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The Tottori Sand Dunes (捻u, Tottori Sakyu) are the largest sand dunes in Japan and Tottori's most famous tourist attraction. Located just outside the city center, they span roughly 16 kilometers of coast along of the Sea of Japan and are up to two kilometers wide and 50 meters high. They are part of the Sanin Kaigan National Park.

The sand dunes were created over thousands of years, as sand from the nearby Sendaigawa River was washed out to sea and eventually redeposited along the coast by the ocean's currents. Today, the constant movement of the tides and the coastal winds continuously shape the sand dunes and provide an ever changing landscape.

The main sightseeing area spans a half kilometer swath of sand between the visitor center and the sea. Many of the largest sand dunes are found here, and their tops provide visitors with beautiful views out over the coast. From here you can also explore the vast expanses of sand which lead off for several kilometers in almost every direction.

There are also a number of other attractions to enjoy around the dunes. Camel and horse drawn cart rides travel the dunes, while the more adventurous might try paragliding or sandboarding (a variation of snowboarding) which are offered by local companies. Views over the dunes can be enjoyed from the observation deck of the Sakyu Center, which is connected with the sand dunes by a chair lift.

A short walk away from the dunes stands The Sand Museum, a unique museum that displays large sand sculptures by artists from around the world. In the past, sand exhibitions were held outdoors and in temporary structures, but in 2012 the sand museum moved into its own permanent building.

Exhibitions usually change annually and last from mid April to early January of the following year. Every exhibition has its theme, typically a country or region. In 2020, the theme of the exhibition was the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which established diplomatic relations with Japan 100 years ago. Due to the coronavirus, the exhibition was extended for one more year until January 3, 2022.

Getting there and around

By regular city bus

From Tottori Station, take a bus bound for the Tottori Sakyu (捻u) and get off at the last stop. The one way ride takes 20 minutes and costs 380 yen. There are hourly departures from bus stop #0 in front of Tottori Station.

By Kirin Jishi Loop Bus

On weekends and national holidays, and everyday during August, the Kirin Jishi Loop Bus operates from Tottori Station to the sand dunes. Buses take about 30 minutes to reach the dunes and there are 1-2 departures per hour. The fare is 300 yen per ride or 600 yen for a 1-day pass.

By taxi

The sand dunes are about a twenty minute, 2200 yen taxi ride from Tottori Station.

How to get to and around Tottori

Hours and Fees

Sand Museum

Hours

9:00 to 18:00 (until 20:00 on Saturdays)
Admission ends 30 minutes before closing

Closed

Usually from early January to mid April; however, the current exhibition will exceptionally remain open through the year except during February 2021 when it closes for one month for maintenance.

Admission

600 yen

English

Good

Camel Rides

Hours

9:30 to 16:00 (from 10:00 from December to February)

Closed

No closing days

Admission

1500 yen (one person), 2600 yen (two persons)

