Thanks to the dunes and beachy blowouts, you'll look at sand in a totally new way.
Tottori city is a place known for looking at things from a different perspective. Here you’ll find most things have a unique twist.The capital city of Tottori prefecture lies in the northeastern with its beautiful beaches facing out towards the Sea of Japan. The sandy oases are also home to some of Japan’s biggest beach parties in the summer months.
Being only a third the size of Tokyo with just a fraction of the population, Tottori city is a much more manageable city to visit, yet is still jam packed with things to do. A place of art and culture built atop a history of dramatic sieges and noble families, there is much more here than meets the eye.
Tottori’s most impressive example of their unique thinking is the sand museum. The prefecture is famous for its sand dunes — not normally something that comes to mind when you think of “Japan,” right?
While this may seem very mundane, it’s actually anything but. Inside The Sand Museum has sand molded into beautiful statues. There are famous buildings, people, animals and abstract sculptures all perfectly shaped from sand. They are very fragile and collapse over time, so new installations are constantly being unveiled. This means every time you visit the museum, it will be a new experience.
The museum was opened in 2006 to compliment the natural beauty of the Tottori sand dunes. Sculpted by nature rather than man, these flowing golden hills are one of the most picturesque spots in Japan. They span 16 kilometers along the coast line, forming beautiful beaches like nowhere else in Honshu. The dunes can be 2-km wide, 50 meters high and are all protected as part of the Sanin Kaigan National Park.
On the beaches you can rent fat-tire bikes that won’t get stuck in the sand, or if you really want to travel in style you can ride a camel, as camel rides are one of the attractions of the dunes. For the adventurous, you can slide down the dunes on boards and skim across by paragliding.
Brimming with history
Back into the city are more great sights, such as Jinpukaku, a French renaissance-style mansion built for the Ikeda family who used to rule the area. The Tottori Prefectural Museum boasts a wealth of local art and history allowing visitors to discover how the region developed its own identity.
36 Hours in Tottori
If you want to learn more about the history of Tottori then you can experience some of it first hand by going to the impressive Kannon-in, a fantastic Edo period Buddhist Temple.
36 Hours in Tottori
How does this tiny prefecture with a population of less than 600,000 make you feel so connected to a culture that isn’t your own? Hope you’re up for the answer and 36 hours of discovery in Tottori.More