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Cruises to Sakaiminato

Mt. Daisen, Sakaiminato and Nakaumi in Tottori, Japan (Photo: maso11/Shutterstock.com)

About Sakaiminato

Sakaiminato is a small town with a long history as a port -- in fact, sakai means "border" and minato means "port" in Japanese. A feudal lord built moated Matsue Castle on nearby Mount Katsuyama in 1611, and one of the country's most important and ancient Shinto shrines, National Treasure Izumo Grand Shrine, is about 90 minutes away.

You'll see lots of fishing boats here, since it's Japan's third busiest fishing port, with 683 tons of fish caught in 2017. There's a lively fish market during tuna season, which is from June to November, and winter is snow crab season. (A favorite local dish is kanisuki nabe, a crab hot pot made with vegetables, tofu, mushrooms and a special soy sauce.)

If you're a manga (graphic novel) fan, you may recognize the name Shigeru Mizuki, a favorite local son, who has a museum and street dedicated to him. You'll find it lined with bronze sculptures of his yokai (spirit monster) characters and shops selling manga-related items.

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Why go to Sakaiminato?

Pros:

This bustling fishing port is close to an important shrine and a castle

Cons:

Most top attractions are outside the town and require a tour or transportation

Bottom Line:

A small town that's not overrun by Western tourists and offers plenty of history

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Currency in Sakaiminato is the Japanese yen. For up-to-date currency conversion figures, visit www.xe.com. The best way to get cash is to use an ATM at a convenience store. Look for a 7-Eleven, Lawson's or Family Mart. You'll find plenty of them in the city center, about 10 minutes from the port.

Language?

Japanese is Sakaiminato's official language. Some younger people and those at main attractions will likely know some English, but there are far fewer English speakers than in large cities.


Sakaiminato Cruise Reviews

Cruiser162
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Matsue castle and the adachi museum not to be missed. Only complaint was that we had to remove our shoes to enter the castle, no big deal. Unfortunately the floors and the narrow stairwells were wooden, very narrow,... Read More
YoungFemaleSingleCruiser
Sail Date: Apr 2019
Tottori Flower Park is amazing. So many varieties of different flowers and landscapes. A nice walk, probably need a good 2 hours to see everything. Good cafes and amenities as well.... Read More
seaspraydc
Sail Date: Jul 2018
We did the Izumo Grand Shrine. Very historical and interesting, but the tour price was too high and they did not provide water on a hot day. At $160 per person, they should at least provide a $1 bottle of water.... Read More
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