- 1 Miho-Yonago Airport (YGJ IATA, also known as Yonago-Kitarō Airport, after the manga character created by the late Shigeru Mizuki) (straddles the boundary between the cities of Yonago and Sakai-minato on the Yumigahama Peninsula, about 15 km from central Yonago). It is served by flights from Tokyo Haneda, Seoul Incheon and Hong Kong.
Buses run to Yonago Station at a cost of ¥590. There are two types of bus; limited-stop Connecting Buses connect to individual flights (buses from the airport will wait for delayed flights) and take 25 minutes, while Local Buses are slightly more common and take 35 minutes.
The airport is also served by Yonago Airport Station on the JR Sakai Line, which will take you to Yonago in about 30 minutes at a cost of ¥240. The station is little more than a platform, waiting room and ticket machine; it is in fact the only unstaffed station in Japan to serve an airport. As there is only one platform, you should check that the train is going in the right direction. Those who want to use a Japan Rail Pass or a JR West Pass must exchange their voucher at either Yonago or Sakai-minato station.
Izumo Airport (IZO IATA) is 50km away, at the other end of Lake Shinji, but is also useful, being served by flights to Haneda, Osaka-Itami, Nagoya-Komaki, Fukuoka, and Oki. By car, it is about 45 minutes along the San'in Expressway; by public transport it is 30 minutes and ¥1030 on the bus to JR Matsue Station, and then 40 minutes and ¥500 by local train (25 minutes and ¥1970 by Limited Express) to Yonago.
Yonago Station is one of the most important stations on the San'in Main Line; the main rail access to the rest of the country, however, is via the coast-to-coast Hakubi Line, which follows the Takahashi and Hino Rivers through the mountains of Chūgoku.
Taking the Shinkansen to Okayama, times and prices to Yonago are as follows:
- Tokyo (using Nozomi): 6 hr and ¥20,160
- Tokyo (avoiding Nozomi): 6 hr 20 min and ¥19,640
- a transfer may be required somewhere along the Shinkansen line.
- Shin-Osaka: 3 hr 10 min and ¥10,260
- Hiroshima (using Nozomi): 3 hr and ¥9930 (slightly longer and cheaper if avoiding Nozomi)
- Hakata (using Nozomi): 4 hr and ¥15,970
- Hakata (avoiding Nozomi): 4 hr 30 min and ¥15,660
Yonago is served by the Sunrise Izumo overnight train from Tokyo, which takes 9 hours. Japan Rail Pass holders can travel in the carpet spaces for free, but must pay the limited express surcharge and accommodation charge if they travel in a bunk bed or private room.
Yonago is also served by the Super Matsukaze and Super Oki Limited Expresses, which connect various cities along the San'in Main Line. Heading east, they serve Kurayoshi and Tottori, reaching the latter in about an hour at ¥3560; in the other direction, they serve Matsue, Izumo, Ōda, Gōtsu, Hamada, and Masuda, reaching the latter in 2 hr 40 min and ¥6230. Super Oki trains continue beyond Masuda to Tsuwano, Yamaguchi, and Shin-Yamaguchi, reaching the last of these in 4 hr 15 min and ¥8180. (This is two thirds of the price of going through Okayama and using the Shinkansen, and takes only about 45 minutes longer, but there are only three of these trains a day.)
For cheaper travel on the San'in Main Line, there is the Rapid Tottori Liner which reaches Tottori in 1 hr 40 min at ¥1660, and the Aqua Liner which reaches Masuda in 4 hours at ¥3350. Local trains are sufficient for travel to Matsue (40 min, ¥500) and Izumoshi (1 hr 30 min, ¥1140).
As a cheaper alternative to the Japan Rail Pass, JR West sells two regional rail passes covering Yonago, which are available to Temporary Visitors with foreign passports:
- The San'in-Okayama Pass covers services to Okayama, a large stretch of the San'in Main Line (from Hamasaka to Hagi), and a few rural lines in the mountains. It can be used on local and rapid trains and the non-reserved seats of Limited Express trains. It lasts 4 days and costs ¥4500 (¥5000 if bought in Japan).
- The San'yō-San'in Pass covers a vast area, stretching from Kansai's Urban Network to Takamatsu, Miyajima (via the JR ferry), and Hakata, and taking in the entire San'yō Shinkansen. It is valid on local and rapid trains and both reserved and non-reserved seats of Limited Express and Shinkansen trains (including Nozomi and Mizuho trains). It lasts 7 days and costs ¥19,000 (¥20,000 if bought in Japan).
Yonago Station is served by a large number of highway buses:
- Nihon Kōtsū, Hinomaru Bus and Keikyū Bus run the Camel (Yonago Line) overnight bus from Hamamatsuchō and Shinagawa Bus Terminals in Tokyo; the latter is a 7-minute walk from either Shinagawa station Takanawa exit or Sengakuji subway station, along the Daiichi Keihin road. This bus takes 10 hr 20 min and costs ¥11,500. Confusingly, the night bus to Tottori and Kurayoshi is also called the Camel, so check the destination.
