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Difference between revisions of "Tottori"

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* Heading west from Tottori are both a scenic highway and a JR line which head towards [[Yonago]]
 
* Heading west from Tottori are both a scenic highway and a JR line which head towards [[Yonago]]
 
===By bus===
 
===By bus===
* There is an express bus which runs from [[Tokyo]]'s Hamamatsu-cho to Tottori. The cost is about ¥10,200 one-way. Tel: 03-3743-0022
+
* There is an express bus which runs from [[Tokyo]]'s Hamamatsu-cho to Tottori. The cost is about ¥10,200 one-way. Tel: 03-3743-0022
* Another express bus runs several times daily between [[Osaka]]'s Namba terminal and the central Tottori bus station. One-way fare runs around ¥6000 and the trip takes about 2 and a half hours.
+
* Another express bus runs several times daily between [[Osaka]]'s Namba terminal and the central Tottori bus station. One-way fare runs around ¥6000 and the trip takes about 2 and a half hours. Alternatively, from JR Bentencho Station, you can take a bus to Tottori for only ¥3600.
 
+
* Buses to/from [[Kyoto]] for only ¥3870 (one way).
 +
* From [[Okayama]] and [[Nishinomiya]] Kita, you can take a bus to Tottori for ¥3000.
 +
* You can take a bus from [[Hiroshima]] for ¥4400.
 +
* For  ¥9500, you can even take a bus from [[Fukuoka]].
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
Central Tottori, between the train station and Mt. Kyusho, is easily navigable on foot. For destinations in the direction of the sand dunes, there is a special bus. Just listen for the only bus with its own theme song.
+
Central Tottori, between the train station and Mt. Kyusho, is easily navigable on foot. For destinations in the direction of the sand dunes, there is a special bus. Just listen for the only bus with its own theme song. If you do choose to walk to the sand dunes, it takes approximately 1.5 hours.
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
===Nature===
+
* <see name="Tottori Sand Dunes" alt="鳥取砂丘 ''Tottori sakyū''" address="" directions="The easiest way to get there is by taking the special sakyū bus from the central bus station. It's the one that plays the sand dunes' theme song as it goes by." phone="085-726-7238" email="" fax="" url="http://www.tottorisakyu.jp/english/index3.html" hours="You can visit the dunes at any time, day or night. Special activities typically begin at 9 AM" price="Entrance to the sand dunes is free. Camel ride, hang gliding, paragliding, and sanboarding are available for separate fees">The Tottori Sand Dunes are the most famous attraction in the city. It is Japan's largest sand dune park, 16 kilometers from east to west. Often used by the Japanese movie industry as the set for desert scenes, the park offers camel rides, paragliding, sandboarding, and a cable car ride. The camel rides and paragliding off the dunes are particularly popular (See "Do" Section of this guide for a complete list of activities) If you arrive ''very'' early in the morning, you can see the unique patterns carved by the wind, before they get trampled by the scores of people who come to climb the biggest dune.</see>
* '''Tottori Sand Dunes''' (鳥取砂丘 ''Tottori sakyū''). The Tottori Sand Dunes are the most famous attraction. It is Japan's largest sand dune park, 16 kilometers from east to west. Often used by the Japanese movie industry as the set for desert scenes, the park offers camel rides, paragliding, and a cable car ride. If you arrive very early in the morning, you can see the unique patterns carved by the wind, before they get trampled by the scores of people who come to climb the biggest dune. To get there take the special sakyū bus from the central bus station. It's the one that plays the sand dunes' theme song as it goes by.
+
   
* '''Tottori Castle Ruin Park''' - Built in 1545 and destroyed in a massive siege in the 19th century, only the foundation of Tottori Castle remains. Elevated in the lower reaches of Mt. Kyusho, the site offers a nice view of the city below. The castle park is the perfect place to go during cherry-blossom season.
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* <see name="Tottori Castle Ruins" alt="" address="Higashi-cho" directions="" phone="085-722-3318" url="" hours="The ruins do not have a closing/opening time. Enter anytime." price="Entrance to the grounds is free" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Built in 1545 and destroyed in a massive siege in the 19th century, only the foundation of Tottori Castle remains. A samurai was starved to death in this castle by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Elevated in the lower reaches of Mt. Kyusho, the site offers a nice view of the city below. The castle park is the perfect place to go during cherry-blossom season.</see>
* '''Uradome Beach''' - Designated as a national park, the coast just east of the sand dunes is rugged and magnificent. Contact the Iwami-cho Tourist Association. Tel. 0857-72-3481
+
  
