Get off the beaten travel path with a trip to Tottori, a region just waiting to be discovered!
Aiming to offer tourists insight into the lesser-known parts of the country, Odyssey Japan offers journeys to more untouched destinations with curated tours for both quick or more indulgent getaways - created by the people who live here. Discover an authentic, real Japan with one-of-a-kind experiences.
Where is Tottori?
Facing the windswept Sea of Japan coast, Tottori is situated in the Chugoku region (also known as the San’in-San’yo region). The rural area is home to breathtaking dunes, a local culture of rich seafood, and top quality Japanese sake.
Things to do in Tottori
Tottori Sand Dunes
These breathtaking dunes, located at the entrance to the coastal Sanin Kaigan National Park (www.sanin-geoparkkan.jp/eng/), form a 16km-long stretch along the Sea of Japan - but could easily be mistaken for an arid desert. There are numerous opportunities here for leisure, whether it’s strolling, hiking, sandboarding, paragliding, or even taking a ride atop a camel. Don’t forget your camera!
The Sand Museum
Prepare for jaw to meet floor at this museum, which showcases works from a different team of international sand artists who come to Tottori every year to craft enormous (several meters tall) sculptures out of local sand. Each exhibition features artworks highlighting a different country or region, and 2017’s is the United States, where sand sculpting emerged as a modern art form in California during the 1970s. www.sand-museum.jp
November and December are the top months for the local catch of matsubagani, adult snow crabs, which are known for their rich and tender flavor. You are in for a real treat at the portside Seafood Shop and Restaurant Hamashita (www.hamashita.jp), where you will be able to enjoy freshly caught crab that has been hauled up by fishermen and then boiled in large vats onsite. While here, you can also browse offerings of fresh fish, and find dried seafood products to take as omiyage for the folks back home.
Culinary Class at Karoichi Seafood Market
Ever wonder what goes into preparing those beautiful platters of sashimi you’ve seen in restaurants? Through this fun and interactive course, which is held at the largest seafood market in Tottori, you will learn how to wash, clean, gut, slice, and arrange your own sashimi before enjoying it for lunch. No experience is required - and the market’s attentive staff is on hand for any help you may need. So push past any squeamishness you might have, and get ready to carve your fish like a pro!
Shabu shabu dinner/saké tasting
At Kappoten, a Showa-era restaurant steeped in history, you will be able to enjoy shabu shabu -a delectable dish featuring local veggies and local wagyu beef that you swish around in boiling water and dip into a sesame-flavored sauce. Your dinner will be accompanied by lively and knowledgeable commentary from kikezakishi (saké specialist) Nobumasa Tanimoto, who will explain local efforts to revive local organic saké culture in Tottori -a region that is blessed with the three ingredients necessary to make superior-grade saké: top-quality rice, water, and brewers.