On this episode of Journeys in Japan, actor Dean Newcombe from Britain explores the natural wonders of Tottori, including the majestic Tottori Sand Dunes. He meets farmers growing rakkyo, goes fishing for flying fish with his guesthouse owner, and hangs out with washi craftsmen.
Tottori Sand Dunes Geopark Center (East Entrance)
Address: 2164-661Yuyama,Fukube-cho, Tottori city,
Tel: +81-(0)857-22-0021 (Japanese only)
Address: 2083-17 Yuyama, Fukube-cho, Tottori city, Tottori pref.
Address: 693 Kugami, Iwami Town, Iwami District,
Tel: +81-(0)857-72-0273 (Japanese only)
Fly fish netting trip: 5,000 yen/adult 3,500 yen/child
Address: 2475-240 Uradome, Iwami Town, Iwami District
(Weekdays 11:30-14:00 / 17:00-21:30, Closed on Tuesdays)
Address: 313 Yamane, Aoya Town, Tottori City, Tottori Pref.
9:00~17:00 (Register for paper-making workshop by 16:00 )
Admission: Free (100~300 yen for special exhibitions)
Washi workshop: 200 yen for postcard, 400 yen for A4 paper size
Tel: +81-(0)857-86-0011 (Japanese only)
Admission: Free (Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. Occasional irregular closures).
Traveler: Dean Newcombe > More Info
This journey gave me a chance to return to Tottori for my third time and feel that nostalgic (or as they say here natsukashii) feeling as I walked the dunes again. That said, I was surprised at how much I didn't know about Tottori and how much this journey felt like a first time. The same place yet explored through new angles and with a further depth…
I already knew Tottori was beautiful and I certainly confirmed that again-it's a remarkably picturesque prefecture. What I hadn't seen, or to more accurately say experience, was the local culture. Tottori is the least populated prefecture in Japan, so then it makes sense that we would expect the preservation of traditional skills, the cultivation of local foods and that sense of self-sufficiency. That might not be so easy to step into and feel, which is why I am very grateful for the chance to stay in a local guesthouse (minshuku) where the food is grown in the garden and caught in the sea. In fact, thinking about my stay, I ate almost nothing that wasn't locally sourced, and even ate vegetables I had harvested and fish that I had caught. Most of us simply never get the chance to experience something so pure and authentic.
The moment I will remember more than any though was meeting a very special craftsman. You could even call Akiyoshi-san an artist-a man who has dedicated his life to the production of one-off bespoke inspired pieces of paper art or washi. He showed me thoughtfully and openly how he creates concepts through nature, and then goes about producing unique designs using coloring and texture on beautiful, quality washi paper. I am often moved by the dedication, humility and purity of heart of the master craftsmen I have met in Japan. Akiyoshi is no exception.
I have been recommending Tottori to visitors for years, but now perhaps I will suggest much more than the walk on the dunes. Sure, go and see this unique landscape, but then dig a little deeper...who knows what you might find!