Yazu (八頭町 Yazu-cho?) is a small town located in the Eastern part of Tottori Prefecture with a population of about 19,000 people. It is located south of Tottori, situated in the Yazu valley. It is bordered on the southeast by Wakasa, and over the mountains to the south/southwest by Chizu. Hyogo Prefecture is a short ways to the east.

A conglomeration of three towns (as of 2005)--Koge(郡家), Funaoka (船岡), and Hatto (八東), the town is home to three middle schools and eight elementary schools, as well as Yazu Senior High School (or at least, these are the schools which are served by ALTs).

The name Yazu (八頭, literally "Eight Heads") apparently comes from an old legend about the area concerning an eight-headed dragon.


Getting in[]

To/from the airport[]

By train[]

As of 2009, the two Yazu ALTs are placed near Koge station and Inabafunaoka station.

Koge is a fairly central stop, a relatively short ride from Tottori city (~30 minutes).

Inabafunaoka is a slightly more involved trip, as travelers must either transfer at Koge onto the Wakasa line or board a train bound for Wakasa from Tottori (typically a single car with colorful characters painted on the side). The schedule is less frequent and travel time is longer.

By bus[]

By car[]

The easiest way to get to Yazu from Tottori city is to travel on rt. 29 ("ni-zyuu kyuu" to locals). The route runs almost parallel to the train line and travels through Koge and Hatto on its way to Wakasa. Funaoka is a short detour off of the same.

Getting around[]

By far the easiest way to get around in Yazu is by car, as the town is a conglomeration of three smaller towns and relatively spread out in the Yazu valley. Within a particular town a bike or even walking is probably sufficient to get essential groceries, use an ATM, etc, but for any major shopping one will want a car to make travel into Tottori City as quick and convenient as possible.

Train travel is also a feasible means of transport, but train service is relatively infrequent, especially on the Wakasa line.


JET placements[]

Yazu has two middle-school JETs, and both live within the town--one in Koge, and one in Funaoka. Currently the JET working in Koge spends M-T-W at Chuo, Koge's middle school, and Th-F rotating between five elementary schools (all five are visited in a given week, so these are busy days). The Funaoka JET spends M-T at Funaoka middle school, W-Th at Hatto middle school, and F visiting three elementaries (again, a full day).

Yazu is a fairly rural town on the whole, though with Tottori city a short drive away one is never too far from civilization (or other JETs).

Incoming/Outgoing JETs[]

In 2009, only one of the middle-school ALTs (Funaoka) will be leaving.

Foreign community[]

To the knowledge of this JET, there are no expats living in Yazu outside of the two ALTs. Easiest access to foreigners can be had in Tottori city, typically in the form of other JETs.


Places to visit[]

Yazu claims a bamboo park which is apparently driveable (this JET has not yet explored it).

Mt. Tenma, in Funaoka, is a fairly short walk from the residence of the Funaoka ALT and, after a brief hike (or drive), one can enjoy a view of the larger Yazu valley as well as observe the cherry blossoms in the spring.



Grocery shopping is fairly convenient to both town ALTs; a short walk in Funaoka, and a short bike ride in Koge.


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Department stores[]

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Home & Garden stores[]

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Book shops[]

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Fast food[]

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Japanese food[]

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Foreign food[]

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Post offices[]

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Medical facilities[]

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Hair dressers[]

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Sports facilities[]

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Travel agents[]

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External links[]