 +
*<see name="Tottori Prefectural Museum" alt="" address="2-124 Higashi-cho" directions="Located across from Jinpukaku, just below Tottori Castle Ruins" phone="085-726-8042" url="http://site5.z-tic.or.jp/~museum/english/" hours="Open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Closed most Mondays" price="Entrance is ¥180 for adults, free for college students and under" lat="" long="">A two-story museum that displays the flora and fauna of Tottori, regional rocks and minerals, historical artifacts, festival and local cultural artifacts, and a variety of art produced in the city. Be aware that most (but not all) of the prehistoric artifacts are reproductions however, most of the other displays are real historical artifacts. Some of the museum's most unique exhibits are the squid, the largest preserved squid in the nation, and a live Giant Salamander.</see>
 +
 +
* <see name="Jinpukaku Mansion" alt="" address="2-121 Higashi-cho" directions="Located across the street from the Tottori Prefectural Museum" phone="085-726-3595" url="" hours="Closed Mondays" price="Entrance is ¥150" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Just below the ruins of the castle lies this French-style mansion which was home to the remnants of the Edo-era feudal clan, Ikeda.</see>
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 +
*<see name="Kannon-in Temple" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="085-724-5641" url="http://kannonin.hp.infoseek.co.jp/sub3.html" hours="Open from 8:30 AM to 5 PM" price="Entrance is listed as ¥600 however, this charge includes tea. If you don't want the tea, you can enter for ¥300" lat="" long="">The temple was constructed in 1632 and is the 32nd temple along the [[Chugoku 33 Kannon Temple Pilgrimage]]. While the temple itself does not look particularly special, the garden inside is what makes this such a great place to visit. The temple doors are removed upon entering so that you can sit and enjoy the beautiful pond garden from inside. The garden is quite peaceful, as the only sounds you can hear are the birds in the trees. You easily forget you're in a city.</see>
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* <see name="Watanabe Museum" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="085-724-1152" url="http://www4.ocn.ne.jp/~watart/home.html" hours="" price="Entrance is ¥900 for adults, ¥500 for high school and college student, ¥300 for middle and elementary school students" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">This privately-owned museum houses a wild display of samurai armor and artifacts, as well as a selection of other things such as musical instruments and ''ukiyo-e'' woodblock prints.</see>
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 +
 +
* <see name="Inaba Manyo Historical Museum" alt="" address="726 Machiya, Kokufu-cho" directions="By bus, get off at Inaba Manyo Rekishikan Iriguchi stop, about 20 minute ride from Tottori Station" phone="085-726-1780" url="http://www.tbz.or.jp/inaba-manyou/" hours="Open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Closed Mondays" price="Entrance is ¥500 (high school students and younger are free)" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Located in Kokufu-cho, this museum houses many Inaba-area artifacts from the Nara and Heian eras. </see>
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 +
* <see name="Warabekan (Children's Museum)" alt="" address="3-202 Nishimachi" directions="" phone="085-722-7070  " url="http://www.warabe.or.jp/lang/en/index.html" hours="Open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Closed the 3rd Wednesday of every month" price="Entrance fee is ¥500, High school students and younger are free" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">A short walk west of the castle ruins is this museum of children's toys. There is a re-creation of an old school building and many interesting tin toys.</see>
 +
 +
* <see name="Nagashibina Doll Museum" alt="" address="32-1 Beppu,  Mochigase-cho" directions="" phone="085-887-3222" url="http://nagashibinanoyakata.jp/" hours="Open 9 AM to 5 PM. Closed Wednesdays" price="Entrance is ¥300" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Displays hina dolls (dolls displayed annually on March 3, Girls' Day ''hinamatsuri'') throughout history, as well as different types of hina dolls. Most are from the Edo-period.</see>
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 +
* <see name="Kawahara Castle" alt="" address="1011 Tanihitotsugi, Kawahara-cho" directions="By bus from Tottori Station, travel 30 minutes on the train bound for Chizu and get off at Kawahara. The castle is a 15 minute walk from the bus stop" phone="085-885-0046" url="http://www.kawahara-shiro.com/" hours="Open from 9 AM to 5 PM (on Saturdays from April to September, it closes at 9 PM). Closed Mondays" price="Entrance is free" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Located in the far-east reaches of the city limits, the castle offers a pretty spectacular lookout view. It is said that Toyotomi Hideyoshi stopped here and dreamt about a peaceful, united Japan prior to uniting the nation himself.</see>
 +
 +
*<see name="Tottori Mingei Museum of Folkcrafts" alt="鳥取民藝美術舘 tottori mingei bijutsukan" address="651 Sakae-machi" directions="" phone="085-726-2367" url="" hours="Open from 10 AM to 5 PM. Closed Wednesdays" price="Entrance is ¥500 (free for all students and anyone over 70 years of age)" lat="" long="">A rather small, two story museum. Although it is called a folkcraft museum, in actuality, this museum displays mainly pottery and glass but also has some textiles, woodwork, and bamboo work. On the second floor, along with more vases, you can watch a video showing glassmaking. The Ushinotoyaki pottery is considered to be the highlight of the museum. Just outside the museum, there is a place (the hexagonal structure) to pray for and make offerings to deceased orphans. With the stained-glass, it has an interesting Christian-Buddhist fusion feel to it.</see>
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 +
*<see name="Shikano Castle Ruins" alt="" address="1517 Shikanocho Shikano" directions="" phone="085-784-2099" url="" hours="You can enter anytime." price="Entrance is free" lat="" long="">Although none of the original castle remains, the inner and outer moats and stone columns can still be seen today. It's most popular during cherry blossom season with approximately 500 trees scattered throughout the castle grounds.</see>
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 +
*<see name="Aoya Kamijichi Site Museum" alt="" address="4064 Aoya, Aoya-cho" directions="From Aoya Station, it is only a three minute walk" phone="085-785-0841" url="http://www.tbz.or.jp/kamijichi/index.php" hours="Open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Closed Mondays" price="Entrance is free" lat="" long="">Aoya Kimijichi is one of Japan's most famous archaeological sites. At this site, thousands of Yayoi Period relics were excavated, including human remains. Among the rarest findings were human brains, the oldest in Japan, a rare archaeological find. The museum displays many of the artifacts and relics excavated at the site.</see>
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 +
*<see name="Ochidani Shrine" alt="" address="87 Uemachi" directions="From Tottori Station, you can take the ¥100 bus to Ochidani Kouen Yamabikokan-mae" phone="085-722-3318" url="" hours="" price="Entrance is free" lat="" long="">This shrine was built in 1650 by Mitsunaka Ikeda, the first lord of Tottori. The god worshipped here is the same god worshipped at Toshogu Shrine in [[Nikko]]. It's a famous place to watch fireflies at night in the late summer.</see>
 +
 +
*<see name="Ube Shrine" alt="" address="651 Miyanoshita, Kokufu-cho" directions="By bus, get off at Miyanoshita Jinja-mae bus stop" phone="085-722-3318" url="http://www.ubejinja.or.jp/" hours="" price="Entrance is free" lat="" long="">This is the first shrine to be built in the Inaba area, which consists of the entire eastern half of modern [[Tottori (prefecture)|Tottori Prefecture]]. Praying at this shrine is believed to bestow upon you fertility, long life, and wealth.</see>
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 +
*<see name="Genchuji Temple" alt="" address="176 Shinhonji-cho" directions="" phone="085-722-5294" url="" hours="Open from 9 AM to 4 PM" price="Entrance is ¥300" lat="" long="">This temple is home to the grave of Araki Mataemon, a famous swordsman who aided a man in getting vengeance. His act is known as one of Japan's top three stories of vengeance. The actual sword he used to get revenge is displayed on the temple grounds. Rakan (paintings of high ranking Buddhists) are painted on the ''fusuma'' (screen doors) inside the temple by Keitaro Takagi also make this temple an interesting stop. While traditional priest paintings are stoic, these paintings are quite candid, with rather comical appearances.</see>
 
