japan s most surprising tourist attractions 1 825x510 - Japan's Most Surprising Tourist Attractions
02 of 07

Tottori Sand Dunes

Japans Most Surprising Tourist Attractions

Robert Schrader


2164−661 Fukubechō Yuyama, Tottori-shi, Tottori-ken 689-0105, Japan


+81 857-23-7652


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The question of whether or not the Tottori Sand Dunes are actually a desert is a contentious one. After all, the only reason this 32-square mile expanse of sand exists in an otherwise ordinary Japanese landscape is because of winds that have redeposited sediment from the Sendai River over the past several thousand years. Nobody disputes the strangeness of this huge expanse of sand, which sits along the northwestern flank of Honshu Island on the Sea of Japan.

Whether you ride a camel across the dunes, hike up them to get an incredible panorama of the ocean below or simply pretend you're a character in Hiroshi Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes, which Tottori Sand Dunes inspired, this place is certainly not one you probably expected to find in Japan.