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Tottori

Beautiful contrast between the long coastline and mountainous area - Japan's largest sand dunes, Tottori-sakyu
Tottori Prefecture is situated in the northeastern part of the Chugoku region(the southwestern end of Japan's main island). This prefecture abounds with scenery that change expression from season to season, formed by a long coastline that stretches from east to west, narrow flatlands, and mountainous area represented by Mt. Daisen. Seasons of fresh greenery in spring and tinted autumnal leaves in autumn are breathtakingly beautiful. You can enjoy this scenery from the windows of the train that runs on the San-in Honsen Line along the coastline. Many ancient ruins from around 400 BC to 300 AD have been found mainly in the flatlands, such as Umano-yama Tombs, telling us of a long history of exchanges Tottori had with the Korean Peninsula and China.

Noted scenic spots are Tottori-sakyu Sand Dunes, Japan's largest (about 16 kilometers long and about 2.4 kilometers from north to south); sand dunes formed by the deposit of volcanic ash on the Sendai-gawa river blown roughly from the Sea of Japan; Hakuto Coast, the site of Japanese myths about the "White Rabbit of Inaba"; and Daisen-Oki National Park. Also of note are castle towns like Tottori and Kurayoshi. Here, too, is Misasa-onsen Hot Spring historically known as one of the leading spas in this region for its high radium content. Skiing at Mt. Daisen in winter is another feature of Tottori. Tottori hosts visitors in all seasons.

Getting there
An hour 10 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Tottori Airport. Ten minutes from the airport to Tottori Station by bus. Two hours 30 minutes from Osaka Station to Tottori Station by the JR San-yo and Inbi Line.
 

  • Koyama-ike Pond
    Lagoon separated from the sea by deposits from the Sendai-gawa RiverClose to Hakuto Beach, the southern limit for natural growth of sweetbriers
    The Koyama-ike Pond is located 6 kilometers west of central Tottori City in eastern Tottori and close to Tottori Airport. It was an inlet of the Sea of Japan, but became a closed lagoon when deposits from the Sendai-gawa River separated it from the sea. There are seven islets in the pond, and the largest - Aoshima Islet - has a park with a well-equipped promenade and a camping ground.

    This pond is 4 kilometers long from east to west and 2.4 kilometers wide from north to south. It is almost a lake and is a sanctuary for eels, carp and other fresh water fishes. There still remains a traditional fishing style called Ishigama-ryo, where fishermen form a trap with large rocks and wait for the fishes to enter.

    In the neighboring areas, there is Yoshioka-onsen Hot Spring that dates back 1,000 years, as well as the Hakuto Beach, or "White Rabbit Beach," the site for a popular episode in Japanese mythology. This beach is also the southern limit for natural growth of sweetbriers. Dainty crimson flowers bloom in early summer attracting many tourists.

    Getting there
    An hour 10 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Tottori Airport. Take a bus for 19 minutes from Tottori Airport to Tottori Station. Take the JR Sanyo Honsen and Inbi Line for 2 hours 30 minutes from Osaka Station to Tottori Station. Take a bus for 20 minutes from Tottori Station to Yoshioka-onsen Hot Spring.

     

  • Misasa
    Open-air bath on the river beach with abundant rustic taste - Nageire-do that stands in a hollow on a cliff
    Misasa-onsen Hot Spring located at the center of Tottori is a resort that has developed along the Misasa-gawa River in the southeast of Kurayoshi. It has long been known as a representative health resort and hot spring cure spot in the San-in region (the Japan Sea Coast). Kawara-buro, the open-air bath on the river beach near the bridge, is a symbol of Misasa-onsen Hot Spring Resort where you can enjoy the atmosphere and life of rural scenes. The streets of Misasa are dotted with mini-galleries in the corners offered by inns and shops. Each of them has a different display theme and expresses unique characteristics.

    A morning market is held every Sunday. You can experience ceramic making and weaving in the Furusato Kenko-mura in a park on the dry riverbed. You may also have a chance to see a rare species of frog, the kajika frog in summer.

