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Photo By: Laura Payne
Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tottori
Population
613,229

Daisen Museum of Nature and History

Discover how nature, religion and history intertwine on Mount Daisen.

By Laura Payne

For over 1,000 years, nature, religion and history have intertwined on Mount Daisen in Tottori Prefecture. These connections have benefitted the mountain and the people living around it throughout the centuries.

At the Daisen Museum of Nature and History, visitors can explore the mountain’s story through multilingual, interactive exhibits before setting out on nearby hiking and climbing trails.

Nature and People

Photo by: Laura Payne Learn all about the wildlife that live on the mountain.

Multimedia exhibits on Daisen’s ecosystem teach visitors about the diverse flora and fauna that call the mountain home. Certain displays also offer the opportunity to practice identifying bird calls, animal tracks and seasonal plants. Safety information, such as which plants or animals to avoid, is included alongside these.

Another recommended exhibit explains how people who live on and around Daisen have worked to preserve the mountain over the years. For instance, many who climb to Daisen’s summit carry a small stone with them, which they leave at the top of the mountain. Park rangers later use stones like these to maintain trails and prevent erosion.

Mythology and History

Daisen-ji

Photo by: PIXTA/ M・H These videos explain how Daisen’s spiritual traditions have helped to protect its forests, creating a rich environment on the mountain’s slopes.

One of the most interesting features of Japan’s religious landscape is a syncretism between different beliefs. Mount Daisen is an example of this, having long been a pilgrimage site and spiritual center for Shinto, Buddhist and Shugendo beliefs.

Multilingual videos lead visitors through this syncretism from Daisen’s creation at the hands of a Shinto god to the founding of Daisen-ji—a Buddhist temple that is over 1,300 years old and one of the mountain’s main worship halls today. These videos also explain how Daisen’s spiritual traditions have helped to protect its forests, creating a rich environment on the mountain’s slopes.

The museum exhibit also features legends of the mountain’s resident karasu tengu (humanoid, birdlike creatures), who are said to protect the mountain and sometimes interact with humans. Whether one believes karasu tengu are real, their images can be seen throughout the museum and the mountain.

Learning More

Photo by: Laura Payne For more information, head to the Daisen National Park Centre across the street.

In addition to maintaining exhibits, the museum occasionally hosts craft workshops, art galleries and guided tours of nearby trails. Details for these events can be found online, at the museum information desk, or at the Daisen National Park Center across the street.

The Daisen National Park Centre is also a popular stop before or after hikes because it provides rest areas, trail maps and other important information on the mountain.

Things To Know

Hours and fees

The museum is typically open from 9 a.m. 5 p.m., but these hours may be extended in July and August. Closed for New Year’s holidays.

At the time of this writing, museum admission is free.

Information on workshops and other events can be found on the museum’s official website.

How To Get There

Address

By train

From Yonago station or Daisenguchi station, take a bus for Daisenji and get off at Daisenji. The museum is a short walk from this bus stop.

Alternatively, rental cars can be obtained near Yonago station. Parking lots are available next to the Daisen National Park Centre, a short walk from the museum.

Where To Stay

Sejour Oyama Annex 3rd Building
  • 312-26 Akamatsu, Saihaku-gun Daisen-cho, Tottori, 689-3319 Japan
  • ¥61,600 - ¥123,200
  • 3.3 km
Sejour Oyama Annex 1st Building
  • 1542-86 Tatarado, Saihaku-gun Daisen-cho, Tottori, 689-3317 Japan
  • ¥46,200 - ¥92,400
  • 3.4 km
Auberge Florence
  • 1542-142 Tatarado, Saihaku-gun Daisen-cho, Tottori, 689-3317 Japan
  • ¥90,000 - ¥90,000
  • 4.2 km

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