Tottori: Exploring Local Culture & Traditions

Tottori: Exploring Local Culture & Traditions

Tottori: Exploring Local Culture & Traditions


Welcome to Tottori, a charming prefecture located in the Chūgoku region of Japan. Known for its unique landscapes and rich cultural heritage, Tottori offers visitors an authentic glimpse into local culture and traditions. From stunning sand dunes to traditional festivals, you'll find a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered in this picturesque region.

Getting There

Tottori can be easily accessed by train or plane. The city is served by the Tottori Airport, which offers domestic flights from major cities in Japan. If you prefer to travel by train, the JR San'in Main Line connects Tottori with other cities in the region.

Local Cuisine

One of the highlights of visiting Tottori is indulging in its delicious local cuisine. Seafood lovers will be pleased to find an abundance of fresh seafood, including specialties like snow crab, pufferfish, and sashimi. Another must-try dish is "kawara-soba," a unique noodle dish cooked on a heated roof tile.

For those with a sweet tooth, Tottori is famous for its "gyūhi" mochi, a soft and chewy rice cake filled with sweet bean paste. Don't forget to sample some locally brewed sake to complete your gastronomic adventure in Tottori.

Exploring the Sand Dunes

No visit to Tottori would be complete without a trip to the Tottori Sand Dunes, the largest sand dunes in Japan. Covering an area of approximately 30 square kilometers, these dunes offer a unique landscape reminiscent of a desert. You can take a scenic camel ride or simply explore the dunes on foot, feeling the fine sand beneath your feet.

Don't forget to visit the Sand Museum, located near the sand dunes, where you can admire intricate sand sculptures crafted by talented artists from around the world. Each year, the museum showcases a different theme, making every visit a new and exciting experience.

Traditional Festivals

Tottori is home to several traditional festivals that showcase the region's vibrant cultural heritage. One of the most famous is the "Shan-Shan" festival, held in early February. During this event, locals dress in colorful costumes and parade through the streets, while young men run through the crowd shouting "shan-shan." This lively festival is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck for the year ahead.

Another festival not to be missed is the "Nageire-dai" festival, held at the end of July. Participants climb a steep staircase while carrying a bamboo pole with a lantern on top. The poles are then thrown from the staircase, symbolizing the wishes and prayers of the participants reaching the heavens. It's an awe-inspiring sight to behold.

Exploring Tottori City

Take some time to explore Tottori City and discover its historical and cultural attractions. Visit the Tottori Castle Ruins to learn about the region's feudal past or explore the beautiful gardens of Jinpukaku, a Western-style mansion built in the late 19th century. For art enthusiasts, the Tottori Prefectural Museum showcases a diverse collection of traditional and contemporary Japanese artworks.

Time to Relax

After a day of exploring, unwind at one of Tottori's natural hot springs. The hot spring resort of Kaike Onsen is a popular choice, offering a range of relaxing baths and stunning ocean views. Soak in the therapeutic waters and let your cares drift away.


Tottori is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Its unique landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality make it an ideal destination for those seeking an authentic Japanese experience. Whether you're exploring the sand dunes, partaking in traditional festivals, or indulging in local cuisine, Tottori will captivate your senses and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.