Experience the country’s past and future on a multi-day trip between the bustling capital and tranquil Tottori prefecture.
Located on western Honshu’s northern coast, Tottori prefecture is a destination that pairs especially well with a city break.
Start off your four-day Tokyo and Tottori escape by taking in the view from Tokyo Tower, window-shopping along Omotesando, and relaxing amid the greenery of Yoyogi Park. The next day, it’s on to Haneda Airport for the approximately 70-minute flight to Tottori, where the mountain temple of Mitokusan Sanbutsuji awaits.
Spend the next two days admiring the Edo-period Ishitani Residence in Chizu, exploring the famous Tottori Sand Dunes and The Sand Museum, and picking Tottori’s prized pears in a local orchard (available from mid-August to early November).
Visit the Tokyo Tower
This 333-meter-high landmark has been a Tokyo icon since it was built in 1958. Two observation platforms, situated 150 meters and 250 meters off the ground, afford sweeping views over the surrounding cityscape, while nighttime illuminations vary by season and special events. The five-story structure at the tower’s base houses souvenir shops, restaurants, and an aquarium, alongside an indoor theme park dedicated to popular anime series One Piece.
Shop at Omotesando
Constructed in the early 20th century as the main approach to Meiji-jingu Shrine, zelkova tree–lined Omotesando is a celebration of contemporary architecture, thanks to its wealth of flagship luxury fashion stores designed by leading architects such as Toyo Ito and Tadao Ando, as well as pioneering firms SANAA and MVRDV. The avenue has no shortage of stylish cafés and restaurants, while popular malls here include Omotesando Hills and Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku.
Explore the Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple
The thickly forested slopes of Mt. Mitoku – a 900-meter-high peak about 35 minutes by Hinomaru bus from Kurayoshi city – are home to the Buddhist temple of Mitokusan Sanbutsuji. The secluded sanctuary is best known for Nageire-do, a seemingly gravity-defying hall that was built into a depression on a vertical cliff face. Fitter travelers can see the structure up close by climbing a difficult mountain path, though it’s also visible from a much more accessible observation point. Nearby Misasa Onsen is classed as a Japanese heritage site alongside Mt. Mitoku for its radium-rich hot springs.
Discover the Tottori sand dunes and The Sand Museum
Japan’s second-largest system of sand dunes lies in the heart of San’in Kaigan Geopark, stretching for 16 kilometers along the coast with a main expanse that reaches nearly two and a half kilometers inland. The dunes’ wave-like patterns regularly change with the sand blown in from the Sea of Japan. A must-see attraction on the edge of the Tottori Sand Dunes is The Sand Museum, whose yearly exhibitions feature sand sculptures carved by top artists from all over the world.
See the Ishitani Residence
Situated in the historic town of Chizu, which flourished during the Edo period as a post-station where overland travelers could rest, Ishitani Residence is an impressive 40-room mansion that was built over a decade in the early 20th century. Its design incorporates Western-style elements into a traditional Japanese structure encircling a spacious courtyard garden, and four of the mansion’s seven earthen-walled storehouses have been converted into a museum.
More information here.
This article was brought to you by Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau.