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Discovering Japan's Tottori Sand Dunes
Posted on 28/05/2017

NatureJapan

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Beyond the mountains, temples and Tokyo, Japan has a little surprise in store that is far lesser known: its desert. The land of the rising sun has some magnificent sand dunes which are the largest sandbanks in the country. They are called the Tottori Sand Dunes.

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  • The Tottori Sand Dunes
    The Tottori Sand Dunes

    Scorching sun above your head, burning sand under your feet, camel rides...Located just outside the city of Tottori, these vast dunes are some 16 kilometers wide and 2 kilometers from north to south. one might think they were in the Sahara Desert. But no - it is a desert in Japan, near to Tottori on the north coast of the Chugoku region. This beautiful natural wonder has existed for over 1000 years and is known as the Tottori Sand Dunes.

  • Sanin Kaigan National Geopark
    Sanin Kaigan National Geopark

    Located just outside the city of Tottori, these vast dunes are some 16 kilometers wide and 2 kilometers from north to south.At certain places the sand dunes go up as high as 47 meters. As a part of a National Park they have become a must-see for tourists. In some places vegetation regains its rights and pushes through the white hot sand.

  • View Point
    View Point

    At certain places the sand dunes go up as high as 47 meters. As a part of a National Park they have become a must-see for tourists. In some places vegetation regains its rights and pushes through the white hot sand.If you reach the top of the dunes, by foot or with the help of a cable car, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the sea and the desert that it borders.

  • Japan's Mini Desert
    Japan's Mini Desert

    If you reach the top of the dunes, by foot or with the help of a cable car, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the sea and the desert that it borders.

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Be advised visitors are warned to be careful of the scorching hot sand and the areas extreme weather conditions, which include high temperatures and strong winds.

Due to the high number of tourists that visit the sand dunes (about two million a year), as well as other natural reasons, the desert has been slowly but surely shrinking over the last few decades. To avoid this problem, the city of Tottori brings additional sand to the bank. Nevertheless, this doesn't stop hikers and tourists exploring the area inside out.

What to do

Holidaymakers can enjoy a variety of attractions in Tottori. Children and adults all have the chance to ride camels, horses or sit in horse-drawn carriages. The more athletic of the visitors can sand board or paraglide down the dunes.

After a walk across the Tottori Sand Dunes you can visit the square and the museum which are only a few meters away from the site. The museum is a unique gallery which exhibits various sand sculptures. Several artists from all over the world have helped to create them and the style focuses on a different theme, country or region every year.

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