Tottori is a perfect match for those who are a fan of going somewhere more quiet and away from large crowds. If you are planning to make another trip to Japan, definitely visit here! This place is largely unheard of to foreign tourists but this secret is about to change. Tottori Prefecture is in western Honshu, Chugoku region. In fact, it has one of the smallest populations in Japan.
Tottori is home to more than just the beautiful sand dunes! If you are a fan of the manga and anime series ‘Detective Conan’ and/or ‘Gegege no Kitaro’ then this place will be your heaven! Let’s dig deeper into the many things to do and see here that revolve around the series!
Hokuei Town, Where You Can Meet Detective Conan
If you haven’t heard about the ‘Detective Conan’ or ‘Case closed’ series then you’re in for a treat! The manga series were released in 1994 and the anime in 1996. It follows a story about poison that turns a teen boy into a 7 year old child who goes by the name Conan. He uses his preserved detective skills to solve various crimes whilst looking for a cure to return to his former self.
Hokuei Town, also referred to as Conan Town, is located in Tottori Prefecture. Conan Town refers to the character in the ‘Detective Conan’ series. The author/manga artist, Gosho Aoyama was born in Hokuei. Being that this is his hometown, the town is called “Town Where You Can Meet Detective Conan”. The design of the town makes you feel as if the manga and anime came to life. Speak about a fangirl/fanboy’s dream come true, especially when everything Conan surrounds you. This includes buildings, designs, merchandise and statues!
For this reason, the town attracts tourists! After all, the series has become so popular worldwide. Check out Conan Station / Yura Station, Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory and Conan’s House Beika Shopping Street.
1. Conan Station/Yura Station
photo via finntofly
JR Yura Station also known as Conan Station has been decorated in order to match the theme of the series. The train station is filled with artwork, posters and stickers of Conan and the series characters. This ranges from stairs with Conan on it to trains with the outer design of Conan and other characters on it. Also at the station and tourist information counter, you can collect Conan stamps if that is something that interests you. They also sell Conan merchandise. Moreover, when you walk outside the station, you will spot a huge statue of Conan doing his signature pose. Imagine taking a photo right beside him!
From Conan station, take a scroll along Conan street which leads you to Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory. As you walk along the street, you will be able to spot statues of other characters from the series such as Conan’s classmates!
【Address】Yurashuku, Hokuei, Tōhaku District, Tottori 689-2221, Japan
【Access】A 1 hour train ride from JR Tottori Station or JR Yonago Station.
2. Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory
Photo via The wadas on duty
Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory is a popular museum for ‘Detective Conan’ lovers to explore. Even if you haven’t read and watched the series, it will surely impress you.
Here, you can check out how the manga was formed and see the original drafts! The museum displays a model of the famous work desk where the author Gosho Aoyama used as his workspace (detailed display) to create the well-known manga. Not to mention, this is the perfect chance to snap a picture whilst sitting on the chair. In addition, why not try out some Conan devices yourself like the booster scooter, bow tie voice changer, turbo engine skateboard and so forth. You can have a look at the catalog of Conan movie posters up to this day. They also have Conan tricks, statues of the characters and games which involve solving mysteries! To add to this exciting time, they have a souvenir shop next to the museum where you can go all out. Never a dull moment!
【Address】1414 Yurashuku, Hokuei, Tōhaku District, Tottori 689-2221, Japan
【Access】From JR Yura Station/Conan Station, it is 20 min on foot.
3. Conan’s House Beika Shopping Street
Conan’s House Beika Shopping Street makes a great place to shop for your favourite ‘Detective Conan’ souvenirs or merchandise to bring back home. The Beika Shopping Street has a few stores with the Conan theme. When you arrive at Conan’s House, don’t be afraid to press the doorbell! Someone will let you in if you press it. After shopping, visitors can satisfy their hunger with delicious food. Meanwhile, check out Poirot Coffee, Conan’s House Bakery and Conan Gelato. Not to mention, Poirot Coffee is named after the exact cafe that pops up in ‘Detective Conan’. Conan’s House Bakery certainly serves delicious coffee to sip and bread to eat. Give the Conan Gelato a try, produced with fruits grown locally. As well as, the Conan department store which sells fun souvenirs such as T-shirt designs of the series characters, body pillows of Conan and so forth. Truly a lovely shopping experience!
【Address】Yurashuku, Hokuei, Tōhaku District, Tottori 689-2221, Japan
【Access】From Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory, it is a approx. 10 min walk (JR Yura Station direction).
4. Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport and Yonago Kitaro Airport
Picture of Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport
Photo via Kyodo News
The two airports in Tottori have special names given to them based on the manga and anime series ‘Detective Conan’ or ‘Gegege no Kitaro’. From the moment you land, it is like an anime world! To clarify, the Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport in the city of Tottori, is named after ‘Detective Conan’. Whereas, the Yonago Kitaro Airport is named after ‘Gegege no Kitaro’ in the city of Sakaiminato.
Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport
Throughout the Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport, you will see that it is filled and decorated with everything Conan. There are several spots to take a picture. As you explore the airport, you will come across life-size statues of the series characters. From Conan banners, brochures, cardboard cutouts to a souvenir store. As well as, an observation deck memorial spot, featuring a heart-shaped memorial post where you can have your letter mailed out to someone. The letter features a Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport postmark stamp with Conan on it. How cool is that?!
Yonago Kitaro Airport
Throughout the Yonago Kitaro Airport, you will find areas where you can take pictures alongside the ‘Gegege no Kitaro’ characters. There are statues of the characters from the series displayed around the airport. Most importantly there is a large public stained glass artwork called ‘Forest of Yokai-monster’. It features the series characters which are Yokai (monsters). It is very colourful with 2600 antique glass parts. The original design of this artwork belongs to the author of ‘Gegege no Kitaro’ Shigeru Mizuki. Here, there is also a souvenir store to check out.
【Address】Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport: 4-110-5 Koyamachonishi, Tottori, 680-0947, Japan
Yonago Kitaro Airport: 1634 Sainokamicho, Sakaiminato, Tottori 684-0055, Japan
【Access】Both Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport and Yonago Kitaro Airport take about 1 hr and 15 min travel flight time from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.
【Map】Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport: Click here
Yonago Kitaro Airport: Click here
5. Mizuki Shigeru Road
Photo via San’in Tourism Organization
The Mizuki Shigeru Road is located in the hometown of the author of the series ‘Gegege no Kitaro’ in Sakaiminato city, Tottori prefecture. For that reason, this street is named after the author, Shigeru Mizuki. From Sakaiminato Station, the Mizuki Shigeru Road itself is about 800 meters long. The famous manga and anime series ‘Gegege no Kitaro’ is based on Japanese folklore yokai (monsters like demons) and spirits (or ghosts). For those who may not be familiar, the series surrounds the main character, Kitaro who is a yokai himself. It follows his journey alongside his friends, to get rid of all evil that exists, whilst using his supernatural abilities to defeat them.
Mizuki Shigeru Road/ street
The Mizuki Shigeru Road is made to match the theme of the series, such as the hair salon, Kitaro Tea House and more. The street has about 177 statues consisting of Yokai monsters. To add to the fun, you can enjoy shopping at some souvenir stores along the Mizuki Shigeru Road. Perfect chance to get yourself some ‘Gegege no Kitaro’ character merchandise to look back on this trip. If you are lucky, you might come across the actual characters from the series (dressed up in a costume) as they walk around the street.
The Yokai statues illuminate at night which makes it look almost real. If you enjoy a spooky vibe, they also have shadow designs of some Yokai which are projected on the floor as you walk down the side of the street at night. The eyeball street lights monument brightens up at night. The street lights look like eyeballs because it represents Kitaro’s dad, Medama Oyaji. In short, Kitaro’s father came back to life by putting his soul into an eyeball. Furthermore, you may even spot a few taxis with the eyeball placed right above it.
Mizuki Shigeru Museum
On Mizuki Shigeru Road, another place to check out is the Mizuki Shigeru Museum. Here, you can see cardboard cutouts and statues of Yokai and more. As well as, the author, Shigeru Mizuki (cardboard cutout) sitting on the chair at the model of his work desk area.
【Address】Mizuki Shigeru Road : Taishomachi, Sakaiminato, Tottori 684-0004, Japan
Mizuki Shigeru Museum : 5 Honmachi, Sakaiminato, Tottori 684-0025, Japan
【Access】Mizuki Shigeru Road : From Sakaiminato Station, the Mizuki Shigeru Road itself is about 800 meters long. Mizuki Shigeru Museum : From Sakaiminato Station, it is around a 10 min walk.
【Map】Mizuki Shigeru Road : Click here
Mizuki Shigeru Museum : Click here
Tottori is the perfect place for a manga and anime lover. It will almost feel like the series characters popped out into real life! I bet it will be impossible to hide your excitement once you see it for yourself. As shown above, there are so many places that revolve around the series! Even if you haven’t read and watched the series, these places will surely leave an everlasting memory.