- Yonago is also served by an overnight Willer Express Bus from Shinjuku.
- Chūgoku JR Bus runs the Izumo-Matsue-Yonago-Dream-Nagoya-Gō service from Nagoya station Shinkansen exit and Iwatsuka subway station. This bus takes 8 hr 20 min and costs ¥8350 (¥15,100 return, valid for 10 days). Yonago Station is the first stop in the morning, at 05:50.
- There are no fewer than four routes to Kansai, mostly run by Nihon Kōtsū:
- Four buses a day from Kyoto station Karasuma exit, Meishin-Ōyamazaki and Meishin-Takatsuki, taking 4 hr 25 min and costing ¥5120 (¥9220 return, valid for 10 days). Operated by Nihon Kōtsū, West JR Bus and Keihan Bus.
- 12 buses a day from Osaka Namba (OCAT) and Bentenchō, taking 4 hr 15 min and costing ¥4800.
- Five buses a day from Osaka Umeda (Hankyū Sanbangai Bus Terminal) and Senri-Momoyamadai, taking 3 hr 40 min and costing ¥4800.
- Five buses a day from Kobe (Sannomiya Bus Terminal), taking 3 hr 25 min and costing ¥4600.
- An overnight bus from Namba and Sannomiya, taking 6 hours and costing the same as the day buses. Be warned that all arrival times are before 05:30!
- The Momotarō Express runs nine times a day from Okayama, taking 2 hr 30 min and costing ¥3100 (¥5700 return, valid for 7 days). Operated by Ryōbi Bus, Chūtetsu Bus, Chūgoku JR Bus, Hinomaru Bus and Ichibata Bus.
- The Merry Bird (Yonago Line) runs seven times a day from Hiroshima station Shinkansen exit, Hiroshima Bus Center, and Ōzuka station, taking 3 hr 30 min and costing ¥3900 (¥7000 return, valid for 7 days). Operated by Nihon Kōtsū, Hinomaru Bus, and Hiroden Bus. Not to be confused with the Merry Bird (Tottori Line), which is much less frequent.
- The Ōkuninushi runs four times a day to Tottori (taking 2 hours and ¥1500) and Matsue (taking 35 minutes and ¥800). Operated by Ichibata Bus and Hinomaru Bus.
- The Daisen runs overnight to Kitakyūshū and Fukuoka (Hakata and Tenjin), taking 8 hr 30 min and costing ¥8200 (¥14,700 return, valid for 10 days). Operated by Nihon Kōtsū and Hinomaru Bus.
- Kaike Beach (20 minutes by bus from stop 3 of Yonago Station (¥290)).
- 1 Kanda Shrine (勝田神社), 2-10 Bakurōmachi (15-minute walk from Yonago Station, or 2 minutes from Bakurōmachi Station on the JR Sakai Line).
- 2 Minatoyama Park (湊山公園) (20-minute walk from Yonago Station).
- Sea of Japan.
- 3 Yonago Castle (米子城) (20-minute walk from Yonago Station).
- 4 Yonago Museum of Art (米子市美術館), 12 Nakamachi (15-minute walk from Yonago Station, next to the Library and across from the City Hall), ☏ . 10:00-18:00, closed Wednesdays. ¥320.
- 5 Fukadashi Garden (深田氏庭園).
Visit the wonderfully relaxing indoor and outdoor onsens (natural hot springs) at Kaike Beach. Don't be afraid to get naked!
Participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Find yourself a beautiful second-hand kimono and attend a kimono-wearing lesson.
Take a drive to nearby city Sakaiminato for some amazing views of the ocean and some deliciously fresh seafood.
Take the trek up to Mt. Daisen--do some hiking in the summer or some skiing in the winter.
Visit some shrines and temples.
- Daisen's soft cream (Go up to Daisen, and there is a dairy farm which sells the best soft served ice cream)
- Crab (Kaike)
- Curry (Spice Magic, Coco Ichiban Curry House)
- Fast Food (Suki-ya, Mos Burger, Lotteria)
- Junk Food (Lawson, Poplar, or Family Mart)
- Pizza and Pasta (Piato Bianco)
- Shabu Shabu
- Sushi (Sushi Benkei)
- Takoyaki (the main floor of Hopetown sells some delicious ones)
- Western food (DoDoDo, Gusto, Joyfull)
Asahimachi is Yonago's small but busy entertainment district. Sing your heart out at karaoke:
- GS Studio, Rent a room for you and your group.
- Jealousy, Asahimachi. Cozy karaoke bar with all-you-can-drink deals at ¥1000/2000 for women/men.
- Kaike Tsuruya, 2-5-1 Kaikeonsen (20 minutes by Kaike Line bus from Yonago St.), ☏ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. A traditional, Japanese-style hot-spring hotel. From the 9-floor East Building guests can enjoy some wonderful views of Daisen, while the 6-floor South building looks out on a serene and tranquil courtyard.