===Festivals===
 
===Festivals===
 
* '''Shan-Shan Festival''', in mid-August. More than 4,000 people participate in the parades of the "Inaba Umbrella Dance". Ornate umbrellas covered in bells and colorful strips of paper are used. Snap a photo of the over-sized one hanging year-round in the train station, as it is a symbol of this area.
 
* '''Shan-Shan Festival''', in mid-August. More than 4,000 people participate in the parades of the "Inaba Umbrella Dance". Ornate umbrellas covered in bells and colorful strips of paper are used. Snap a photo of the over-sized one hanging year-round in the train station, as it is a symbol of this area.
 
* '''San In Beach Party''' (''email: mailto:saninbeachparty@gmail.com ''), [http://www.clubdna.biz/saninbeachparty]. Held every year around early July, this all-weekend is rated as one of the best outdoor events in the country.  The location is in a beautiful bay about 10km out of Tottori City called Kozomi (west along route 9 towards Yonago).  The 2007 event gathered more than 1000 guests from all over Japan and half of those were foreigners.  The event is a mixture of DJs at night, live music during the day, come-as-you-please workshops on the beach, beach game tournaments, food stalls and the famous beach bar.  The event is well organized: they can organize accommodation and travel from some of the major cities.  Camping facilities are also available.  This event gets bigger and better every year, so plan ahead early and contact the organizers if you need specific information.
 
* '''San In Beach Party''' (''email: mailto:saninbeachparty@gmail.com ''), [http://www.clubdna.biz/saninbeachparty]. Held every year around early July, this all-weekend is rated as one of the best outdoor events in the country.  The location is in a beautiful bay about 10km out of Tottori City called Kozomi (west along route 9 towards Yonago).  The 2007 event gathered more than 1000 guests from all over Japan and half of those were foreigners.  The event is a mixture of DJs at night, live music during the day, come-as-you-please workshops on the beach, beach game tournaments, food stalls and the famous beach bar.  The event is well organized: they can organize accommodation and travel from some of the major cities.  Camping facilities are also available.  This event gets bigger and better every year, so plan ahead early and contact the organizers if you need specific information.
 
===Museums===
 
* '''Jinpukaku''' - Just below the ruins of the castle lies this European-style villa which was home to the remnants of the Edo-era feudal clan, Ikeda.
 
* '''Watanabe Museum''' - This privately-owned museum houses a wild display of samurai armor and artifacts, as well as a selection of other things such as musical instruments and ''ukiyo-e'' woodblock prints.
 
* '''Nagashibina Doll Museum''' displays many Hina dolls, which are used in Hinamatsuri, March 3. Tel. 0858-87-3222
 
* '''Inaba Manyo Historical Museum''' in Kokufu-cho houses many Inaba-area artifacts from the Nara and Heian eras. Tel 0857-26-1780
 
* '''Warabekan''' (Children's Museum) A short walk west of the castle ruins is this museum of children's toys. There is a re-creation of an old school building and many interesting tin toys.
 
