Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tottori
Population
613,229

Tottori

Sun, sand, and ski

From camel riding to skiing and manga to monks, Tottori Prefecture is full of surprises.

Tottori sits on the coast of the Chugoku Region on the western side of Japan. Majestic sand dunes are Tottori’s claim to fame, but that just barely brushes the surface of the prefecture’s wonders. Venture beyond the sandy coast and you’ll find a plethora of hiking opportunities and a whimsical kingdom of manga.

Nageiredo Temple on Mont Mitoku in Tottori Japan.

Photo by: Randiah Camille Green Nageiredo Temple is one of Tottori’s off-the-beaten-track destinations.

Tottori City Sand Dunes

You’ll need to head to Tottori City to see the sand dunes, which stretch 16km along the San-in coastline. Hiking around the dunes and taking in the spectacular views is rewarding enough, but there’s also paragliding and sandboarding for a different perspective. Taking up residence here is a group of haughty camels that you can ride for an experience right out of Aladdin. When they feel like being bothered, that is.

A camel looking out over the Tottori sand dunes

Take a camel ride in Tottori!

For beaches, boat cruises and water sports, make your way to the rugged Uradome coast just next door, where hot spring baths merge with the ocean at serene spots like Kaike onsen. Cliffs, caverns, and rocks can be explored by boat cruise or kayak, and there’s snorkeling around the azure shores of Iwami.

Manga Kingdom

Manga fans might also recognize Tottori as the hometown for several famous artists, including Mizuki Shigeru of wonderfully-weird Gegege no Kitaro fame, and Gosho Aoyama, the creator behind the hugely successful Detective Conan—known abroad as Case Closed.

One of the 153 yokai statues that line Mizuki Shigeru Road in Sakaiminato

Head to the Mizuki Shigeru museum in Sakaiminato City to discover more about the author’s life and works.

Take the Manga Kingdom tour along the coast from Sakaiminato to Kurayoshi and discover a whimsical world of supernatural characters and detective heroes. The Mizuki Shigeru Road outside JR Sakaiminato Station is lined with more than 150 bronze statues of yokai (spirits or demons) that emerged from the artist’s peculiar psyche. In nearby Houkei, the Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory features original drawings and replicas of tricks and inventions from the popular world of Conan.

Hiking and spiritual escapes in Tottori

In the west of the prefecture, sacred Mount Daisen carries summer hikers and winter skiers straight from the ocean up into the clouds. Even though it’s the highest mountain in the Chugoku region, it’s a relatively easy hike to the summit.

About three hours of hiking will get you to Misen Peak which has beautiful views of the Sea of Japan. Explore the holy sites of Daisen-ji and Ogamiyama shrine on your way.

Summer Climbing Festival Opening Ceremony

Anyone can take part in the Mount Daisen Natsuyama Summer Festival. Just rock up, pay ¥500 for a torch and join the parade from 7 p.m.

Once a flourishing center of Shugendo or mountain worship, Daisen is the former training ground of more than 3,000 warrior monks and continues to play host to a number of religious rituals throughout the year.

The climbing season opens over the first weekend of June and is marked with an extraordinary medieval-style torchlight parade at night. Anybody is welcome to take part—torches are handed out on a first-come-first-served basis. In the winter, the slopes transform into the popular Oku-Daisen Ski Resort.

Hiking the trails of Mitoku is a real adventure. Some sections are near vertical with chains attached to help climbers scale the rocks.

Between Daisen and Tottori city, Mount Mitoku is slightly more off-the-beaten-track. Built more than 1,300 years ago, Nageiredo Hall juts out impossibly from a hollow in the cliffside. Architects are still unable to work out how the temple was built.

Hiking the trails of Mitoku is a real adventure. Some sections are near vertical with chains attached to help climbers scale the rocks.

Explore all that Tottori has to offer at the locations below. Don’t forget to pack your best hiking shoes.

Places to visit

Sanrakuso at Kansho-in Temple

Go forest bathing at Mount Daisen, try the hand-crafted Zen Burger and stay the night.

Mabuya

A rebirth of local art, community and food.


Tottori sand dunes in Tottori prefecture, Chugoku region

Tottori City

Thanks to the dunes and beachy blowouts, you'll look at sand in a totally new way.

Wakasa Temple Tottori

Wakasa

Mountainous and magical.


Kura coffee

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Hakuto Beach

Beach by day, camping by night, plus a shrine dedicated to one famous rabbit


Misasa Onsen

Rest and recoup at this all-healing hot spring town.

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Landscape of mountain reflection of Mount Daisen in a pond

Mount Daisen

Lost and found on the highest mountain in western Japan.

Statue if Medama-Oyaji outside Sakaiminato station.

Tottori Manga Kingdom

Follow the manga brick road.

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