Koyama Post Office down the road from the Tottori University Campus. These ATM's have an English option and accept cards from Canada, America, Europe and Australia. Note that they are not 24 hour ATMs, but have restricted opening hours, with the Central Post Office having the longest opening hours.
Karaoke is one of the most popular pastimes in Japan, especially in Tottori where there isn't much else to do. There are literally millions of fine karaoke establishments in Tottori and many of them have a wide range of English songs. Most karaoke boxes run about ¥2000 an hour at night, and about half that during the day. There are many cheap places around the city, especially in Koyama near the University. Here are a couple of places frequently visited by the locals:
Small private rooms with tons of vending machines in the middle. Located south of Tottori station next to Book Off.
Turn right off Sangyo-doro at Fade-In, then left at the tire store. Heartland is the bright pink building on the right corner.
KSA 105 (karaoke trailers)
Compared to the plush rooms of the newer karaoke boxes these trailers look a little less inviting. There is also no food or drink service. BUT, it has 4 karaoke systems built into one room! With one remote control, you can use any one of the 4 systems - so you end up with pages and pages of English songs. If you want to practice Japanese songs, use the system with the most furigana. It's only ¥1000 an hour before 6 pm, but after 6 pm you're looking at ¥2000 an hour- however they do give out ¥300 coupons. Located across the street from Hokkaido Sushi in Koyama.
Located behind the station near Jusco. It is on the fourth floor of a pachinko/gambling complex. This place has rooms of all sizes and probably the most English songs of any karaoke place in town. In some rooms you can make your own CD of your karaoke session. You can order food through the karaoke system as well.
There are now three locations. One above the Lawson in the drinking district (known for it's cheap and lush pizza), another near the small river in the drinking district (in the same building as Odeon), and a third towards Kumoyama (continue on the same road past Fade-In Cinema, go over the bridge and it's across the street from a TOSC above Lawson.)
Just opened last year, Shidax has a great atmosphere, lots of rooms, and good food too. Located on the main road in Koyama not far from the big Shanghai.
The Rongo Rongo owners are also responsible for Soundbird. It's on Rte. 53 next to Sunday's Sun in a plaza with a Lawson. Located between kencho and Star Bowl.
Films in Japan are expensive, usually costing ¥1800. The first day of every month, and the last showing every night (sometime around 9pm) is usually only ¥1000. And, you can often find discount coupons on the flyer desks at CD and Rental shops.
Fade-in Cinema, East and West
Located on Sangyo-doro, behind the station, across from the batting center. There is usually a foreign film in one theatre, and a Japanese film in the other. Definitely the better of the two theatres. Ph: (0857) 22-4389.
Tottori Toei Cinema
Near Kato Kamiten on Wakasa-kaido. The theatres are on the third and fourth floor. These theatres are tiny and don't get very dark. Ph: (0857) 27-1571
On Rte. 53 near the big Fuji Shoten. Along with Sega World, it's one of the two biggest game centres in Tottori.
Sega World (in Koyama)
Recently the games here have been lacking, but nevertheless, are always changing.
co ordinates 35.511841,134.210534
Another big game center on Sangyo-doro near Oz's video.
The big Aeon Mall (new one on route 41 near route 9) has a reasonable sized arcade in it. The location of this arcade is adjacent to Uniclo on the 2nd Floor. Co-ordinates as follows 35.524674,134.201377
There are also a few small game centres on Wakasa-kaido near the station (Santa Fe & KSA). There are also games at bowling alleys and batting centres.
The 3rd Planet
This is a big Arcade with a many UFO catchers and up and coming games. Medal games also. It is in the Trinity Mall area near the big Aeon. The gaming arcade is along side Toys'R'Us and second hand shops just off of Route 9. Accross the road from the big UFO pachinko parlour and batting center.
The hospitals are a good place to start but you are not guaranteed that they will speak good English. The hospitals will see you outside of normal hours if it is an emergency. When you go remember to bring your insurance book.
Below is a list of some female doctors in Tottori and around.
Shiritsu Byoin (Municipal Hospital) 0857-37-1522 One of the gynecologists is a female.
Kikukawa-Iin 0858-87-3201, in Mochigase
Another highly recommended Doctor (male), has a clinic in Hamamura. Ikura sensei. Hamamura shinryojo, just off Hamamura high St. The clinic is open from 1.30 - 6ish. Appointments are not normally necessary. Very good English, good on confidentiality too.
