In my last blog post I have introduced Conan museum in Tottori. Actually there’s one more themed manga town which is equally famous in Japan (although not so many foreigners know about it) – Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro.
Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro was written in the 1960s about “yokai” (Japanese folklore ghosts/spirits/monster?), not my era but the older generations will be very familiar with it, and actually it’s animation is still airing until today in Japan so we can say that it’s a timeless classic!
I have not read any of the series or watched any of the anime prior to this visit but I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it!! So much that I think this has to be a compulsory stop for everyone who visits Tottori, anime fan or not. It’s like the Tokyo Disney Resort of Tottori. Haha.
In fact I loved it so much that I promised myself to dedicate a whole blog post to it. Here it is!
Yokai Town in Tottori
(Side note: Yokai in Japanese means spirit/ghost/monster in Japan and the kanji is 妖怪, in Chinese it’s rather eerie but in Japanese it sort of has a adorable nuance to it, mainly owe to popular manga like Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro and Yokai Watch. Its nuance really is more similar to Pikachu than dark spirits haha)
Did you know, you can take the Yokai Train to Sakaiminato Station!
Welcome to Yokai Town!
It’s Monster Disneyland here. It’s actually just a regular little town in Tottori prefecture, but totally looks like a theme park! No entrance fee needed!
All the buildings here at Shigeru Mizuki Road are Yokai-themed.
A bench with Neko Musume, who is one of the most popular character in the manga/anime series.
Go shake hand with the rat spirit.
There are soooooo many characters in Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro, don’t get confused, just enjoy each of their uniqueness.
Somehow it also feels a little like spirited away, it’s quite a quiet town, not so many tourists around but just ghosts everywhere!
Check out the taxi lamp on top T__T. Effort???
I LOVE YOU JAPAN.
A classic thing to do in Japan.
Did you know??? There’s even a Yokai Shrine (妖怪神社）. I dunno how it… works? So are we praying to gods or ghosts?? Haha.
I was told later that this isn’t really a real shrine, but still, you get to buy omamori (amulets) as souvenirs and it has the signature eyeball deco on it!
Love love love all the effort.
Yokai Canned Oden!!! WANT!
Yokai toilet paper lolol.
Sure, a replacement for your usual smart phone games. Learn a little more about Yokai from all over Japan.
A Yokai-themed ATM. It’s built like a haunted mansion and there’s actually a spooky surprise for tourists who decided to sit down here haha find it out yourself :P.
I love Japan. (You are going to hear this many more times so you’d better get used to it haha).
The sign says that Yokai around here may appear and ask you for your ATM. Please never tell them.
Well since I have a photo, this is part of the spooky surprise. Hehe.
This is like a mini #47 prefecture mission. You are to collect ALL the Yokai stamps in this town!
A Yokai-themed barber shop. Like the Japanese Edward Scissorhands! These shops are run by the local residents, I loooove how sporting they are to participate in this project making the town a tourist attraction. I was told that at first quite many people objected the idea, after all a Ghost-themed town does not sound that very appealing at all. But it succeeded in attracting tourists to this otherwise rather unknown town and I honestly think it’s one of the cutest little attractions in Japan!
Do Yokais start appearing to roam around at dusk? Because as the sun is about to set, we are starting to spot lots of real life Yokai around!!
Look Kitaro is here!!
Mizuki Shigeru Museum
For the Mizuki Shigeru fans!
Toilet signs. How cute!!!
Just like Conan Museum, here you can find lots of artwork of Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro and get to know in-depth all the characters in the series.
It was my first time finding out the back ground of Mr Mizuki Shigeru. He passed away in 2015 at age 93 (!!!) and he spent his whole life traveling around the world (he’s been to Malaysia a few times too!).
He was drafted into the army during WWII and lost his left arm in an explosion and was the only survivor in his unit. His experience in wartime has greatly influenced him in his work of Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro, in an interview, he explained that his Yokai characters can be seen only in times of peace, not war, and that he purposely created these supernatural creatures to be of no specific ethnicity or nationality as a hint of the potential for humanity.
Before watching any of his work, I already have found a deep respect for this man.
Optical illusion art in the museum. It’s really fun!
You will go though a long hall with display of many different Yokai, it could be pretty eerie so make sure your little ones don’t get freaked out.
This is Akaname, literally “filth licker” – he hides in old bathhouses and eats the filth collected at bathtubs with its long tongue. Some say that Lickitung, the popular Pokemon is inspired by Akaname.
Each Yokai has very interesting story so spend some time understanding them!
A beautiful pine tree at the backyard of the museum.
Finally Neko Musume bid us goodbye at the museum main entrance! In the original manga she looks like this but in the latest anime, she is super hot!!
Soooo cute right! ♡
That’s all for this time!
I super super recommend this spooky, adorable, mysterious wonderland if you ever decide to visit Tottori prefecture. ^^ Help me say hi to all the Yokai!