The Tottori sand dunes are a series of gigantic sand dunes on the coast of Tottori city (Tottori Prefecture).
It’s part of the Sanin Kaigan National Park and has an extension of 38 km², some of them 50m high. They’re some of the biggest dunes in all of Japan. The sand dunes were created over thousands of years. Sand from the nearby Sendaigawa River washed out to sea and eventually got deposited along the coast by the ocean currents. Today, the constant movement of the tides and the coastal winds continuously shape the sand dunes and provide an ever changing landscape.
Here you can visit the dunes, the Sand Museum and even have a camel tour.
In fact, it is the most famous tourist attraction of the city, with around 2 million visitors every year.
The Sand Museum:
Opened in 2006, the Sand Museum is the only open air museum in Japan that exhibits sculptures made of sand. Since 2012 the museum moved to it’s own permanent indoor building.
There’re more than 100 sculptures in the museum from sand sculptors all over the world. These works of art are in constant renovation as all the sculptures will eventually collapse due to its fragile essence, the sand. This in itself makes the sand sculptures beautiful and attractive .
There’re also other attractions to enjoy around the dunes, such as the camel and horse cart rides. The prices for camel rides are 1300 JPY for one person and 2500 for a 2 person ride.
More extreme sports like paragliding and sand boarding might be a good choice for adrenaline junkies.
・By regular city bus:From Tottori Station, take a bus to Tottori Sakyu (鳥取砂丘) and get off at the last stop. A one way ride takes 20 minutes and costs 370 yen. There are hourly departures from bus stop #0 in front of Tottori Station.
・By Kirin Jishi Loop Bus:On weekends, national holidays and during the summer holidays (July 20 to August 31), the Kirin Jishi Loop Bus operates from Tottori Station to the sand dunes. Buses along the A-Course take about 25 minutes to reach the dunes while buses along the B-Course take about one hour. There are departures every 1-2 hours. The fare is 300 yen per ride or 600 yen for a 1-day pass.
・By taxi:The sand dunes are about a twenty minute, 2200 yen taxi ride from Tottori Station.
Hours: 9:30 to 16:30 (March to November)
10:00 to 16:00 (December to February)
Closed: No closing days
Price: 1300 yen (one person), 2500 yen (two persons)
Hours: 9:00 to 20:00 (entry until 19:30)
Closed: Between exhibitions (early January to mid April)
Admission: 600 yen
Tour also available in English
For more info click HERE