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Tokyofoodcast’s San’in Trip Series

Every now and then I look back on our San’in Grand Tour from last year and fondly remember some special moments. A local old lady who broke into tears as she talked about her childhood at the century old public bath in Yunotsu Onsen comes to mind often and makes me wonder how she is doing. The look on the face of the owner of Gyosantei, a famed crab restaurant, when he found out we came all the way to Sakai-Minato from Tokyo because of Chiyomusubi Shuzo, not for his crab or for Kitaro, still makes me chuckle. Or, I continue to admire the young sushi chef at Iroha Sushi, son of the owner, for his craftsmanship and approach to his work. I witnessed in astonishment as he turned away people at lunch and closed the restaurant since he used up all of his rice by 1 pm and that was all he would prepare that day.

When I saw an article in a newspaper saying San’in is the least visited region by foreign visitors a couple of weeks ago, I had to wonder why. The region is so rich in history and culture that no other region can offer. The sake and local food are great at every single city we stopped in. People were just so genuine. So, I concluded the reason tourists do not traipse over to the San’in side of the Chugoku region is simply that there’s just not enough information available and some areas are almost inaccessible by public transportation. While I cannot improve access to the area, I thought sharing our experiences there with more people may be a way I can contribute to the region.

In the next couple weeks, I’m going to post about Tokyofoodcast’s trip to the land of deities and myth, crab-topia, the place that produced Japan’s early modern political class, then we ended up on the sunny side of he mountains. I really hope to convey the essence of Sanin through our personal experience there.

We spent a total of nine days there, but that included time enough to visit six sake breweries whose brews we liked. Most of the kura we visited were open on a limited basis and required appointments in advance. In our case, I contacted the breweries whose sake we had enjoyed and had met before.

We visited three world heritage sites in the region and two of the Three Views of Japan. So, that alone gives you some idea how much there is to see in the area, right? The trip started from northern Kyoto, Ama-no-hashidate, then we traveled along the Sanin coast really digging deep into pre-historic time, then all the way up to the Edo period in Tottori and Shimane, finally coming back to the modern era, Meiji, in Hagi. We finished our trip in Hiroshima.

Other than the flights from and to Tokyo, we took turns driving around the area. Road conditions are quite good in all areas there. While traveling through the coastal cities on small trains looked very attractive, we thought that would limit us in some capacity, especially getting to places like the newest addition to the World Heritage sites, Iwami Ginzan. So, we decided to rent a small car. I would love to go back and revisit these places by train!

Total number of days we traveled: 9 days
Transportation: car
Transportation from Tokyo: air
Time of the year: Started March 21th ended March 29th
Tokyofoodcast’s trail in Sanin:

View San’in trip in 2008 in a larger map

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  1. [...] my post from last week, Tokyofoodcast’s San’in Trip Series, I mentioned starting a new series. The series is focused on area we loved exploring and what made [...]

  2. [...] visit Tokyofoodcast’s San’in Trip Series for maps of the places in the [...]

  3. [...] Naitoh Saketen is well on the other side of the tracks from us, but I make a point of stopping by now and then. They have an extensive selection of shochu, fine spirits, and some specialty food items in what seems to be an ordinary storefront that has been hidden by highway construction for what seems like years. But, step inside and they are just great. One thing I especially like is that they always seem to stock at least one bottle from Gangi from Yaoshin Shuzo in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi. Last time it was a very refined sparkling, but this time it was autumn, so hiya oroshi was in the cooler at a very reasonable ¥1,340 for a 720 ml bottle. I thought this fit perfectly with Et-chan’s ongoing Sanin Tour Series. [...]

  4. [...] and Day Four-Izumo-Land of Myth and Faith. For locations of the sites in the post, please visit Tokyofoodcast’s San’in Trip Series [...]

  5. [...] Out and Monsters Too. For locations of the restaurants and breweries in the post, please visit Tokyofoodcast’s San’in Trip Series [...]

  6. [...] took me quite some time to write up only half of our trip in San-in and I am not even done yet! But, I thought it is about time to sum up the portion where the Sake [...]

  7. [...] Out and Monsters Too. For locations of the restaurants and breweries in the post, please visit Tokyofoodcast’s San’in Trip Series [...]

  8. [...] Day Two–Follow the crab. For locations of the restaurants and breweries in the post, please visit Tokyofoodcast’s San’in Trip Series [...]

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