Located merely two and a half hours from Osaka by train, the city of Tottori situated along the coast of the Sea of Japan is perhaps most famous for its sand dunes. The dunes are the largest in Japan and stretch 1.5 miles from north to south and 10 miles from east to west. The dunes were created over thousands of years, as sand from the nearby Sendaigawa River was washed out to sea and eventually re-deposited 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 dunes offer a lot of activities, which visitors can participate in including camel and horse drawn cart rides, paragliding and sandboarding (a variation of snowboarding). Just a short walk from the dunes you will find The Sand Museum. This unique museum displays large sand sculptures by artists from around the world and is an amazing place to visit. The exhibits change annually and last from mid-April to early January of the following year.
The Tottori Sand Dunes, which are part of the Sanin Kaigan National Park, draw visitors from all over Japan throughout the year but for one month each year visitors can immerse themselves in the magical world of lights as the dunes are transformed into a world of illusion. The Tottori Sakyu Illusion, which takes place from the end of November through December 25 utilizes over 300,000 light bulbs and illuminated sand sculptures to create a world of light immerging from the darkness of the dunes.
The event has two venues: the Tottori Sakyu parking lot and the Tottori Sakyu Kodomonokuni, which is 15 minutes on foot from the parking lot. Visitors are admitted to both venues from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM free of charge. During the month of December, the city provides free shuttle service from Tottori Station to the dunes parking lot.
The Tottori Sakyu Illusion is a great way to usher in the holidays and should not be missed.
For more information, visit: http://www.tottori-sakyu.jp/
Address: 689-0105 Fukubechoyuyama, Tottori-shi, Tottori