The Chugoku region of Japan, especially the San’in area, is one of the most beautiful and interesting places in Japan with curious landscapes and several nice cities. San’in is a vast region with an area of 11,680 sq. km comprising the Tottori and Shimane prefectures which are famous for agriculture and commerce. Due to its proximity to China and Korea, the region has seen a great amount of development and trade, thus shaping Japan’s history and culture over time. The ancient mythological book of Kojiki talks about this region more than any other region in Japan which makes it an even more interesting place to visit.
The nashi pear aka the Asian pear or Japanese pear is native to East Asia and is mainly harvested in San’in, Chiba, Nagano, Saitama and a few other regions in Japan. It has a special place in Japanese culture as it is used widely in soy sauces, jams, sweeteners etc., and is also given as gifts. With a nice smell and juicy inside, the nashi pear is eaten raw just like an apple. Available during spring, the pears’ flowers can be seen in gardens anywhere in Japan. The fruits are usually either green or yellow in color, referred to as ‘aonashi’ and ‘akanashi’ respectively. There are some famous nashi cultivars that from Japan such as Okusankichi, Kosui, Chojuro, Nijisseiki, Niitaka and others. Among them, the Kosui and Nijisseiki cultivars are the most popular and important.
Kurayoshi is a famous agricultural city in Tottori Prefecture, known for the production of nashi pear. It has some beautiful parks such as Utsubuki where many flower festivals such as hanami are celebrated. It is located close to Kurayoshi Park Square which is a popular center that houses the Nijisseiki Pear Museum (sometimes referred to as the Nashikko Museum) the only one of its kind in all of Japan. You can learn about the history of pear cultivation in Tottori with the help of displays at the museum. You can also learn about about various pear varieties thanks to a huge collection of material on pears.
Call it a museum or library or pear gallery, this is the only place in the entire world where you can get to know everything about pears. The highlight of this museum is a giant pear tree with branches that reach almost 20 meters. The tree sits right inside the museum acting as a symbol and beacon of the knowledge of the pear.
There is a nominal entrance fee of 300 yen for adults and 150 yen for children, however, you can receive discounts of up to 50% off as a non-Japanese tourist. The museum is open every day except for some Mondays (1st, 3rd & 5th to be exact) and around New Year. The Kurayoshi Park Square is very popular among locals as it has a lot of restaurants, shops, convention centers and so on. You can also find pear themed products such as ice cream near the museum.
Kurayoshi is a small city and the museum can be reached by car from the JR Kurayoshi Station within 10 minutes. Since Kurayoshi is in the center of Tottori Prefecture, it can be reached from either the Tottori-Sakyu Conan Airport or the Yonago Kitaro Airport. There is also the Yonago Expressway which provides access to Kurayoshi by car from other cities.
Visit this unique museum dedicated to pears in the beautiful San’in region and get to know as much as you can about delicious pears. It is really an interesting place to visit in the small city of Kurayoshi in Tottori.