Tottori City is the capital of the somewhat rural Tottori prefecture which lies in western Japan facing the Japan Sea. It’s most famous for its enormous sand dunes and dramatic coastline.
Don’t Forget To:
- Catch a bus to the Tottori sand dunes and enjoy the magnificent beauty of nature.
- The ruins of Tottori castle have a spectacular view.
- Tour of the famous hot springs in the Sanin region.
- Eat delicious crab from the Japan Sea
Tottori Sand Dunes
Tottori prefecture (specifically, near Tottori City) is the only place in Japan where you can see sand dunes. These dark brown dunes attract tourists from all over the country. Although the shape of the dunes is constantly changing due to the action of the wind, one thing that remains the same is the spectacular view out over the Sea of Japan.
Crashing waves have carved the Uradome coastline into caves and exotic rock formations. Sand from the Sendai river is churned by the sea and then returns to form the famous Tottori Sand Dunes.
You can enjoy the scenic beauties of wind ripple and sand screens caused by the wind, and the vast landscape.
20 minutes drive by local bus brings you to the Tottori sand dunes.
Tottori Castle Ruins
Tottori has flourished as a castle town of the Ikeda clan of 320,000 koku. Mt. Kyusho was a castle ruin of Tottori and known as a park by many people.
In the park, you should see the Jinpukaku that was a western-style Renaissance building as a villa of the Ikeda domain.
Tour of hot springs of the central Tottori area.
As you approach Kurayoshi in the west by train, the mountains recede in the distance and you can see flat vistas of farmlands wrought from the alluvial soil. Around Lake Togo is a cluster of onsen (hot springs) hotels, with the “Hawai” (not Hawaii!) onsen resort complex in the center.
Togo hot spring at the side of Lake Togo and Hawai hot spring. Misasa hot springs is known as open-air riverside baths.
Sekine hot springs are known as baths to make women beautiful at the foot of Mt. Daisen.
Kurayoshi was the once-flourishing castle town as a center of Hokinokuni. Old sake breweries and soy source stores stand along the small river at the foot of Mt. Utsubuki in which the castle was built.
Around Kurayoshi, Togo hot spring, at the side of Togo Lake, Hawai hot spring known for “Hawaii in Sanin”, Misasa hot spring which is rich in radon in the world and Sekigane hot spring which is famous for water-clear hot water called “platinum water”.
Hamamura and Shikano hot springs are located in the suburbs of Tottori
Eat The Succulent Tottori Pears
If you take the trip to the region, you will also have a chance to buy some of Tottori’s famous pears. These succulent delicacies are said to be the best in the country and if you like the fruit they are not to be missed.
Up the coast, a short way is the rugged and scenic Uradome coastline. Rocks sculpted into fantastic shapes by the wind and sea, gaping caves, and looming colored cliffs have made this an area of outstanding natural beauty worthy of its designation as a national treasure. The underwater views are also spectacular. For those interested in viewing natural landscapes, this area is one not to be missed.
Learn Traditional Paper Making In Kurayoshi
On the way to Kurayoshi, not far from Tottori City, you can try your hand at making traditional Japanese paper, or washi at the Aoya Washi Workshop.
These papyrus-like sheets are made from locally gathered river reeds, soaked in water for a time, and then dried into sheets using a sieve.
Washi is a traditional Japanese product and is still very much in evidence today for correspondence, wrapping paper, and many other uses. The beautiful designs woven into the fabric of the paper make a superb accessory for virtually any occasion.
Eat Some Crabs
In Japan, there is a saying concerning eating crabs: when you eat crabs, you become silent. The phrase tells us how attractive eating crabs is! When you eat carbs, you are too busy to say a word. There are a variety of crabs in Japan.
King crabs and horsehair crabs from northern parts of Japan are popular. However, when people just say CRAB in Japan, in most cases they refer to snow crabs. Snow crabs from the areas facing the Japan Sea are particularly valued.
As the areas（San-in 山陰）coincide with hot spring resorts, people go and taste this delicacy in winter. The most popular meal using snow crabs is a hot pot meal called kani-chiri or crab shabu shabu.
You are asked to soak crab meat in broth-based soup for only several seconds. Don’t spoil the taste by cooking well-done. Half-cooked or rare crabs are superb!
From Tottori Airport
Tottori – About 20 minutes by a connected bus
Kurayoshi – About 45 min. by a connected bus
Misasa – About 60 min. by a connected bus