Amazing View of Tottori Sand Dunes; Hot Spot for Being Open to Pokemon GO Players
Located at one of the coastal areas facing Japan Sea, Tottori Sand Dunes is a site of fantastic scenery created by nature. It is in the north of Tottori Prefecture and its enormous size is said to be 100 times that of Tokyo Dome. It is designated as a national natural monument and makes one of the major tourist spots of the prefecture.
Very recently, the place has gained a lot of renewed attention when the prefecture officially announced they welcome Pokemon GO players to the sand dunes. Playing Pokemon GO at a national natural monument surely sounds like an interesting and irreplaceable experience, doesn’t it?
Here I would like to introduce to you a couple of scenic points I found as I walked around the sand dunes on my own feet.
Route to Tottori Sand Dunes
I left from Hiroshima and drove for about 5 hours via Chugoku Expressway, Matsue Expressway and San’in Expressway to head to the sand dunes. Once I was in Tottori and approaching the sand dunes, I could see the Japan Sea spread across the field from my car window. As I saw the signboard of “Tottori Sand Dunes (Tottori Sakyu),” I knew I was almost there.
Around the parking area adjoining the sand dunes, there is a souvenir shop “Rakudaya” and “Sand Museum,” a facility where sand sculptures are exhibited
The Entrance to the Sand Dunes
I went pass the entrance signboard and found the vast and far-reaching area of sand dunes. The whole area is not fenced off or gated, so you can come here anytime without paying any fee. If you walk barefoot on the sand here, the fine particles feel very soft and the nice and pleasant feel wraps around your bare feet.
You can also ride a camel and enjoy the view of the sand dunes from its back. Mounted high on the back of a large camel, your will surely be able to enjoy a whole different picture. You can also take a photograph with the camels, so whenever you find the animals here, don’t hesitate to ask the staff.
“Horse’s Back,” the Dune Summits
After a few minutes’ walk from the entrance, you will start to see the ridgeline of the dunes referred to as Umanose or “horse’s back.” Seen from far away, the “horse’s back” looks like its enclosing the sand dunes and about to suck it down, which creates an almost overwhelming view.
But you will not find the very best scenery here until you get to the top of the ridgeline. You have to climb the fairly steep slope to get to the summit of the dunes and it is not very easy. It is advised to take your shoes off here first because you would otherwise end up getting sand all over and inside your shoes. Even if your feet get all sandy, you will be able to wash them off at the washing place near the entrance.
The view of mountains seen over the dunes is also fantastic. From high above, looking down at all those tiny people, I could fully enjoy the grandeur of nature spreading out as far as my eye could reach.
Probably due to the free Wi-fi access provided here at “Horse’s Back” and the fact that this place is officially open to Pokemon GO players, I could find many people playing the game.
I proceeded through the sandy terrain further, struggling to keep my balance, and it was the “Japan Sea” which awaited me. It was the first time that I actually saw the horizon of the Japan Sea and it made me speechless for a while. If you visit here on a sunny day, you would be able to enjoy the view of Japan Sea glittering under the sun as far as you can see.
It was unfortunately a little bit overcast on the day I visited there. The great opportunity is spared for you to enjoy another expression of the sand dunes under the clear sky. So make sure to visit here sometime yourself and fully enjoy the fantastic scenery!
About 20 Minutes by Bus or Taxi from Tottori Station
(Buses bound for the sand dunes (Tottori Sakyu) depart from in front of the station at 15 to 30 minute intervals.)
Or, 20 minute drive from Tottori Interchange if you are visiting by car.
(No admission fee for the sand dune area but the parking fee may apply.)
For any other details, please visit the website below.
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