If you are planning a trip to Tottori prefecture and looking for a ryokan (traditional Japanese style accommodation) experience, I have an excellent recommendation for you. Located in Yonago city, Shogetsu faces directly towards the sea of Japan and has a direct entrance leading from the hotel onto the beach. I stayed here with my children and parents and it was a memorable experience on many levels.
Coming from overseas, my parents had not experienced a stay at a ryokan, the main reason for choosing this place as our stopover. The service was exceptional right from the beginning where staff greeted us at the car park directly opposite to assist with luggage. We were served green tea and sweets during the check in also giving us an opportunity to survey the establishment which was very clean, bright and well maintained. My 2-year-old daughter was keen to discover her new surroundings and the friendly staff were very accommodating. They even had a selection of toys which she could keep one as a souvenir, much to her delight.
Now our reason to visit Tottori was to explore the famous Yokai (Japanese mythical creatures) town that is Sakaiminato, about 20 minutes drive away.
The Yokai is an obvious drawing point for the ryokan and they have a collection of Yokai toys in the lobby, again to the delight of my daughter. The location of the ryokan also makes it a convenient base to explore the famous Izumo Taisha Shinto shrines and the Matsue castle.
Our room was large by any hotel room standard with floor to ceiling windows giving an unrestricted view of the ocean. A long table filled the centre of the room which would be used for the traditional Kaiseki meal that evening.
Breakfast is served outside in a dining room on the lower floor. Free internet WiFi and a massage chair were nice features in the list of amenities.
Onsen (Japanese Hotspring bath) is also available for guests, including an option to privately reserve one for those less inclined to reveal all in public. My mother falls into this category and she was most appreciative of this service.
To finish off the experience, Shogetsu takes free photos of guests as a departing souvenir. A framed print is provided as well as the digital copies for the keepsake. Not expected and very much appreciated. At around Y15,000 per person per night, it may be out of reach for travellers on a super tight budget. But considering all that is provided and the memorable experience you will take home with you, I certainly think it’s a great value.