Japan:A Closer Look at Chugoku – Part 2

Mar 16th, 2009 | By | Category: Regional Travel Resources

Tottori Sand Dunes JapanTottori, and Yamaguchi Prefectures in Chugoku are the subject of this weeks Closer Look at Japan.  Tottori prefecture is the least populous prefecture in Japan and both Tottori and Yamaguchi are situated on the Japan Sea.

If you are planning a trip to the area be sure to review these itinerary suggestions and internet resources.

Tottori Prefecture

Ride a camel, take a horse-drawn carriage or explore to Tottori-sakyu Sand Dunes on foot.  Formed by volcanic ash from Mt. Daisen, the dunes stretch almost 16 kilometers and are 2 kilometers wide. 

Explore the prefectural capital of Tottori City to vist the Tottori Folk Craft Museum or take in the ruins of Tottori Castle (now known as Kyusho-koen Park) and the old samurai residences that are scattered about the city.  (Tottori City Sightseeing Map)

Camp on one of seven islets in Koyama-ike Pond, the largest pond in Japan.

Visit Tottori Prefectural Museum to see exhibits of Jomon pottery, Yayoi metalwork, and haniwa (grave mound) artifacts as well as exhibits about life as a samurai and area folk crafts.

Yokai Sakaiminato Japan Take a Yokai (Ghost/Spirit) tour of Sakaiminato, hometown of cartoonist Mizuki Shigeru, creator of the famous manga comic “GeGeGe no Kitaro”.

Explore the area around the Misasa Onsen where the god Myoken pointed a samurai warrior named Okubo Samanosuke after he spared the life of a white wolf over 800 years ago.  A statue of the the samurai and the wolf sit under the Misasa bridge in this picturesque open air onsen (hot springs).

In August, take in the 4,000 umbrella wielding dances at the Shan Shan Festival or check the Tottori Festival Schedule for other festivals throughout the year.

Explore Mt. Daisen, the highest peak in Chigoku, and part of Daisen-Oki National Park.  The mountain is considered sacred and is on the list of the 100 best mountains in Japan.

For more trip planning resources visit the Tottori Prefecture website or the Japan National Tourism Organization’s Tottori pages.

Yamaguchi Prefecture

Ashiyu Foot Bath Japan Visit Chougen no Sato, a reproduction of a traditional mountain village, where you can experience making paper and other traditional Japanese crafts.

Relax with a stop at one of five Ashiyu (foot baths) in Yamaguchi City, the prefectural capital.

Visit the five story pagoda at Rurikoji Temple, a national treasure that was erected in 1442.

Try your hand at making traditional lacquer ware.

Tour Hagi to see historical buildings and castle ruins dating back to the 17th century, learn about Hagi pottery and see impressive collection of ukiyo-e prints in local museums. (Hagi Sightseeing Map)

Explore the karst topography of Akiyoshi-dai plateu and the largest limestone cavern in Asia, Akiyoshi-do, that is 100 meters underground and extends for about 10 kilometers.

Take a self guided walking tour of historic Shimonoseki.

Explore the Japan National Tourism Organization’s Yamaguchi pages or Yamaguchi City Tourist Information Site for more trip planning ideas and resources.

Articles in the Japan: A Closer Look series:

Image Credit:  Flickr, Tottori, Sand Dunes, Mizuki Shigeru Memorial Museum & Ashi-Yu

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3 comments
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  1. Funny that you “promote” Tottori right now as we met recently, and my second home in Japan is overthere! I go there at least 2 or 3 times a year and I love it. Daisen for the win! :)

  2. What a coincidence, Jerome. It sure is a beautiful place and one that I hadn’t heard about when I lived outside of Japan. I’m now envious of you and your second home!

  3. Thank you for this useful and good site! Really appreciate the links also!

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