If you have always reminisced childhood sand playing at playground or envisioned visiting a desert, visit the sand dunes at Tottori (also known as Tottori Sakyu, 鳥取砂丘) to satisfy your dream! Located in the east of Tottori prefecture at western Japan, Tottori houses the largest sand dunes in the country, spanning an area of over 30 square kilometers. This breathtaking natural land formation was sculpted over the last 100,000 years by the constant cycle of sand re-deposition by nearby Sendaigawa River tides and coastal winds along Sea of Japan, 日本海. Today, Tottori sand dunes continues to evolve into an ever-changing landscape and forms part of San’in Kaigan Geopark, 山陰海岸ジオパーク.
At first glance, it looks like a disappointing sand field with rough and dirty patches.
Further steps ahead, it was surreal and I felt in awe of the spectacular vast expanse of sand around me. The works of Mother Nature is simply magnificent! It reminds me of an endless sand playground. I believe this breathtaking view has excite many others too; old couples walking hand in hand beaming, children running and rolling on the sand; fun loving adults and families with exaggerated photo poses.
I recommend you to climb the sand hill (also known as Umanose – “the horse’s back”) and you will be presented with a glorious coastal view of Sea of Japan on one side, and a panoramic view of the vast sand land around you on the other. With the light gentle whistling of wind, it’s a haven of tranquility.
There are various activities to enjoy at Tottori Sand Dune for a complete “sand” experience and of course, camel riding is top on the list! You can also find other activities such as ski lift for full bird’s eye viewing, horse-drawn cart rides, as well as thrilling paragliding and sandboarding. Thoughtful rental services for sand dune boots and slippers, and even wheelchairs with special tyres (complimentary) are available.