Hotels around Tottori

    • Mansuirou
      A genuine traditional ryokan in Misasa Onsen, charming village in Tottori. Free pick-up from JR Kurayoshi Sta. 1 hour to Sand Dune by car. Free Wi-Fi facilitated.
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    • Kansuitei Kozeniya
      Mid-range
      Situated in Tottori, within 8 km of Tottori Sand Dunes and 16 km of Ajiro-k?, Kansuitei Kozeniya features accommodation with a garden and free WiFi as well as free private parking for guests who drive. The property is around 8 km from Tottori-k?, 9 km from Tottori Karo Kanikkokan Aquarium and 14 km from Hakuto Shrine. The ryokan has family rooms. The rooms in the ryokan are fitted with a flat-screen TV. At Kansuitei Kozeniya rooms include air conditioning and a shared bathroom. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy an Asian breakfast. At Kansuitei Kozeniya guests are welcome to take advantage of a hot spring bath. The nearest airport is Tottori Airport, 7 km from the ryokan.
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    • The Beehive
      Budget-friendly
      The Beehive offering free WiFi and is conveniently located a 6-minute walk from Tottori Station and is a 15-minute drive away from Tottori Airport and Tottori Sand Dunes. Each room is secured by key card access. A shared lounge with Japanese comics and flat-screen TV is available 24 hours for guest's entertainment. Sunaba Coffee cafe is available.
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    • Ryokan Marumo
      Budget-friendly
      Only a 5-minute walk from JR Tottori Train Station, Ryokan Marumo offers Japanese-style accommodations with traditional garden views. Free Wi-Fi is available at the lobby and guests can soothe in the spacious public hot-spring bath. The rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. Each comes with a flat-screen TV, a fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags. Japanese Yukata robes are provided for all guests. Room includes a private toilet but bathrooms are shared. Ryokan Marumo is a 15-minute drive away from Tottori Sand Dunes and a 10-minute drive from Jinpukaku Hall. Tottori Airport is a 20-minute drive away. Photocopying services and a safety deposit box is available at the front desk. Luggage storage is offered as well, and ironing facilities and a trouser press can be borrowed. Free parking is on-site. A Japanese set-menu is served for breakfast. A traditional multi-course dinner can be requested but is subject to availability. Meals are served at the dining room.
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    • Drop Inn Tottori
      Budget-friendly
      Drop Inn Tottori is situated in the centre of Tottori city, only a 5-minute walk from Tottori Station and a 3-minute walk from Tottori Station Bus Terminal. Tottori Airport is a 15-minute drive, while the Tottori Sand Dune is a 15-minute drive from the hotel. The accommodation boasts dormitory rooms that come equipped with single beds and storage space, a safety box and TV. Guests will also find power sockets and USB sockets, as well as small shelves and clothes hangers for their convenience. All rooms are locked automatically, and guests can enter their rooms with card keys. Every floor features 2 toilets, 2 shower rooms and a powder room. Laundry machines can be found on the 2nd and 4th floors. Free bath amenities such as makeup removers, cotton pads, hair dryers and hair straighteners are provided. The on-site cafe serves meals and beverages including alcoholic drinks.
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    • Y Pub & Hostel Tottori
      Budget-friendly
      Situated in Tottori, 8 km from Tottori Sand Dunes, Y Pub & Hostel Tottori features air-conditioned accommodation and a bar. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi. The property is located 8 km from Tottori Karo Kanikkokan Aquarium and 12 km from Hakuto Shrine. At the hostel, the rooms have a balcony. With a shared bathroom fitted with a shower and a hairdryer, rooms at Y Pub & Hostel Tottori also feature a city view. All rooms will provide guests with a microwave. Continental and American breakfast options are available each morning at the accommodation. Y Pub & Hostel Tottori offers a terrace. Ajiro-k? is 16 km from the hostel, while Tottori-k? is 7 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tottori Airport, 6 km from Y Pub & Hostel Tottori.
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    • Super Hotel Tottori Ekimae
      Mid-range
      Set in Tottori, 8 km from Tottori Sand Dunes, Super Hotel Tottori Ekimae offers accommodation with a shared lounge and private parking. Featuring free bikes, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The hotel features family rooms. At the hotel, all rooms are fitted with a desk and a flat-screen TV. The units will provide guests with a fridge. A buffet breakfast is available every morning at Super Hotel Tottori Ekimae. Ajiro-k? is 16 km from the accommodation, while Tottori-k? is 8 km away. The nearest airport is Tottori Airport, 6 km from Super Hotel Tottori Ekimae.
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    • Green Rich Hotel Tottori Ekimae (Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana)
      Mid-range
      Located 7 km from Tottori Sand Dunes, Green Rich Hotel Tottori Ekimae provides rooms with air conditioning in Tottori. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking is available on site. Buffet and American breakfast options are available daily at the hotel. Green Rich Hotel Tottori Ekimae offers 3-star accommodation with a hot spring bath and sauna. Ajiro-k? is 15 km from the accommodation, while Tottori-k? is 7 km away. The nearest airport is Tottori Airport, 6 km from Green Rich Hotel Tottori Ekimae.
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    • Natural Hot Spring Super Hotel Tottori Eki Kitaguchi
      Mid-range
      Set 7 km from Tottori Sand Dunes, Natural Hot Spring Super Hotel Tottori Eki Kitaguchi offers rooms with air conditioning in Tottori. The property is situated 15 km from Ajiro-k?, 7 km from Tottori-k? and 8 km from Tottori Karo Kanikkokan Aquarium. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. At the hotel, all rooms are fitted with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. All guest rooms will provide guests with a fridge. A buffet breakfast is available every morning at Spring Super Hotel Tottori Eki Kita. The accommodation offers a hot spring bath. Hakuto Shrine is 13 km from Natural Hot Spring Super Hotel Tottori Eki Kitaguchi. The nearest airport is Tottori Airport, 6 km from the hotel.
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    • Tottori City Hotel
      Mid-range
      Offering simple air-conditioned rooms with an LCD TV and a private bath, City Hotel is a 10-minute walk from JR Tottori Train Station. The hotel has rental bicycles and a Japanese restaurant. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Each room at Tottori City Hotel includes a private bathroom with a bathtub and amenities. You can enjoy satellite TV channels or pay programmes with a cup of hot green tea. The hotel is located by the Fukurogawa River, where guests can enjoy cherry blossoms in the Spring. The cityfs entertainment district is just 100 metres away. The Tottori Sand Dunes are 5.5 km away. The lobby has a shared-use microwave and a free-use internet terminal with printer. A coin launderette is on site. Shunkashuto Restaurant serves a Japanese lunch and dinner, and a buffet breakfast is on offer at the hotelfs banquet room.
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    • Bird Stay Hotel
      Mid-range
      Bird Stay Hotel is a hotel located in Tottori. Popular points of interest nearby include Tottori Sand Dunes, Ajiro-k? and Tottori-k?. The accommodation provides a hot spring bath, free WiFi throughout the property and a shared lounge. At the hotel, every room has a desk. Every room comes with a shared bathroom with a bidet, free toiletries and a hairdryer. All rooms include a wardrobe. Guests at Bird Stay Hotel can enjoy a Continental breakfast. Hy?nosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan-kokutei-k?en is 30 km from the accommodation. The nearest airport is Tottori Airport, 10 km or a 20-minute drive from Bird Stay Hotel.
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