Near to the roundabout, next to the sports store, there is the Hagari Dematology Clinic. The Doctor here (male) speaks English. Call or visit to make an appointment- (0857) 36-9500
Ueta Dentistry [TCE-44]
Near Tottori Central Hospital on Rte. 29, past Rte. 9, there is a dentist who can speak English. His wife, Seiko, went to college in the USA and can speak very good English. When calling for an appointment, ask for Seiko by name. Appointments are required and Seiko’s telephone English is very good. Ph: (0857) 29-8484
Located behind Daimaru, you'll find competitive prices, a huge array of styles, and friendly service (some English spoken). The eye test is in romaji or numbers and the opticians calculate very accurate prescriptions. The service is prompt. They can give you an eye-test and make your glasses in one afternoon.
Matsunami-cho, Tottori (holiday: Mondays), an aluminum sided building tacked onto a house right beside Hokka-Hokka Bento on Rte. 53. ¥3500 for 50 minutes to straighten out all your bones, joints, and muscles. Ph: (0857) 29-1392.
Getting your hair cut can be very expensive in Japan. Prices usually run from ¥1500 to ¥4000 for a cut. Some places will even give you a little massage after they wash your hair. Some places are listed below but ask local JETs for their recommendations too.
Another popular salon amongst JETs. It's located in the covered walk near Mamy House on the right from the station. Cut costs around ¥3000, ¥3500 with shampoo treatment. Ph: (0857) 22-1250.
Hair Studio Yell
Machines that wash and condition your hair is a must-do experience for the automated Japan. Stylists do not speak English. Haircuts for around ¥2300, perms ¥6000, color ¥9000. Located next-door to Kaigura-san onsen, a five-minute walk out of Hamamura Station. The only screaming yellow building in town. Ph: (0857) 82-1826.
Located in TALK616 on Wakasa-kaido. The owner of the shop, Taku, is a friend of a few of the gaijin set and he offers a discount, usually ¥3000. He's a really nice guy who is seen drinking out a fair bit at a few of the local haunts. It's good to have some idea of what you want before you go in, as his English is limited. The limitless fashion magazines on the counters provide for ample topics of conversation throughout the cut.
Located on Suehiro-dori As you go towards TOSC. This funky hair studio has several hairdressers who specialize in coloring and perming. Several have worked in hair shows and are familiar with foreign hair. They also have an herb tea bar where tea is brewed and served with cookies while you wait.
Ph: (0857) 26-6399.
Located on Wakasa-kaido, past Suehiro-dori on the right side walking away from the station. This place has been popular with JETs and with students. Average cut costs about ¥3500. Ph: (0857) 27-5119
Oz's Video has expanded and been renovated so that the video rental area is the smaller portion. The bigger part is Dorothy's, an internet cafe and entertainment center. You can choose between TV rooms, computers set up primarily for games or watching stuff, computers for business, etc. You can also bring your own laptop and hook up. There are free drinks, and hundreds if not thousands of anime DVDs available for your viewing pleasure.
Located above the Lawson on the south side of Tottori Station. There is a join-up fee, after that it's ¥20,000 for the whole year. You can opt for their dial-up service, or you can go to the office and use their computers for no extra charge. Otherwise you can just go in and use their computers for ¥500 an hour. (N.B these prices may have changed) Ph: (0120) 27-4608.
Cheap and ohh so private. It's a bright yellow building on Koyama Kaido (Road #318) directly across from the Koyama 100 Yen store. There are private rooms where you can use the internet, watch movies or play video games. It's open 24 hours and internet usage is 450 Yen an hour. You need your residents card to register.
Gyms and Sports
For various sporting events or teams, it is best to ask the renewing JETs in your area or at your school. Your PE teachers at school will be more than happy to assist you, especially if you are interested in learning a martial art or something cultural. You could even just take the time to hang out at bukastu (club activity) after school. Your board of education might be able to assist and direct you.
Fuse Sports Complex (Renamed the Coca-Cola Sports Complex as of 2007/2008) [TCE-44]
This beautiful, multi-million dollar complex is located right outside the main part of Tottori City, on the highway Kokutai-Doro (the road in front of the station). It's about a 20-minute bike ride from the station over the Sendai River towards Koyama. There is a baseball stadium, track, soccer fields, tennis courts, outdoor walking trails, gyms... There are also cross-country running courses measured to different lengths. The weight room is probably the best in the city, and at only ¥200 (plus ¥100 for a shower) a visit is quite a bargain. It has machines, free weights with a bench, bikes and treadmills. Note that there are no elliptical machines or staimasters. The weight machines are a bit old (using bike chains instead of cables), and have weights measured in kg, so if you know how much you can lift in lbs, you may want to work up a sheet with conversions before you go. A lot of high-tech equipment is available to measure all your fitness levels including fat percentage. Various classes are offered including aerobics, sumo, ladies soccer, tai chi, jogging, archery, wrestling, etc. The gym is open until 10:00 pm every night but is closed on Tuesdays. If you enjoy tennis you can also book indoor and outdoor courts. For the indoor courts you have to bring your own lines.
