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Mt. Daisen, Sakaiminato and Nakaumi in Tottori, Japan (Photo: maso11/Shutterstock.com)
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Gayle Keck
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of 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.

About Sakaiminato


Pro

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

Con

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


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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.