* '''Kawahara Castle''', in the far-east reaches of the city limits, has a pretty spectacular lookout view. Tel. 0858-85-0046
 
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
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===Sand Dune Activities===
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While walking atop and around the dunes is quite enjoyable, there are plenty of things to do for those looking for a little something more. If you plan on doing any of the sports activities, pay close attention to operating days/seasons and make your reservation.
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 +
* <do name="Sightseeing on Camel" alt="" address="2164-449 Yuyama, Fukube-cho" directions="You'll find the camels at main entrance (East entrance) to the sand dunes, in front of the lift" phone="085-723-1735" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Available from 9 AM to 5 PM" price="A single rider costs ¥1800, two riders costs ¥3000. If you just want your picture taken atop a camel it costs ¥500">Anyone who knows anything about sand dunes knows that the best way to view them is from atop a camel. Well, in Tottori, it's no different! For those who wish to get the full experience of being in a desert, it is well worth it. (Also consider planning your trip during the warmer months, as the heat will actually enhance the experience). Although the price is a bit steep, consider the fact that entrance to the dunes is free. If it still feels expensive, you may want to consider the horse carriage.</do>
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 +
* <do name="Sightseeing in a Horse Carriage" alt="" address="" directions="You can get on the carriage at the east entrance to the dunes near the camels" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Costs ¥1000 for adults, ¥600 for children">While it may not be the same as a camel ride, the carriage is still quite fun. The ride lasts approximately 15 minutes.</do>
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* <do name="Hang Gliding" alt="" address="283-6 Yuyama, Fukube-cho" directions="" phone="085-775-2282" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Courses are offered daily from April through November" price="It costs ¥11000">This is a day course where you will learn about safety and how to operate the hang glider before trying it out for yourself. The hang gliding is offered by Kyoto Air Sports, so beginners can feel at ease that they are being taught by professionals. Because you need to be there for the entire course, you must make a reservation. Walk-ins are not accepted.</do>
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* <do name="Paragliding" alt="" address="1155-36, 1 Chome, Hamasaka" directions="" phone="085-729-9098" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Courses offered daily from late March to November" price="Costs ¥6500 for each half-day course">Operated by Zero Paragliding Sports, those who wish to paraglide must take the entire half-day course to learn about safety tips and how properly paraglide. The instructors are trained professionals, and with sand surfaces being safer for this type of activity, it is a great place for beginners to experience the fun of paragliding. Reservations must be made in order to participate.</do>
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* <do name="Sandboarding" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="085-723-1749" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Sandboarding season occurs from April 15 to November 30. Only available on Thursdays" price="Costs ¥2500 per course">Sandboarding is considered to be an Australian invention. In Japan, there are not many places available for sandboarding, and the Tottori Sand Dunes are by far the best place to do it. Each course lasts 2 hours, and '''appointments must be made''' in order to participate. There must also be at least 10 people signed up for that day, otherwise, the course will be cancelled. If you are interested in sandboarding, when you call to make your reservation, make it for a day that has 10 people already or nearly has enough to ensure you will be able to take the course.</do>
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===Other activities===
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* '''Walk''' to the beach from downtown along a wide and pleasant greenbelt. Start from the station and walk west about 5 blocks to find the river and head to the right when you find the path. The walk takes about 45 minutes.
 
* '''Walk''' to the beach from downtown along a wide and pleasant greenbelt. Start from the station and walk west about 5 blocks to find the river and head to the right when you find the path. The walk takes about 45 minutes.
 
*'''Climb''' Mt. Kyusho, the hub of the city. Starting from atop the castle ruins, the climb takes around half an hour and offers a great view of the city and surrounding area, all the way out to the sand dunes. But watch out for the ghosts of those who starved at the top during the castle siege.
 
*'''Climb''' Mt. Kyusho, the hub of the city. Starting from atop the castle ruins, the climb takes around half an hour and offers a great view of the city and surrounding area, all the way out to the sand dunes. But watch out for the ghosts of those who starved at the top during the castle siege.
* '''Ride''' the camel or go '''parasailing''' at Tottori Sand Dunes.
 
 
*'''Relax''' at '''Tottori Hot Spring''', not far from Tottori JR Station, or at '''Yoshioka Hot Spring'''. Pick up a brochure at the information desk in the train station.
 
*'''Relax''' at '''Tottori Hot Spring''', not far from Tottori JR Station, or at '''Yoshioka Hot Spring'''. Pick up a brochure at the information desk in the train station.
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 +
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* <do name="Uradome Beach" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="085-772-3481" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Designated as a national park, the coast just east of the sand dunes is rugged and magnificent. Contact the Iwami-cho Tourist Association.</do>
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==

Revision as of 15:24, 20 May 2009

Tottori (鳥取) is the capital of Tottori prefecture, on the northern coast of the main Japanese island of Honshu.

