If you are looking for a unique and non-touristy destination in Tottori, I have a rural day trip for you guys! Wakasa is a tiny mountain town with ancient roots located in Yazu District. There is a vintage train (Wakasa Tetsudou) running between Koge and Waksa Station (ask the conductor for a day ticket also called ‘free ticket’ for 760¥). You can experience a gorgeous natural landscape from steep mountains to rich rice fields! The train ride took me around 35min from Koge Station and I arrived at a very retro wooden station house with an old-fashioned waiting room. I felt like traveling back in time to the Japan 150 years ago! After having lunch at Yamaneya, I took a nice walk to the Wakasa Jinja. The Wakasa Jinja is a Shinto shrine approx. 8min from Wakasa Station. There was a steep stairway in the woods and the atmosphere reminded me of the Ghibli movie Spirited Away. I stayed there for a while, as the ambience was so peaceful and spiritual.
Back in town, I took a stroll around the charming and nostalgic streets with wooden architecture and old-fashioned shops. There is a Showa Toy Museum (Wakasa Folk Art Museum), which exhibits old daily necessities, nostalgic toys, sweets and snacks. I didn’t enter because I didn’t have the time, but I bookmarked it for the next time. There is a narrow side alley next to Shoeiji and Saihoji Temple, where you can take some really cool retro pictures! After the mini adventure, I had a coffee break at the Wakasa Café until the departure of the train.
My Day Trip Itinerary
12:47 Departure from Koge Station
One Way: 440¥
Day Ticket (‘Free Ticket’): 760¥
13:21 Arrival Wakasa Station
Lunch @ Yamaneya (3min from Station)
Walk to Ryutokuji Temple and Wakasa Shrine (8min by foot)
Walking back along ‘Hon Dori’ (Main Street)
Photo Stop of the retro streets (Street next to Shoeiji/Saihoji)
Coffee Break @ Wakasa Cafe Retro
approx. 16:00 Train back to Koge Station