    In the neighboring areas, there is the Mitoku-san Sanbutsu-ji Temple. As you climb the rugged mountain path which takes an hour, you will see the Nageire-do, or "Thrown-in Temple" in a hollow halfway up the precipice. Legend has it that an ascetic threw the temple into the hollow from below. Even professional architects are unable to determine the building method of this structure. Monju-do and a bell tower with a fine view are located along the approach way. You can also enjoy the local specialty, wild vegetables and tofu (bean curd) dishes at the restaurants in front of the Sanbutsu-ji Temple.

    Getting there
    An hour and 10 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Tottori Airport. Take a bus for 1 hour from Tottori Airport to Misasa-onsen Hot Spring. From Kurayoshi Station, take a bus to Misasa-onsen Hot Spring for 25 minutes.

     

  • Mt. Daisen
    Historically sacred, the highest peak in the Chugoku region - Enjoy outdoor leisure in the highlands
    Situated in the western part of Tottori, Mt. Daisen, chosen as one of the best one hundred mountains in Japan, is the generic term for a chain of mountains with Mt. Tsuru-ga-mine, 1,729 meters above sea level, as its highest peak. It belongs to Daisen-Oki National Park. It is the highest peak in the Chugoku region (the southwestern end of Japan's main island) and has historically been regarded and worshipped as a sacred mountain.

    Severe cliffs stand out on the northern side of Mt. Daisen, but a view from the direction of Yonago reveals the elegance of a mountain also known as Hoki Fuji or Izumo Fuji. Daisen-ji Temple on the mountain is an old temple established around the year 720 and Reiho-kaku Treasure Hall, Amida-do, O-gami-yama and Okumiya carry vestiges of holy ground. Towering cliffs on the eastern side of Daisen-ji Temple Hondo (the main inner temple) are called Kin-mon, the Golden Gate, and this is the best spot from which to see the north wall of Daisen.

    The view from Kagikake-toge Pass is splendid. You can enjoy a panoramic view of virgin beech and oak forests that change colors from spring green, dark summer green to glowing yellow in autumn. In the vicinity is a selection of facilities that make the most of Mt. Daisen's nature, such as a tourist blueberry farm, a dude farm where you can barbeque, field athletic facility, and a horseback riding center from which you can go for a long-distance ride into the open-air. You can ski in the winter, too.

    Getting there
    An hour 20 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Yonago Airport. Thirty minutes from Yonago Airport to Yonago Station by bus. Three hours 15 minutes from Tokyo Station to Okayama Station by the JR Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen Line. Forty minutes from Shin-Osaka Station. Two hours 10 minutes from Okayama Station and Yonago Station by JR Hakubi Line Limited Express. Fifty minutes from Yonago Station by bus to Mt. Daisen.

     

  • Tottori-sakyu Sand Dunes
    Natural formation created by sands and winds over 100,000 years
    Tottori-sakyu Sand Dunes are the largest sand hills in Japan stretching from Mt. Shichi-yama in the east to Kitano-misaki Point in the west. They are 16 kilometers long from east to west and 2.4 kilometers wide from north to south. Volcanic ash from Mt. Daisen settled on the sand of the Sendai-gawa River, and the ocean winds that blew from the rough Sea of Japan for 100,000 years formed the dunes.

    At times one can see 40-meter deep basins, 50-meter tall hills, picturesque patterns formed by winds called wind ripples and sand sliding on the surface of the hills like an avalanche. The magnificent beauty is constantly changing and never stops. When you reach the surf by lift, you can enjoy the spectacular boundless sight of the sea and sand.

    You can also enjoy a tour on a camel or in a horse-drawn carriage, the rides in the Tottori Sakyu Kodomo-no-kuni amusement park, which comprises the Dune Science Museum, or paragliding after you have seen the views of the dune.

    Getting there
    An hour and 10 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Tottori Airport. Take a bus for 19 minutes from Tottori Airport to Tottori Station. Take the JR Sanyo Honsen and Inbi Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Osaka Station to Tottori Station. Then take a bus for 20 minutes from Tottori Station to the Tottori-sakyu.


 

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  Information provided by Japan National Tourist Organization.

 

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