Contents

Understand

The White Rabbit of Inaba
Just offshore at Hakuto beach, Tottori's most famous, is a small island that is part of local folktale. The story goes that a rabbit was trapped on the island longing to return to his family on the mainland. He tricked a family of sharks into lining up so he can hop on their backs to the shore, but as he reached the last shark he sneered about having deceived them, and the shark tore off all the rabbit's fur. Some cruel god brothers came along and told the rabbit he would be cured if he bathed in the sea, but the salt stung painfully, and he was not cured. The youngest brother, Okuninushi no Mikoto, came along, felt sorry for the crying rabbit, and told him to bathe in fresh water and dry off with cattails. The rabbit was cured and predicted that the god would become the ruler of the Inaba region, which came true some time later. Reminders of this story abound in the Tottori area, and you will see the white rabbit on everything from bridges to sewer grates to flower arrangements, sometimes accompanied by a rather fat god carrying a big sack. In fact, the name of that beach, Hakuto, means "white rabbit."

Tottori City [1] serves as industrial center of Tottori prefecture, with several big electronics factories such as Sanyo. The fishing industry here is quite lively. Tottori is also home to Tottori University and another agricultural university. These two schools are important sites for agricultural research, and attract agricultural students from other parts of Japan, as well as a small number of foreign students. Although the number of foreign residents in Tottori is quite low, its 250,000 locals are certainly friendly.

Get in

By air

  • There are three daily flights from Tokyo's Haneda airport to Tottori airport with ANA. The flight takes about 75 minutes. Tel. 0120-029-222, 0857-23-3038.

By train

  • From Tokyo, you can catch the Izumo night train. It leaves at 9:10 PM and arrives in Tottori at 7:56am . The cost is about ¥10,200.
  • A JR line connects Tottori to Okayama, about 2 hours away, where you can catch the main shinkansen line.
  • Heading west from Tottori are both a scenic highway and a JR line which head towards Yonago

By bus

  • There is an express bus which runs from Tokyo's Hamamatsu-cho to Tottori. The cost is about ¥10,200 one-way. Tel: 03-3743-0022
  • Another express bus runs several times daily between Osaka's Namba terminal and the central Tottori bus station. One-way fare runs around ¥6000 and the trip takes about 2 and a half hours. Alternatively, from JR Bentencho Station, you can take a bus to Tottori for only ¥3600.
  • Buses to/from Kyoto for only ¥3870 (one way).
  • From Okayama and Nishinomiya Kita, you can take a bus to Tottori for ¥3000.
  • You can take a bus from Hiroshima for ¥4400.
  • For ¥9500, you can even take a bus from Fukuoka.

Get around

Central Tottori, between the train station and Mt. Kyusho, is easily navigable on foot. For destinations in the direction of the sand dunes, there is a special bus. Just listen for the only bus with its own theme song. If you do choose to walk to the sand dunes, it takes approximately 1.5 hours.

See

  • Tottori Sand Dunes (鳥取砂丘 ''Tottori sakyū''), (The easiest way to get there is by taking the special sakyū bus from the central bus station. It's the one that plays the sand dunes' theme song as it goes by.), 085-726-7238, [2]. You can visit the dunes at any time, day or night. Special activities typically begin at 9 AM. The Tottori Sand Dunes are the most famous attraction in the city. It is Japan's largest sand dune park, 16 kilometers from east to west. Often used by the Japanese movie industry as the set for desert scenes, the park offers camel rides, paragliding, sandboarding, and a cable car ride. The camel rides and paragliding off the dunes are particularly popular (See "Do" Section of this guide for a complete list of activities) If you arrive very early in the morning, you can see the unique patterns carved by the wind, before they get trampled by the scores of people who come to climb the biggest dune. Entrance to the sand dunes is free. Camel ride, hang gliding, paragliding, and sanboarding are available for separate fees.
  • Tottori Castle Ruins, Higashi-cho, 085-722-3318. The ruins do not have a closing/opening time. Enter anytime.. Built in 1545 and destroyed in a massive siege in the 19th century, only the foundation of Tottori Castle remains. A samurai was starved to death in this castle by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Elevated in the lower reaches of Mt. Kyusho, the site offers a nice view of the city below. The castle park is the perfect place to go during cherry-blossom season. Entrance to the grounds is free.
  • Tottori Prefectural Museum, 2-124 Higashi-cho (Located across from Jinpukaku, just below Tottori Castle Ruins), 085-726-8042, [3]. Open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Closed most Mondays. A two-story museum that displays the flora and fauna of Tottori, regional rocks and minerals, historical artifacts, festival and local cultural artifacts, and a variety of art produced in the city. Be aware that most (but not all) of the prehistoric artifacts are reproductions however, most of the other displays are real historical artifacts. Some of the museum's most unique exhibits are the squid, the largest preserved squid in the nation, and a live Giant Salamander. Entrance is ¥180 for adults, free for college students and under.
  • Jinpukaku Mansion, 2-121 Higashi-cho (Located across the street from the Tottori Prefectural Museum), 085-726-3595. Closed Mondays. Just below the ruins of the castle lies this French-style mansion which was home to the remnants of the Edo-era feudal clan, Ikeda. Entrance is ¥150.
  • Kannon-in Temple, 085-724-5641, [4]. Open from 8:30 AM to 5 PM. The temple was constructed in 1632 and is the 32nd temple along the Chugoku 33 Kannon Temple Pilgrimage. While the temple itself does not look particularly special, the garden inside is what makes this such a great place to visit. The temple doors are removed upon entering so that you can sit and enjoy the beautiful pond garden from inside. The garden is quite peaceful, as the only sounds you can hear are the birds in the trees. You easily forget you're in a city. Entrance is listed as ¥600 however, this charge includes tea. If you don't want the tea, you can enter for ¥300.
  • Watanabe Museum, 085-724-1152, [5]. This privately-owned museum houses a wild display of samurai armor and artifacts, as well as a selection of other things such as musical instruments and ukiyo-e woodblock prints. Entrance is ¥900 for adults, ¥500 for high school and college student, ¥300 for middle and elementary school students.


