A former castle town that is now the largest city in the San’in region. An attractive city known for its historic houses and abundant cultural assets.
Tottori City, with a population of approximately 200,000, is situated in the eastern part of Tottori Prefecture and the northeastern part of the Chugoku region. It is the prefecture capital and the largest city in the San’in region. It was one of the greatest castle towns during the Edo Period, and the remnants of its former glory are found in the ruins of Tottori Castle (now known as Kyusho Park), as well as the old samurai residences dispersed throughout the city. Tottori Castle was a battlefield in the Sengoku Period (Warring States Period), but is now a beautiful and relaxing place filled with lovely cherry blossoms in spring.
Among the many sightseeing spots in the city, the Tottori Sand Dunes are the most famous, and are located only about 20 minutes away from JR Tottori Station by bus. Also, as you stroll around the city, you can see many historical sites, as well as old streets and houses with a traditional atmosphere. The only gate of a samurai residence that remains in the city was built in what is called the ‘iri-omoya-zukuri’ style, standing majestically with its hip and gable roof covered with fired clay tiles. Jinpukaku Guest House, modeled on the French Renaissance style of architecture, is an outstanding example of “Meiji Era Western” architecture. It is a historic building well known as the place where the Emperor Taisho stayed when he visited the city as the crown prince. Turning down an alley from the main street, you can view old houses and streets aligned in orderly patterns that were peculiar to a castle town. It is a 10-minute walk from JR Tottori Station to Tottori Onsen, where inns and public bathhouses line the streets, quite a rarity, considering that even in Japan hot springs in the city are quite uncommon.
In Tottori City magnificent nature and culture coexist in harmony. The Tottori Folk Craft Museum features a collection of local folk crafts, and also displays folk crafts from other parts of Japan, as well as from around the world. The Watanabe Art Museum has a collection of some 15,000 objects, including antiques from all over the world, and historical tools and implements used in everyday life. The Uradome Coast is definitely also worth seeing. It is located in Iwami-cho to the east of Tottori City and, along with the Tottori Sand Dunes, is part of the San’in Kaigan National Park. Cruise tours along the saw-toothed coastline and around the numerous islands offer impressive views, including that of the landscape at sunset.