Try outdoor activities while visiting shrines and temples
Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Tottori
Tottori Prefecture on Honshu is a gateway to historical sites and thrilling activities – all surrounded by nature…
The Culture Vulture
The Kurayoshi Shirakabe Storehouses along the Tamagawa River retain the feel of their origins in the Edo and Meiji periods. The area has been designated one of the most important traditional architecture preservation districts in the country, with a stone bridge spanning the Tamagawa and the red tiles contrasting beautifully with the white mortar of the buildings.
Formerly breweries and soy sauce distilleries, the buildings now house shops and galleries, and it’s a great place to while away an afternoon walking around.
Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple is located on the 900m-high Mount Mitoku. Built into the mouth of a cave on a sheer precipice, it is a one-of-a-kind national treasure. You have to climb a tricky mountain path to see it up close, but it’s worth it.
In the middle of Mount Daisen you’ll find the Buddhist Daisenji Temple, which was destroyed by fire in 1928 and reconstructed in 1951. Visit Ogamiyama Shrine – located above the temple – too.
In Japan, mention Tottori and people think of nashi (Asian pears); mention nashi and Tottori comes to mind, so they are a must-try. The most representative of the many varieties is the 20th Century Pear, which is known for its pale yellow, almost translucent, skin, and a delicate sweetness and juiciness.
The swordtip squid caught in the Sea of Japan are called shiroika, or white squid, by the locals and their rich flavour is popular in a variety of dishes.
Dine on mountain cuisine in the heart of the forest at Mitakien (ashidumitakien.jp), near Chizu. This restaurant has six different buildings and the location is lovely to stroll around, with a nearby stream adding to the acoustics while you dine. Try a kaiseki (multi-course) meal, featuring mountain vegetables, konjac and river fish.
For an adrenaline rush, try sand-boarding at the Tottori Sand Dunes, where you can slide down the 30-degree slopes. Or you can fly over the dunes with a paragliding experience.
You can also take in spectacular views when kayaking on the Uradome Coast – it’s the leading attraction of the San’in Kaigan UNESCO Global Geopark.
The Party Animal
Misasa Onsen is famous for its curative powers, then at night guests put on yukata (casual kimonos) and stroll around the village, playing retro games and sampling pubs.
BASE8823 is a unique lodge in the forest in Yazu with a night view of the stars that is rated the best in Japan. You can also interact with other travellers around the camp fire and BBQ.
The restaurant Daisen G Beer Bier Hof Gambarius is not only a great spot from which to watch the sunset, you can also sample the local 100%-malt Daisen G Beer.
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How to get there
Tottori station is around two-and-a-half hours by train from Kyoto, Osaka or Kobe. There are also direct flights available from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to Tottori Airport, which take one hour 15 minutes.