When you arrive in Yonago as I did for the first time your first thought may be, “this shouldn’t be here”. It’s not the capital of the least populated prefecture of Japan but it is bustling. Arriving at night by bus, I really thought that even as Tottori’s second city it was more happening than Matsue, the capital of Shimane. Apparently, this feeling of mine was not a surprise to the locals. They say the Yonago is the capital of the Sanin area and suffice it to say that this area is actually a world onto itself. What defines this world? The answer to that question is mountains, the Chugoku mountain range to be exact. The area north of it is called sanin and the area south of it is called sanyo, with the former referring to the shady side and the latter to the bright side. Yin and Yang right here in the Chugoku region. Japan is often described as a small country in area but I am constantly reminded of its diversity of landscapes and people.