Travel Reports by Aaron Chong view profile of Aaron Chong

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May 27, 2019 - Matsue Horanenya - Tottori Sand Dunes

Starting the day with a hearty breakfast

The final day in the San'in Region had come and it was time to visit Tottori Prefecture's most famous attraction, the Tottori Sand Dunes.

The sand dunes are located far from the city center and one has to take the bus from the train station to get there. I took the first bus out at about 9 in the morning.

Off we go to the sand dunes!

I alighted the bus at the Sand Dune Observatory so that I could take the chairlift to the dunes, just like what I saw on TV. Upon arrival, I was at first underwhelmed as the dunes didn't seem impressive from the observatory.

However, I changed my mind about the dunes when I arrived at the foot of the dunes for the first time. The dunes were really high, worthy of being the highest sand dunes of Japan. Although the weather was hot and the sand beneath my feet scorched like hell, I managed to climb up to the top of the dune and was rewarded with a beautiful view of the Sea of Japan.

The most fun way to the dunes
Start of the climb
The sand dunes rising mightily before our eyes
Finally arrived at the top of the dunes!
Waiting for others to make the climb
Admiring the view of the sea all by yourself
Camel ride for tourists
One last look of the sand dunes

I returned back at the chairlift station with my shoes filled with sand from the trek. Once I reached the chairlift station, I found out that the chairlift station actually had boots for rent at the exit where the chairlifts go uphill back to the observatory! If only they have provided a sign for the boot rental service or have the boots available right after the place where we get off the chairlift, I would have gladly paid for the boots and spare myself from the uncomfortable feeling of hot sand piling up in my shoes.

My shoes were filled with so much sand!
Unpleasant sandstorm

Since there was more time left to spend, I decided to have a peek at the nearby Sand Museum. The theme of the year was 'South Asia', featuring incredibly detailed sand sculptures that depicted famous places, people and fictional figures of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan. I was amused by the Indian snacks, handicrafts and Mysore sandalwood soap that were on sale and had to take pictures to show to my Indian friends.

Next stop: The Sand Museum
Mahatma Gandhi
Scene of pilgrims bathing in the Ganges River of Varanasi
The Star Mosque of Dhaka, Bangladesh
The Ancient Civilization of Mohenjo Daro
The ancient city of Patan, Nepal
The shrine of Hazrat Ali, Afghanistan
The temple of Khajuraho, India
Shiva and Parvati
The piece de la resistance: The Taj Mahal
Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal
The enlightenment of Buddha
The death of Buddha
The Buddhas of Bamiyan, Afghanistan
Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan
Sigiriya Lion Rock, Sri Lanka
Scene from the Jungle Book
Lord Ganesha
View of the entire museum space from above
Indian products for sale
Time to head back to the station

I returned back to Tottori Station and sadly, this marked the end of my time in the San'in Region. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time exploring the San'in Region especially the Horanenya festival in Matsue.

It was time to head back to the Kansai region with the aid of the JR Kansai Wide Area Pass. At Tottori Station, I bought a delicious Kuromeshi ekiben lunch and some Tottori-inspired snacks to enjoy on my railroad journey to a new destination in the more commercially developed Kansai region.

Unleashing the next rail pass: The Kansai Wide Area Pass
The end of Tottori Prefecture at Higashihama beach
Arrival at Hamasaka Station in Hyogo Prefecture
Hamakaze Limited Express bound for Osaka
My ekiben lunch
Succulent squid in my kuromeshi ekiben
Rice cooked in squid ink
Inside the Hamakaze Limited Express

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List of Posts:
2019/05/31 - Matsue Horanenya - Koyasan
2019/05/30 - Matsue Horanenya - Horyuji and to Wakayama Prefecture
2019/05/29 - Matsue Horanenya - Uji
2019/05/28 - Matsue Horanenya - Amanohashidate
2019/05/27 - Matsue Horanenya - Tottori Sand Dunes
2019/05/26 - Matsue Horanenya - Kangyosai Ҍ
2019/05/25 - Matsue Horanenya - The World Heritage Sites of Hagi
2019/05/24 - Matsue Horanenya - Akiyoshido and Akiyoshidai
2019/05/23 - Matsue Horanenya - The Beluga Whales of AQUAS
2019/05/22 - Matsue Horanenya - Chunichisai
2019/05/21 - Matsue Horanenya - Matengai Cliff and the Kuniga Coast
2019/05/20 - Matsue Horanenya - Sakaiminato
2019/05/19 - Matsue Horanenya - Izumo Taisha
2019/05/18 - Matsue Horanenya - Togyosai n
2019/05/17 - Matsue Horanenya - Getting to Matsue from KIX
2016/07/15 - Hokkaido Day 14 - End of the Trip and My Top Five Highlights
2016/07/14 - Hokkaido Day 13 - Biei's Patchwork Road and the Blue Pond
2016/07/13 - Hokkaido Day 12 - The Lavender Fields of Furano
2016/07/12 - Hokkaido Day 11 - Usuyukiso Habitat and Peach Rock
2016/07/11 - Hokkaido Day 10 - Rebun's 4-Hour Trekking Course
2016/07/10 - Hokkaido Day 9 - Wakkanai, the Northernmost City of Japan
2016/07/09 - Hokkaido Day 8 - Journey to the North
2016/07/08 - Hokkaido Day 7 - Last Day in Shiretoko
2016/07/07 - Hokkaido Day 6 - Bear Watching Cruise and Rausu
2016/07/06 - Hokkaido Day 5 - Shiretoko Five Lakes
2016/07/05 - Hokkaido Day 4 - Obihiro Butadon and the Kushiro Norokko Train
2016/07/04 - Hokkaido Day 3 - Hell Valley and Heavenly Ramen
2016/07/03 - Hokkaido Day 2 - Yoichi and Otaru
2016/07/02 - Hokkaido Day 1 - Late Night Ramen Dinner
2015/05/02 - Hanami 2015 Day 6 - The Wisterias of Ashikaga Flower Park
2015/05/01 - Hanami 2015 Day 5 - Kakunodate and Long Winding Route to Aomori
2015/04/30 - Hanami 2015 Day 4 - The Lonely Sakura of Koiwai Farm
2015/04/29 - Hanami 2015 Day 3 - Matsushima and the Shiogamazakura
2015/04/28 - Hanami 2015 Day 2 - Hirosaki
2015/04/27 - Hanami 2015 Day 1 - Shibazakura in Chichibu