There are so many wonderful places to find in Nihon. I’ve been to Nihon twice and visited close to a dozen prefectures (a prefecture is like a state) and my favorite has to be the neglected prefecture of Tottori
If you want to get off the beaten path and challenge yourself a little, Tottori is a wonderful stop. It is the least populated prefecture in all of Japan, but is full of wonderful treasures and the kindest people you can find.
Tottori is famous for its sand dunes where you can take a camel for a short ride. When we got to the camels, it was time for their mid-day rest (yasumi), so we we waited a little bit in line with a group of elderly Japanese women who were also there to take a short jaunt on a camel. Seriously, it was the two of us in a sea of elderly women wanting to ride camels.
In addition to the camel rides, there is great hiking along the coast, sand boarding, and paragliding off the dunes.
Near the sand dunes is the amazing Sand Museum. Here you can see huge sand sculptures whose theme changes every year. The year I went the theme was “Nordic Countries,” so there were massive statues of Norse Gods and Goddesses (including Thor, Freya, and Odin) and even one of Santa Clause.
The day after our trip to the sand dunes, we went to the Uradome Coast where we took a boat ride around amazing rock formations and caves. I would love to go here again and go kayaking.
After that we explored downtown Tottori where we visited the castle ruins, had incredible food (Tottori, Japan of all places has the best pizza I have ever tasted), and met some interesting and kind characters. I’ll write more about this later and include tips on how to get to Tottori as well as how to get around once you get there.
Nihon is full of unexplored treasures. Make sure to try to fit some hidden gems like Tottori in your plans if you can.
After watching this video I HAD to visit Tottori!
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