The coastline is a ria coast (submerged coast) where the mountains connect to the ocean; it is characterized by its richly varying landscape comprising landforms of sea cliffs, sea caves, and reefs that have developed significantly and merge with the ocean. Another characteristic is the expansive dune landscape, represented by the Tottori Sand Dunes that have been formed through wave erosion and by sand carried from river mouths.
San’inkaigan National Park, like all of Japan's national parks, has no entrance fees, no opening and closing hours, and a permit is not required to enter or stay in the park. The national parks of Japan differ from national parks worldwide in that the land within the national parks is not exclusively designated for national park use and is made up of private property as well as public and protected areas. Visitors are free to enter and leave at any time.
The distinctive coastline of the San'inkaigan National Park is mainly a rocky coastline. A striking number of sea cliffs, sea caves, reefs, and other landforms have developed due to erosion and weathering by the rough waves of the Sea of Japan and seasonal winds.
The coastline's diverse geological structure contains a rich variety of rocks, there are unique landforms dotted throughout the park. The sandy coastline presents a completely contrasting landscape to that of the rocky coastline areas.
Measuring 16 km east-west and 2.4 km north-south, the Tottori Sand Dunes are Japan's largest. Here, beautiful patterns created by the sand and wind (wind ripples) and bowl-shaped depressions can be seen. This unique, richly varying and undulating topography is one of the attractions of the Tottori Sand Dunes.
Designated as a National Natural Monument, this cave was formed by volcanic activity 1.6 million years ago. Viewing the cave's beautiful columnar and tabular joints is possible. The Japanese name for basalt, “genbugan,” is derived from the name of the cave.
Located on the shoreline of Takeno Beach in an area of wave-cut cliffs, this landform is a rock gate formed along conglomerate strata. The rock forming the roof of a sea cave is thought to have fallen and stuck between the cave walls. The site is designated by Hyogo Prefecture as a Place of Scenic Beauty.
Located at the western end of Kasumi Beach, these huge cliffs are 65 m high, 200 m long, and have a 70-degree incline; they have also been designated a National Natural Monument. The alternating columnar and tabular joints look just like sleeves of armor, which is the origin of the Japanese name.