Sapporo has it’s ice festival with all manner of ice sculptures on display but this place in Tottori manages to do similar but using sand.
The sand dunes are of course the main attraction in Tottori but I also had a real desire to visit this incredible sand museum which was set to close for the season on the day I was in town. Indeed these amazing sculptures have all long been demolished since my visit and there will be a new theme when the next exhibition opens to the public in a few months time.
Beforehand I was mightily relieved to discover from a quick internet search that it didn’t close at 4pm or 4:30 pm as I feared but was in fact open till 8pm as it was a Saturday. For the record it closes at 6pm on all other days. I arrived just after 4pm, paid the ¥600 entry fee and went inside. The theme this year was ‘Travel Around the World in Sand – The Nordic Countries’ which featured 22 huge masterpieces created by international artists.
The exhibits representing the Nordic countries’ history and culture included Andersen’s fairy tales, Norse mythology as the model for magnificent legends, and the Northern European majestic nature.
Some of the more memorable pieces of artwork for me included animals in Northern Europe, Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize, Santa Claus, Greenland – Creatures of the Arctic Circle, Winter Sports, The Landscape of Fjord, The Vikings and ‘The Scream’.
The next floor up had displays showing the previous ten exhibitions (dating back to 2006) including a couple of UK-themed ones as well as South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, the USA, Russia, Austria and Germany.
There was a small outdoor area too with just one or two sculptures and a final panoramic view of the dunes before I checked my phone to and realised that the next bus was very soon. I really didn’t need another hour so rushed off to return to Tottori Station.
Click here to read ‘If You’re Fond Of Sand Dunes…Then Tottori Is The Place For You!’
Before entering the museum I sampled two local treats; pear ice cream and suna-tamago (sand eggs). I’d had onsen-no-tamago (eggs cooked in hot spring water) before but this was very unique as they are prepared by heating them in the dunes’ sand. The colours may have been a bit different but it has to be said that the taste was very similar!!
That nights accommodation was a capsule hotel. I was very late to try these uniquely Japanese hotels not doing so until 2016 in Okayama but since then I have made up for lost time and have now stayed in a fair few. It has to be said though that they are becoming noisier due to the huge influx of tourists in recent years. These places really are intended for solo travellers so when people travel together they inevitably want to talk to each other a bit which is annoying for the rest!
It was a very early start the next morning as I took the 7:23 Imbi Line train from Tottori heading south to Okayama via a few stops. Conditions along the way, particularly in the northern parts near Chizu Station, were really snowy which made for some beautiful scenery to watch from the window.
The next change at Tsuyama Station actually gave me 20 minutes before the next train at 9:44 am so I took a quick walk to see Tsuyama Castle across the river. It can be seen if you zoom into the picture below! The other picture was of a classic train that was sat outside the station.
10 minutes later and I was at my first proper destination of the day in Okayama prefecture.
Click here to read ‘A Turtle-y Awesome Looking Station In Okayama Prefecture’