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TOTTORI Prefecture

Area: 3,507 km2
Population: 578 thousand
Region: Chūgoku
Capital: Tottori

photo by miz fiat

Tottori Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region. The capital is the city of Tottori. It is the least populous prefecture in Japan.
Tottori prefecture, together with Shimane prefecture is known as the Sanin region, meaning “the shady side of the mountains”. A mountain range separates these two prefectures from Hiroshima and Okayama.

The city itself is the industrial center of the prefecture, with several big electronics factories for companies like Sanyo. The fishing industry is also quite lively. There are also two universities, which attract agricultural students and researchers from other parts of Japan and a small number of foreign students. Although the number of foreign residents in Tottori is low, compared to other major cities in Japan, its 250,000 locals are certainly very friendly.

Just outside the city center, Tottori’s sand dunes are among the best reasons to visit western Japan. Covering over 30 square kilometers, they are Japan’s largest. There's much to do such as climbing and collecting seashells, paragliding, sandboarding, and even ride horses and camels. Located near the dunes is The Sand Museum, a unique museum that displays large sculptures by artist from around the world.

Be sure to stop by the Tottori Castle Ruins before you head out. Originally built in 1532, Tottori Castle served as the the home/headquarter of the feudal lords of the Tottori domain. Although most of the castle was taken down during the Meji period (early in the 20th century) parts of the stone wall, and one gate, reinforced with iron and featuring spikes on the outside of the doors to help protect against attackers, still remain today.
There are many fun attractions and activities that you can do in Tottori.
You can hike on Mount Daisen to view the historic Daisenji Temple located in city or you can ride a camel along the Tottori Sand Dunes in Tottori.

Explore the mysterious Mitokusan Nageiredo (Sanbutsuji Temple) in Misasa or take a walk down the Edo-period storage houses and sake breweries in Kurayoshi.

Visit Enchoen Garden, an authentic Chinese garden built in China and reconstructed in Yurihama.
By plane
There are three daily flights from Tokyo's Haneda airport to Tottori airport with ANA. The flight takes about 75 minutes.

By train
JR runs between Okayama and Tottori City, and between Yonago and Matsue and Izumo.

By bus
There is an express bus which runs from Tokyo's Hamamatsu-cho to Tottori and a bus from Osaka to Tottori which runs about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Tottori has a warm humid temperate climate with hot summers and no dry season. There is significant rainfall throughout the year with even the driest month still experiencing a lot of rainfall. The average temperature is 14.8 °C.
The warm season lasts from June 28 to September 19 with an average daily high temperature above 25°C. The hottest month of the year is August with an average high of 30°C and low of 25°C.
The cold season lasts from December 8 to March 21 with an average daily high temperature below 11°C. The coldest month of the year is January, with an average low of 2°C and high of 7°C.In midwinter, most parts of the prefecture have heavy snow.
During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket or a sweater should keep you warm.
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