  • Inaba Manyo Historical Museum, 726 Machiya, Kokufu-cho (By bus, get off at Inaba Manyo Rekishikan Iriguchi stop, about 20 minute ride from Tottori Station), 085-726-1780, [6]. Open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Closed Mondays. Located in Kokufu-cho, this museum houses many Inaba-area artifacts from the Nara and Heian eras. Entrance is ¥500 (high school students and younger are free).
  • Warabekan (Children's Museum), 3-202 Nishimachi, 085-722-7070, [7]. Open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Closed the 3rd Wednesday of every month. A short walk west of the castle ruins is this museum of children's toys. There is a re-creation of an old school building and many interesting tin toys. Entrance fee is ¥500, High school students and younger are free.
  • Nagashibina Doll Museum, 32-1 Beppu, Mochigase-cho, 085-887-3222, [8]. Open 9 AM to 5 PM. Closed Wednesdays. Displays hina dolls (dolls displayed annually on March 3, Girls' Day hinamatsuri) throughout history, as well as different types of hina dolls. Most are from the Edo-period. Entrance is ¥300.
  • Kawahara Castle, 1011 Tanihitotsugi, Kawahara-cho (By bus from Tottori Station, travel 30 minutes on the train bound for Chizu and get off at Kawahara. The castle is a 15 minute walk from the bus stop), 085-885-0046, [9]. Open from 9 AM to 5 PM (on Saturdays from April to September, it closes at 9 PM). Closed Mondays. Located in the far-east reaches of the city limits, the castle offers a pretty spectacular lookout view. It is said that Toyotomi Hideyoshi stopped here and dreamt about a peaceful, united Japan prior to uniting the nation himself. Entrance is free.
  • Tottori Mingei Museum of Folkcrafts (鳥取民藝美術舘 tottori mingei bijutsukan), 651 Sakae-machi, 085-726-2367. Open from 10 AM to 5 PM. Closed Wednesdays. A rather small, two story museum. Although it is called a folkcraft museum, in actuality, this museum displays mainly pottery and glass but also has some textiles, woodwork, and bamboo work. On the second floor, along with more vases, you can watch a video showing glassmaking. The Ushinotoyaki pottery is considered to be the highlight of the museum. Just outside the museum, there is a place (the hexagonal structure) to pray for and make offerings to deceased orphans. With the stained-glass, it has an interesting Christian-Buddhist fusion feel to it. Entrance is ¥500 (free for all students and anyone over 70 years of age).
  • Shikano Castle Ruins, 1517 Shikanocho Shikano, 085-784-2099. You can enter anytime.. Although none of the original castle remains, the inner and outer moats and stone columns can still be seen today. It's most popular during cherry blossom season with approximately 500 trees scattered throughout the castle grounds. Entrance is free.
  • Aoya Kamijichi Site Museum, 4064 Aoya, Aoya-cho (From Aoya Station, it is only a three minute walk), 085-785-0841, [10]. Open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Closed Mondays. Aoya Kimijichi is one of Japan's most famous archaeological sites. At this site, thousands of Yayoi Period relics were excavated, including human remains. Among the rarest findings were human brains, the oldest in Japan, a rare archaeological find. The museum displays many of the artifacts and relics excavated at the site. Entrance is free.
  • Ochidani Shrine, 87 Uemachi (From Tottori Station, you can take the ¥100 bus to Ochidani Kouen Yamabikokan-mae), 085-722-3318. This shrine was built in 1650 by Mitsunaka Ikeda, the first lord of Tottori. The god worshipped here is the same god worshipped at Toshogu Shrine in Nikko. It's a famous place to watch fireflies at night in the late summer. Entrance is free.
  • Ube Shrine, 651 Miyanoshita, Kokufu-cho (By bus, get off at Miyanoshita Jinja-mae bus stop), 085-722-3318, [11]. This is the first shrine to be built in the Inaba area, which consists of the entire eastern half of modern Tottori Prefecture. Praying at this shrine is believed to bestow upon you fertility, long life, and wealth. Entrance is free.
  • Genchuji Temple, 176 Shinhonji-cho, 085-722-5294. Open from 9 AM to 4 PM. This temple is home to the grave of Araki Mataemon, a famous swordsman who aided a man in getting vengeance. His act is known as one of Japan's top three stories of vengeance. The actual sword he used to get revenge is displayed on the temple grounds. Rakan (paintings of high ranking Buddhists) are painted on the fusuma (screen doors) inside the temple by Keitaro Takagi also make this temple an interesting stop. While traditional priest paintings are stoic, these paintings are quite candid, with rather comical appearances. Entrance is ¥300.

Festivals

  • Shan-Shan Festival, in mid-August. More than 4,000 people participate in the parades of the "Inaba Umbrella Dance". Ornate umbrellas covered in bells and colorful strips of paper are used. Snap a photo of the over-sized one hanging year-round in the train station, as it is a symbol of this area.
  • San In Beach Party (email: mailto:saninbeachparty@gmail.com ), [12]. Held every year around early July, this all-weekend is rated as one of the best outdoor events in the country. The location is in a beautiful bay about 10km out of Tottori City called Kozomi (west along route 9 towards Yonago). The 2007 event gathered more than 1000 guests from all over Japan and half of those were foreigners. The event is a mixture of DJs at night, live music during the day, come-as-you-please workshops on the beach, beach game tournaments, food stalls and the famous beach bar. The event is well organized: they can organize accommodation and travel from some of the major cities. Camping facilities are also available. This event gets bigger and better every year, so plan ahead early and contact the organizers if you need specific information.

Do

Sand Dune Activities

While walking atop and around the dunes is quite enjoyable, there are plenty of things to do for those looking for a little something more. If you plan on doing any of the sports activities, pay close attention to operating days/seasons and make your reservation.

  • Sightseeing on Camel, 2164-449 Yuyama, Fukube-cho (You'll find the camels at main entrance (East entrance) to the sand dunes, in front of the lift), 085-723-1735. Available from 9 AM to 5 PM. Anyone who knows anything about sand dunes knows that the best way to view them is from atop a camel. Well, in Tottori, it's no different! For those who wish to get the full experience of being in a desert, it is well worth it. (Also consider planning your trip during the warmer months, as the heat will actually enhance the experience). Although the price is a bit steep, consider the fact that entrance to the dunes is free. If it still feels expensive, you may want to consider the horse carriage. A single rider costs ¥1800, two riders costs ¥3000. If you just want your picture taken atop a camel it costs ¥500.
  • Sightseeing in a Horse Carriage, (You can get on the carriage at the east entrance to the dunes near the camels). While it may not be the same as a camel ride, the carriage is still quite fun. The ride lasts approximately 15 minutes. Costs ¥1000 for adults, ¥600 for children.
  • Hang Gliding, 283-6 Yuyama, Fukube-cho, 085-775-2282. Courses are offered daily from April through November. This is a day course where you will learn about safety and how to operate the hang glider before trying it out for yourself. The hang gliding is offered by Kyoto Air Sports, so beginners can feel at ease that they are being taught by professionals. Because you need to be there for the entire course, you must make a reservation. Walk-ins are not accepted. It costs ¥11000.
  • Paragliding, 1155-36, 1 Chome, Hamasaka, 085-729-9098. Courses offered daily from late March to November. Operated by Zero Paragliding Sports, those who wish to paraglide must take the entire half-day course to learn about safety tips and how properly paraglide. The instructors are trained professionals, and with sand surfaces being safer for this type of activity, it is a great place for beginners to experience the fun of paragliding. Reservations must be made in order to participate. Costs ¥6500 for each half-day course.
  • Sandboarding, 085-723-1749. Sandboarding season occurs from April 15 to November 30. Only available on Thursdays. Sandboarding is considered to be an Australian invention. In Japan, there are not many places available for sandboarding, and the Tottori Sand Dunes are by far the best place to do it. Each course lasts 2 hours, and appointments must be made in order to participate. There must also be at least 10 people signed up for that day, otherwise, the course will be cancelled. If you are interested in sandboarding, when you call to make your reservation, make it for a day that has 10 people already or nearly has enough to ensure you will be able to take the course. Costs ¥2500 per course.


Other activities

  • Walk to the beach from downtown along a wide and pleasant greenbelt. Start from the station and walk west about 5 blocks to find the river and head to the right when you find the path. The walk takes about 45 minutes.
  • Climb Mt. Kyusho, the hub of the city. Starting from atop the castle ruins, the climb takes around half an hour and offers a great view of the city and surrounding area, all the way out to the sand dunes. But watch out for the ghosts of those who starved at the top during the castle siege.
  • Relax at Tottori Hot Spring, not far from Tottori JR Station, or at Yoshioka Hot Spring. Pick up a brochure at the information desk in the train station.


  • Uradome Beach, 085-772-3481. Designated as a national park, the coast just east of the sand dunes is rugged and magnificent. Contact the Iwami-cho Tourist Association.

Buy

Walking east from the station you will find to the left, the 5-story Daimaru department store, and to the right, a string of small shops lining the main street.