World Wing Mecca of Training
Located east of Tottori station in Minami Yoshikata-cho. This gym is primarily for weight lifting but it's not a testosterone fest and it's mostly machines. Open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm. Membership is about ¥10,000 a month and you'll also have to pay a registration fee when you first sign up. (Un)fortunately, you can't just show up and do whatever you want. They first assess your fitness and then put you on a generic programme that you have to follow (initially) regardless of your strength and prior training. Ph: (0857) 22-2200.
Tottori City Gym
Located on the 4th floor in the Tottori Shakai Hokken Center behind the station. They have yoga, tai chi, karate, and aerobics but you have to sign up for these classes in 6-month blocks either in April or October. The cost for aerobics is about ¥18,000 for one 6-month period. The gym has no membership fee, but you do pay ¥620 per visit and you must also buy insurance for the 6-month period. You can buy a book of 11 tickets for ¥6,200. The gym is primarily for health and rehabilitation. They assess your fitness and put you on a plan accordingly. The gym portion of this center is only open 3 or 4 times a week. Call for the days. Ph: (0857) 22-2151.
Paja Fitness Club
Located next to the Shakai Hokken Center in the newly built shiakusho. It's a brand new club and is open 9:30 – 10pm daily expect for Tuesdays. The gym doesn't have a lot of heavy free weights such as a bar and bench but there are lots of dumbbells and machines. The cardio section is pretty good. They have several treadmills, upright bikes, seated bikes (with TVs), and ellipticals. There’s also a 25 meter pool and a dance studio. Both the pool and studio offer lessons such as beginner swim to power swim to aquafit and yoga, aerobics, dance, and body conditioning in the studio. The lessons are free with your membership. This gym also has an ofuro and sauna. Monthly membership is about ¥8,000 and the start up membership fee is about ¥10,000. Ph: (0857) 21-3861
Fitness Gym Run
A small gym focused on running training. It's located across the street from deo deo by Gulliver's mama. Ph: (0857) 26-9585.
This beautiful pool has warm water all year round. The sauna and coconut tree can do wonders for the psyche on cold rainy Tottori days. Located in Fukube near the sand dunes so you need a car to get there, or you can jump on the tourist trolley bus! Price: ¥600, lockers are ¥100 and swimming caps are required. Closed Thursdays.
Tottori Prefectural Pool [TCC-6]
One block south of Jusco. Closed on Wednesdays and the third Thursday of every month. Hours: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Ph: (0857) 27-6882. The AKA Sangyo pool costs ¥400 in the summer and ¥730 in the winter.
The Prefectural Library [TCC-7]
Not everybody knows but it is a real goldmine. An extensive selection of foreign language books. Not only English, but French and German books also. Along with the Japan Times, magazines like Time, Newsweek, National Geographic as well as others. Lots of books to learn Japanese (not all on the 2nd floor), a magazine called the Nihongo Journal is excellent. Magazines can be loaned out by the way. There is also a huge selection of films on laser disc, which can be watched at the library. The Prefectural library is at the end of Wakasa-kaido near Kencho.
International Center (Zaidan)
The Tottori International Center is located at the airport in Tottori-shi. It has a number of foreign language study books and travel guides that can be borrowed for free.
That concrete building stained with black streaks, left unlit inside at the end of main street Tottori (wakasa dori) is the "kencho." What can you do here? Why not stop by to hang out with the CIRs on the first floor? I'm sure any of us would be more than happy to lend an ear for any ideas for radical international events or help you out with some Japanese translation. Mayumi is in the building across the parking lot from Kencho proper. She's at the BOE and many of you might be making visits there for ALT-job related meetings or consultation.
Not sure how to get where you want to go? This website can be a good starting point. Hyper Media Travel. Just plug in your starting and ending locations and it will automatically plot several different routes to choose from.
Note: The night bus is cheaper in almost all cases. (But not as compfy!)
Owning a Car
If you buy a used car, you must transfer that car's shakenshyo under your name. To do that, first obtain a juminkyo from the city office - located between the big parking lot and the Red Cross hospital on Wakasa road, not far from the library, Kenchou and city Board of Education.
If you are transferring a k-car, bring your juminkyo, hanko and the hanko of the previous owner to the k-car office - located in Koyama, near the Gullibars store...precise directions pending.
Tokio Marine Nichido
Very friendly young insurance man who does many Tottori shi JET's insurance. Speaks some English, and his wife speaks English. Highly recommended.
An international license is only adequate for the first year in Japan - after that you MUST get a Japanese license or risk deportation. Why can someone drive for a year without one and then suddenly have to go through enormous hassle? Why ask why...
See Getting a Japanese Driver's License for more details on getting a Japanese license.