Tottori Prefecture, located in the west of the island of Honshu, deserves to be called the world in miniature. Almost everything that attracts travelers to distant lands is collected on its small territory: a sacred forest, a desert, ski and thermal resorts, a warm sea, ancient temples – and even a miniature copy of Fujiyama itself. For Japan climate and geography, please check TopPharmacySchools.
In any season, Tottori will find something to surprise. Winter gathers fans of skiing on the snowy slopes of the Daisen and Hyonosen mountains, spring and autumn are met with blooming gardens: sakura blossoms in spring, maples “bloom” in autumn. And in the summer in the local forests, the time of night magic begins, the culprits of which are ordinary fireflies.
How to get to Tottori
Tottori has two airports, Yonago to the west and Tottori to the east; the flight here from Tokyo will take 1.5 hours, and the trip by car – from 8 to 11 hours. Night buses run 12 hours.
By train from Tokyo, you can reach the prefectural capital in 5.5 hours, from Osaka in 2.5 hours. Within Tottori Prefecture itself, many local attractions can be reached by rail.
Entertainment and attractions
Tottori is the very place where you can go skiing in winter, and wander through wild forests and dunes in summer, reminiscent of all the deserts of the world at once. Fans of Japanese artists will find interesting museums here, and those who prefer a relaxed holiday will appreciate the local hot springs.
Sandy expanses, stretching for 16 km from west to east and 2.4 km from north to south, are the hallmark of the prefecture: not visiting them means not visiting Tottori. On the dunes ride camels and boards for sandboarding; Climbing Horse’s Back Hill, they admire the blue expanse of the Sea of Japan or simply roam the largest sandy sea in Japan.
An amazingly beautiful spectacle is observed in the Fukumaki district of the city of Nichinana at the end of June. There, on the slopes of one relatively small hill, about 20 thousand himebotaru fireflies gather. They cover its slopes with a luminous pulsating veil, creating the effect of complete immersion in magical reality for eyewitnesses.
Natural areas of Tottori
The prefecture’s most notable natural attraction is Mount Daisen (1709 m), which looks like a smaller copy of Mount Fuji. Once it was considered sacred and it was forbidden to climb it. But today you can climb to the very top, and wander through the sacred Daisen forest, and visit the local Buddhist temple, whose buildings are hundreds of years old. Near the mountain is a picturesque place called Okudaisen-Mitsukue, where you can admire the traditional Japanese landscape.
Wildlife lovers often come to Lake Nakaumi, where the Yonago Waterfowl Park is located. Those who prefer the harsh beauty of the rocks can take a walk along the coast of Uradome, rich in grottoes and lonely cliffs.
Nanbu is home to the largest flower park in Western Japan.
The hot springs
Hot springs are located in different areas of Tottori, but perhaps the most picturesque can be called those on the shores of Lake Togo. The springs of the Iwai area are considered the oldest: relaxing thermal baths with natural water began to be taken there 1200 years ago. The sources richest in radon are in the Misasa region.
Rheumatism, neuralgia, skin diseases are considered indications for visiting the springs.
Temples and castles
It is worth coming to Tottori to see the unusual mountain temple complex Mitokusan-Sanbutsu. One of his buildings, standing on thin props in a rock crevice, according to legend, was personally thrown onto the mountain by the founder of the Shugendo teaching En-no Ozuno. Another cave temple – Fudoin Iwaya – is famous for one of the largest statues of the deity Acala Naatha in Japan. The Hakuto Jinja Shrine is also unusual, and is visited in the hope of curing skin diseases.
In Tottori, you can see the ruins of a medieval castle (in the spring, in cherry blossom, they are especially beautiful) and the white-stone residence of Jinpukaku, built according to the canons of the Renaissance. And in Yazu County, a corner of old Japan has been preserved – the mountain village of Itaibara, recognized in the country as an object of cultural heritage.
Museums are the real pride of Tottori. At the Mizuki Shigeru Museum and on the street of the same name, you can take pictures with funny comic book characters, at the Watanabe Art Museum you can see one of the largest collections of samurai weapons and armor in Japan, at the Sand Sculpture Museum you can marvel at what masterpieces craftsmen can create from ordinary sand.
At the Pear Museum in Kurayoshi, a pear tree “grows” right in the middle of the hall. The collections introduce various varieties of this fruit, and pear ice cream is served in the museum cafeteria. Those who want to enjoy ripe fruits can look into the pear orchards of the prefecture, the leader in pear harvesting.
At the end of July – August, the city of Yonago hosts a big Gaina festival, in early August, the city of Kurayoshi invites everyone to the Utsubuki Matsuri festival, during which a beauty contest and musicians perform. And in mid-August, the Xiang-Xiang Festival is held in the capital of the prefecture, famous for its colorful dance with umbrellas.