Day 4, it’s sort of an “eh” day where nothing was committed to during planing. The rough idea is to head to the Conan museum, then maybe swing by to Kurayoshi. I have all the train and bus timetables laid out to make things up as I go.
The difference between an express train and the normal commute is huge. Getting to Yura takes a transfer at Yonago, which is already quite a way from Matsue. From Yonago to Yura is even further.
Yura/Hokuei is the birthplace of Conan’s author Gosho Aoyama. The small wayward town has embraced their local celebrity and uses the little guy to promote local tourism. Perhaps a little too much so.
A note to visitors! Yura station has vouchers that give you 100Y off at the museum. If you come by train don’t forget to take one.
Touring the town is based on a theme of “gotta catch’em all”. The town is scattered with statues, manga cover plaques, lamp post hung with sketches. There’s a map that tells you exactly where everything is and encourages you to visit every corner of the town if you want to catch them all on camera…. personally, it feels a little overboard. I’m fine with the yakai statue street at Sakaiminato, but at Yura it felt most things are just thrown wherever their sponsor feels like without adequate cohesion. All except one of the statues are all next to the main street, so at least you don’t have to wander off if you just want to see the statues.
The museum is a little vague on what can be photographed so I only took a few. For the most part I am quite disappointed by the place. It all felt too artificial and primitive. A clear lack of focus and design. It didn’t give a sense of walking into the Conan world nor the mind of the man behind it, it just… presented for the most part what you can find on the wiki.
The display duplicating the workdesk of Aoyama is kept in pristine condition, factory-new and spotless, it radiated a falsehood that make it impossible to imagine the author could have sat behind that desk.
The only statue not on the main street sits at the main gate of the local primary school, about 10min walk behind the station.
After the museum, I finally decides to spend the afternoon back in Matsue, as getting to the town centre of Kurayoshi would have taken 20min by bus, which means an hour round trip. Doesn’t leave much room to see the town, and I needed to be back early to do laundry, have dinner and still be left with enough time to see the sunset.
I still head to Kurayoshi first however, as although it lays in opposite direction to Matsue, from here there are express trains available that helps with the journey time so very much.
Back in Matsue, I indulge myself with afternoon tea at the Kohikan which had caught my sight two days ago. its vine draped red brick walls giving promises of deliciousness.
Back at the hotel, I chuck my laundry into the coin-laundry and while it spins, takes a stroll around Kyomachi and the canal.
Kara-Koro Workshop is on the north side of the canal, hosting a good variety of handicrafts and cafes. I wandered into it entirely by accident, lured by its artful facade.
I’m not sure what I had for dinner. I ordered what people on tabelog recommended for Naniwa-sushi….it’s decent.. but.. I just don’t know.
I am very glad I cut back to Matsue early to give the sunset another go. The weather is perfect today and the horizon clear. The sun fell and fell till it fell behind the trees on the island. It is only then I realize why sunset at Lake Shiji is so famous. Most other places will have the sunset drop beneath a flat horizon, but here… you have the beautiful reflecting water, the island with its trees and torii in the short distance, then the sprawling mountain range in the far horizon. All of which presents a cascade of colours and contrasts that moved and shifted to the sun’s dimming glow.