Tottori Prefecture (鳥取県 Tottori-ken) is in the western Chugoku region of the main Japanese island Honshu.
Tottori prefecture, together with Shimane prefecture is known as the Sanin region, meaning "the shady side of the mountains". There is a mountain range separating these two prefectures from Hiroshima and Okayama, which means that the weather here is drastically wetter than further to the south.
- 1 Tottori — The prefectural capital known for the Tottori Sand Dunes.
- 2 Kurayoshi — A small town with a quaint retro shops and a well-preserved historic district.
- 3 Daisen — The town of Daisen is home to Mount Daisen, a famous location for climbing, hiking, and skiing. The famous Daisen Temple is also located here.
- 4 Misasa — Most famous for the Mitokusan Nageiredo, an old temple built on the side of a cliff. Nobody knows exactly how this temple was built, but it is a marvel to behold.
- 5 Yurihama — A lovely city containing one of Japan's best Chinese gardens and Lake Togo.
- 6 Yonago
- 7 Sakaiminato — Westernmost city in Tottori and home of Mizuki Shigeru, creator of Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro.
- 8 Hokuei — Home to Aoyama World, the museum honoring Gosho Aoyama, the creator of Detective Conan.
- 1 Miho-Yonago Airport (YGJ IATA, 美保米子空港), Sakaiminato and Yonago, Tottori. Also known as Yonago-Kitarō Airport, after the manga character created by the late Shigeru Mizuki is served by flights from Tokyo Haneda, Seoul Incheon and Hong Kong.
- Tottori Airport (TTJ IATA) has three daily flights from Tokyo-Haneda with ANA, taking about 75 minutes.
JR runs between Okayama and Tottori City, and between Yonago and Matsue and Izumo.
JR West offers several regional passes to visitors with foreign passports.
- San'in-Okayama Area Pass. Covers the San'in Main Line between Hamasaka and Hagi, services to Okayama and Kurashiki via Chizu Express (or Yonago), and a few other rural lines. 4 days. ¥4,500 if bought abroad, ¥5,500 if bought in Japan.
- Kansai WIDE Area Pass. Covers services to most of Greater Kansai, Okayama, Kurashiki, and Takamatsu, including Chizu Express and non-reserved seats on the San'yō Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Okayama. 5 days. ¥9,000 if bought abroad, ¥10,000 if bought in Japan.
- Sanyō-San'in Area Pass. Covers an area stretching from Kansai to the Chizu Express Line and all JR Lines within Chūgoku to the west. Includes reserved seats on the Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Hakata, but does not cover travel on the San'in Line east of Hamasaka. 7 days. ¥19,000 if bought abroad, ¥20,000 if bought in Japan.
- Kansai-Hokuriku Area Pass. Covers services between the Okayama area, Kansai, and the Hokuriku region, including non-reserved seats on the Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Okayama and between Kanazawa and Jōetsu-Myōkō, but not Chizu Express (covers travel to Tottori via Toyooka only). 7 days. ¥15,000 if bought abroad, ¥16,000 if bought in Japan.
- Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass. Covers an area stretching west from Kansai as far as Iwakuni and Miyajima (via the JR Ferry). Includes non-reserved seats on the Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Hiroshima, but NOT Chizu Express (covers travel to Tottori via Toyooka only). 5 days. ¥13,500 if bought abroad, ¥14,500 if bought in Japan.
- There is an express bus from Tokyo's Hamamatsu-choto Tottori. The cost is about ¥10,200 one-way. Tel: 03-3743-0022.
- The bus from Osaka to Tottori runs about 2 hours and 45 minutes, and costs about ¥7,500.
- Daisenji Temple, Daisen. Hike on Mount Daisen to view the historic temple.
- Tottori Sand Dunes, Tottori. Ride a camel on the dunes.
- Sanbutsuji Temple (Mitokusan Nageiredo), Misasa. Explore a mysterious temple.
- Edo-Period Buildings, Kurayoshi. Take a walk down the Edo-period storage houses and sake breweries
- Mizuki Shigeru Road, Sakaiminato. Learn about the world of Japanese yokai with a stroll down the street.
- Enchoen Garden, Yurihama. An authentic Chinese garden built in China and then reconstructed on site.
- Hakuto Beach, Tottori. This beach is written about in the Kojiki, Japan's oldest book of history.
- Mount Daisen, Daisen. Hike on the mountainside, climb up, or ski down the beautiful "Fuji of the West".
- Misasa Onsen, Misasa. One of the most radium-enriched onsen in the world.
- Yoshioka Hot Spring, Tottori. Discovered 1,000 years ago.
- Togo Onsen, Yurihama. A picturesque onsen on the southern end of Lake Togo.
- Hawai Onsen, Yurihama. An onsen on the west side of Lake Togo that gained fame for its name sounding like the Pacific island.
- Kaike Onsen, Yonago. An onsen on the beach.
Local specialties include crab, squid, pears, melons, shallots, and sake.
Hyogo Prefecture borders Tottori to the east. Closest to Tottori are Toyooka City with the famous Kinosaki Hot Springs, the remains of Izushi Castle, and the interesting Japan-Mongolia Folk Museum. In Asago you can visit the Takeda Castle Ruins. Although they are ruins, they are well-preserved and the view is great. Further down in Hyogo Prefecture you'll find Himeji, famous for the spectacular Himeji Castle, the port city of Kobe.
Kyoto (prefecture) lies to the east on the other side of Hyogo. Although Kyoto City is rather far, Amanohashidate is quite close and easy to access from Tottori Prefecture. This city is famous as the site of one of Japan's Top 3. It is the view from Amanohashidate that is considered to be one of the top 3 views in Japan.
Okayama Prefecture holds Tottori up from the south. Tsuyama with the famous Kakuzan Park, Shurakuen Garden, and Joto Street is near the eastern region, while Niimi, famous for the Ikura Ravine and Maki Cave is near Western Tottori. Further south, you'll find the Kurashiki with its well-preserved historic district, Okayama which has one of Japan's Top 3, Korakuen Garden, and Takahashi, home to Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, Japan's highest castle, as well as one of its only remaining original castles.
Shimane Prefecture stands beside Tottori on the Western border. The most famous sites are close to Tottori, so accessing them is quite convenient. Matsue is famous for Matsue Castle, one of Japan's few remaining original castles, and the Lafcadio Hearn Residence. The city of Izumo is home to the spectacular Izumo Shrine, the second most holy Shinto shrine in Japan. The Hinomisaki Lighthouse is also a famous icon of the city. Further out in the prefecture you'll find Tsuwano, where the last Christian martyrs were killed before ending the ban on Christianity and Oda's Iwami Ginzan, a World Heritage Site.