I can't say that I have travelled Japan extensively but among the places of interest I have been to, Tottori sand dunes will definitely qualify as one of the top choices in my ranking list. This is embarrassing but before I arrived at Tottori, I was actually half-concerned about whether I would get to see the sand dunes in the first place. Won't they be buried under the snow, I questioned myself. It was only when I reached this paradise that I realised how naive I had been. Of course, it would be business as usual! And although I didn't ride camels and get a Lawrence of Arabia experience, the experience of seeing sand and snow for as far as my eyes could see was novel in itself.
The winds are gonna slap you so hard (to put it crudely) but be sure to presevere and climb all the way to the top, for the bird's eye view of the dunes is priceless. You would definitely want to stand, stare and either contemplate about life or cam-whore indiscriminately, depending on the kind of person you are.
I want to revisit this place again summer. And I guess the best compliment I can pay the dunes is that I am certain I would want to visit it again in winter had I visited it during summer.
Gosho Aoyama is the creator of Detective Conan, the detective that has caused non-fans some grief by always remaining in the first grade. LOL. He is from Yurashuku, Tottori, which explains why this manga factory is in Tottori. Well, the pleasure you would derive from this museum depends on how much you like Conan kun in the first place, especially when you take into account the 700 yen entrance fee.
I'll come out of the closet by admitting that I like Conan kun and at the ripe old age of 31, still watch the anime pretty regularly. Still, I have to say that the exhibits in the museum aren't quite worth the entrance fee. It was interesting to view samples of Aoyama's previous work prior to striking gold with Conan kun and even more fun to play around with the interactive exhibits to see whether I could understand the logic behind the various tricks used in the murder cases. I did wish that there was more substance to the exhbits than just full-colour, glossy drawings. I would have liked to learn more about the thought process behind Aoyama's work--where does he get his ideas for all these murder tricks from? Also, it would be good to pick up some insights on how he thinks his characters have evolved over the years and his plans for them in the future. After all, Detective Conan Movie 16 will be out in April 2012; some marriages don't even last that long. Heh.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed myself at the museum. I was touched by how he had resolved to be a manga artist since the sixth grade and always joined clubs related to art and illustration in his schooling years. What a determined man! I reckon I gathered some power from his relentless drive to fulfill his dream^^
The Tottori Sand Dunes are the largest sand dunes in Japan. While sand dunes are not typically associated with Japan, it is nevertheless a great place to visit! The size of the dunes is quite large however, because they are situated along the Sea of Japan, some people may see it more as a large beach. In order to best appreciate the dunes, I would recommend viewing them from in front of the dunes (from a distance away) and also to walk atop the dunes around the center. From the central part of the dunes, there are areas where you cannot see the distant foliage, so it feels more like a desert.
The sand dunes are particularly beautiful in the early morning when there are no footprints or people getting in the way of the natural beauty of the sand and ruining the patterns that form over night (and after rain). It is also an amazing place to view the sunrise!
Entrance to the dunes is free. If you wish to ride a camel, it costs 1800 for one person or 3000 yen for two. Hang gliding, paragliding and sanboarding are also done here, but you must call ahead of time and make a reservation.
The temple was built in 1632. It's a rather small temple, but inside there is a beautiful, scerene garden! Upon entering, you will be treated to tea as you sit and admire the garden. Although the temple is located in the city, somehow, when you there, none of the noise from cars and other such things can be heard. It's very peaceful and a great place to relax and enjoy the view!
The small lantern on the right side of the garden depicts a Christian icon. It was placed back in the garden when the ban on Christianity was lifted in the mid-20th century.
Entrance is 600 yen.
This is special place in Japan. Very very wide sand dunes plus camel make you think about another place... not Japan.
Please try to ride on camel.... ride on camel only to take picture is 500 yen, but if you ride on camel for 30 min is 3000 yen. But it is valuable experience...
At the Tottori station, there is tourist information center, you can ask map and guide in english.
This is a small museum in the downtown area of Tottori. The main attraction is the pottery, but there is also a variety of glass objects, as well as some clothing and other artwork. Outside the museum is an interesting little structure where visitors come to pray and make offerings to children who have died as orphans. This is worth a look, if you visit the museum or are passing by.
Entrance to the museum is 500 yen. The structure outside is free.
Because Tottori city is home to Japan's largest sand dunes, the locals have taken a lot of pride in this unique site, and for those who wish to enjoy it further, the World Sand Sculpture Festival features sand sculptures from some of the most impressive sculptors in the world. In the evening, they light up the sculptures.
There is typically a theme among the sculptures. When I visited, it was folktales and legends, so every sculpture symbolized a fairytale or legend from the sculptor's home nation. The sculptures are all judged, so you can see the top three and compare their choices to your own personal favorites.
Along with looking at the sand sculptures, there are a variety of food vendors and tents filled with various souvenirs. It's a great time!
The entrance fee is around 1300 yen.
An affordable museum across from Jinpukaku at the foot of the Tottori Castle Ruins, the Tottori Prefectural Museum contains both art and historical artifacts. The museum features a variety of exhibits from the state of the area in Prehistoric times to modern plants and animals, cultural exhibits, and much more. There is a live giant salamander and a huge preserved giant squid, said to be the largest on record in Japan.
Entrance is only 180 yen for adults and all students (including university students) may enter for free with student ID.
Tottori Castle was once quite picturesque, as it was built on the side of Mount Kyusho overlooking the city. All that remains of the castle today are the walls, which offer a great view of the city. Many people come here for picnics. Although the castle is gone, the castle ruins are still considered to be one of Japan's top 100 castles, because the seige of Tottori Castle by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, in which he starved the occupants until they surrendered, was such a great historic event.
Entrance is free.
the tottori sand dunes are the largest dunes in japan and lie next to the JAPAN SEA. they are amazing! i've never seen anything like it before! when i visited there, i didn't feel like i was in japan. there are 2 camels that you can ride or take photos with which make going to the sand dunes even more surreal! the height of the dunes are great and climbing to the top of the dunes is quite an exercise. it's very windy there so when you go, be careful of the sand getting in your eyes and in your camera!
Uradome is beautiful beach in the north of Tottori. In summer, you also can swim, cause Uradome has not only rugged coastline, but also white sand seashore.