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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Nature

Tottori Sand Dunes 鳥取砂丘

Explore Japan's largest sand dunes on a fat bike, or try sandboarding?

Located a short distance from the center of Tottori City on the Sea of Japan coast, the massive Tottori Sand Dunes attract more than two million visitors every year. The dunes are a really impressive site, and a good starting point for exploring this relatively undiscovered prefecture.

Don't Miss

  • Spectacular views of the Sea of Japan from atop the dunes
  • Exploring the area on a fat-bike
  • Other fun activities like sandboarding and paragliding

How to Get There

The sand dunes are a 20-minute bus ride from Tottori Station.

Crafted by nature

The Tottori Sand Dunes have existed for over 100,000 years. The Sendai River carries sediment from the nearby Chugoku Mountains that eventually washes out into the Sea of Japan. Strong sea currents and winds work together to push these sediments back onto the shore to form the sand dunes.

These same intense winds continuously move and re-shape the dunes. Over millennia, the sand deposits have created a 30-square kilometer golden landscape that stretches nearly 16 kilometers along the coast. Some of the dunes reach a towering 50 meters.

A giant, sandy playground

For many, a couple of hours spent around the largest of the dunes will be enough to feel amazed, snap some photos and enjoy the spectacular view. However, there are other fun activities too, like paragliding or sandboarding.

Consider taking a leisurely ride on one of the dunes' iconic camels, or board the chairlift to the Sakyu Center's observation deck for the best view of the coast. Don't miss the Sand Museum, where you can learn more about the geology and ecology of this special area.

Fat-bike tours are available. “Fat” refers to the giant-sized tires fitted to the mountain bikes, which makes it possible to ride along the dunes' sandy paths and the shoreline. It's a fantastic way to explore the quieter expanses of sand and sea and leave the other visitors behind.

Discover Tottori

For adventurous travelers with a more flexible schedule, the Tottori Sand Dunes make a great starting point for exploring the rest of the prefecture.

Away from the crowds and souvenir shops, amazing discoveries await in a corner of Japan rarely seen by outsiders. Hike the holy mountains of Mitoku or Daisen, soak in the lovely baths at Misasa Onsen, visit the quaint town of Wakasa, or explore the Yonago Mizutori Waterbird Park to see unique wildlife and learn about conservation in Japan.

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