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Tottori Sand Dunes

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Tottori Sand Dunes


Beautiful sand patterns change with the climate and seasons in this unique wonder of nature in rural Japan

Tottori City, Tottori Prefecture



Part of the San’in Kaigan Geopark, the Tottori Sand Dunes are one of the biggest sand dunes in Japan, extending 2.4 kilometers from north to south and 16 kilometers from east to west. Here, the sands constantly shift and take shape under the influence of ever-changing weather. 


The sand dunes boast several distinctive features, including the 47-meter-tall dune named “Umanose”; deeply eroded spots known as “suribachi,” forming bowl-shaped depressions up to 40 meters deep surrounded by steep slopes; wind-wrought patterns on the sand called “fumon (sand ripples)”; and sand grains forming curtain-like patterns on steep slopes called “saren.” During the rainy season and winter, a surprising oasis appears, with depths sometimes exceeding 140 centimeters. This phenomenon is a marvel because a layer of volcanic ash beneath the sand prevents water, which would typically permeate the sand, from seeping through. You’ll also discover areas where this volcanic ash layer is exposed as you explore the sand dunes.


As winter arrives and snow begins to accumulate, the landscape undergoes a complete transformation, blanketing the dunes in a beautiful, snow-white coat. The Tottori Sand Dunes will capture your heart with their ever-changing beauty, transforming dramatically with the time of the day and the season.


How to get there


From Haneda Airport, fly to Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport (about 1 hour 10 minutes). The dunes are about 15 minutes away by taxi.


2164-971 Yuyama Fukube-cho, Tottori-shi, Tottori-ken


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