  • At the southeast corner of Sakaemachi, you will find a large two-story store in which everything sold was made locally, including pottery, paper, clothing, dolls, and food items.
  • Kato Kamiten, a stationary shop in the second block east of the station, has an colorful and interesting selection of locally-produced paper on its second floor.
  • There is another shopping district about 3 kilometers west of the train station which includes a sizeable bookstore and a DeoDeo electronics center, among other things. A small import grocer sits not far away.
  • West of the river near the coast is a shopping area anchored by the large Jusco store.

Eat

Tottori is most famous for its pears. You will find a large variety of cookies, cakes, and other sweets made from local pears. Have a look at the omiyage shop in the train station, at the local handcraft shop two blocks up the main street, or in the basement floor of the Daimaru department store across from the station. Tottori is also famous for fresh seafood, particularly its crab and white squid. Another local specialty is shallots, grown in huge fields out near the sand dunes and pickled for appetizers.

  • Source - Go up the main street from the station several blocks. Just before you come to the river, you'll find this café on the right, on the second floor. Classy atmosphere and tasty selections from an eclectic menu.
  • There is a reasonable kaitenzushi (conveyor-belt sushi) restaurant, as well as other restaurants inside the Shamine department store in the train station.
  • A number of popular chain restaurants can be found in Tottori as well, mostly in the city center. These include Wara Wara (笑笑), Doma Doma (どまどま), Shirokiya (白木屋), and others.
  • Karoichi is a large seafood market with a view of the coast. There are several attached restaurants. Wakabayashi Sushi is good and cheap. An eight piece nigiri set is ¥700. Inside the market near the right entrance.

Drink

To find the main drinking district, walk about two blocks up the main street from the train station, take a right and go down about a block. Tottori does not have a gaijin bar, but there are plenty of izakaya and small pubs in the drinking district, which is an area about 2 blocks by 3 blocks.

  • Luz - right on the main street of the drinking district, across from the Lawson, this place has a nice African decor. Here you can try mamushi-shu, which is sake with a drowned viper snake inside. Also, the Israelis who sell jewelry in front of the place can sometimes be a very valuable source of information.
  • Goldrush - Country-western-style saloon in the backstreets of the drinking district. They are rumored to serve reasonable tacos.
  • DD - This spacious ground floor pub across from Goldrush is very foreigner-friendly.
  • Bridge Club - This dance club is located in a warehouse district west of the river and is infamously hard to find the first time, so you should take a taxi. The club doesn't always have regular events, so you should check first at Luz for flyers of any upcoming events.
  • Big Apple - By day it is a diner for the neighborhood's factory workers, but on weekend nights they often bring in DJs and clear the tables from the dancefloor. It is best to take a taxi.
  • DNA - Located in the heart of the entertainment area, DNA is THE nightclub in Tottori. They have 3 rooms (main hall, dining & a VIP room) that can hold up to 250 people. DNA serves a number of imported beers. Main events are held at the weekend, including national & internationally recognised artists, while their mid-week schedule also includes 'lower key' events such as quiz nights, dance lessons, fashion shows.... The DNA event schedule and food menu can be found on their website www.clubdna.biz The owners are an English guy and an Israeli guy and they've lived in Tottori for a decade, so they have tons of info if you're in Tottori for a visit.

Sleep

  • Hotel New Otani, 2-153 Ima-Machi. Only a block from JR Tottori station. Rooms from ¥11,000.
  • Washington Hotel Tottori [13] 102 Higashi Hongi-Machi. Tel. 857-278111
  • Hotel Green Morris, Rooms starting at 4500 yen per night. Very clean with onsen and sauna available to guests. Delicious Buffet style breakfast for extra 500 yen is well worth the price.
  • There also is a cheap business hotel just west of the train station. Rooms start at ¥4,200.
  • Yanagijaya Campground 「柳茶屋キャンプ場」 Free campsite right next to 「こどもの国」(Kodomo no kuni, or Kids' Land), located west of the sand dunes. It seems like you can take showers for free in the next door Cycling Terminal building (for cyclers), too.

Contact

  • Tottori Prefectural Tourism Division, Tel. 0857-22-7070
  • There is an internet cafe behind the train station. Go out the west exit, around to the right. The internet cafe is above the travel agency in the curved building just past the Lawson convenience store.

Get out

  • Misasa - Home to the mysterious cliff temple, Mitokusan Nageiredo and a nice hot spring.
  • Kurayoshi Home to a well-preserved historic district.
  • Daisen A great place for hiking in the warm months and skiing in the winter.
  • Wakasa A nearby town with a nice ski resort.
  • Tsuyama One of the best places in the entire Chugoku region to view cherry blossoms in the spring and autumn leaves in the fall.
  • Saji Astro Park is an easy evening trip from Tottori. It houses a planetarium and the largest observatory in Japan that is open to the public. Tel. 0858-89-1011
  • Many of Tottori prefecture's famous hot springs are easily accessible as day trips: Togo Hot Spring in Togo-cho, Shikano Hot Spring in Shikano-cho, Iwami Hot Spring, Hamamura Hot Spring in Ketaka-cho, Sekigane Hot Spring in Sekigane-cho, Hawai Hot Spring in Hawai-cho
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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