It was rather early. We grabbed some food for breakfast and drove around until the sand museum opens.
OK, it’s about time. We headed back towards the sand museum.
The Sand Museum
The welcome sculpture awaits you in front of the entrance.
It is actually our THIRD time there. The first visit was by a bus tour in 2012 but duration of stay was very short. We only had 30 min to look around back then (crazy!). So we visited there by car for the second time in 2013 which gave us plenty of time. Unfortunately we missed it last year, but now we are back!
I bet you are thinking WHY we visit this place every year right? Here’s the thing. This place has a concept for each exhibit every year, For instance, 2012 was England and 2013 was South East Asia, and this time is Germany. It would never bore us!
Anyways, let’s enter the museum. Entrance fee is 600 yen for adults (300 yen for kids). Camera is allowed in all areas! (thumb’s up)
As passing through the door, you are in the sand world.
Here’s a series of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
Huge one takes the center of the exhibit.
Come to think of it, Germany is full of stuff! (no offense). Grimm, technology, sport, inventions and so on. It was also a good opportunity to know more about Germany. Now I am already looking forward to seeing new works next year!
How was our trip to Tottori? Even though Tottori doesn’t usually get to the top list for places to visit, the sand dunes and the museum are definitely worth visiting. If you have a chance to visit, please consider.
Howdy? It’s me! Mr. Wada on duty! Why so high? It’s summer. Not like pros though, I and Mrs. Wada have been trying outdoor stuff last few years. Now, time for camping has come.
Camping in Tottori
Camping in Miyajima, which we tried two years ago, was quite something. It was a great way to save up as well (a rental tent for 4-5 people costed only like 2,000 yen). If you are interested, you can check the details below.
This year though I’d thought of camping somewhere nearby during one of the holidays, but we want to visit the Sand Dunes and the Sand Museum in Tottori Prefecture.
Then the same idea as our Miyajima (camp) trip came to my mind.
“Why not visit and camp in Tottori?”
Drive up to Tottori Prefecture
We drove up towards north from Okayama.
The weather wasn’t great, very unstable at first. However, after passing through the mountain roads it cleared up. Yeeey!
Explore Central Tottori
After 3-hour drive, we got to Tottori. The city itself looks rather small. We were in the central but kinda quiet.
Wow, official skateboard field. Skateboarders can’t be bad here (it’s only my impression of them. Sorry)
The First Starbucks in Tottori Prefecture
Hey look at that, this is the first Starbucks store opened in Tottori Prefecture recently. It was on news because Tottori was apparently the last city to have a Starbucks store in Japan (I remember the first Starbucks store opened in Okayama, in mid 90s).
We decided to take a break and grab some coffee.
We had a little unexpected encounter. As I entered the store, an employee was handing the menu out. He looked at Mrs. Wada and seemed to realize something. Mrs. Wada also realized something. I had no idea. It turned that he used to work at a Starbucks store in Okayama where we normally hang out, so he remembered us! Wow.
He told us that he was transferred in this branch a month ago. I don’t know how long he would stay in Tottori but I wished him good luck. It was a nice surprise anyway. Quite unexpected though.
We like visiting Starbucks Concept Stores lately. Know what they are? Please check this post if you are interested.
Oh by the way, actually there IS another well-known cafe before the Starbucks, it is called Sunaba Coffee. Many Japanese call Starbucks “SUTABA,” and this is SUNABA……..well, it’s obviously a silly joke (Sunaba means sand pit. I kinda think it’s smart that it is still related to sand!). This place also has been featured on many TV shows, so we wanted to take a look at it but it seemed even busier than the Starbucks! How weird…
We walked around and found this place called Dora-Meshi. This place serves 500-yen rice bowls.
I picked this one. Stewed tender beef on rice.
Mrs. Wada’s. Pork-don? I think.
Burp! It was delicious and gave us energy to continue our journey.
Drive down to Tottori Sand Dunes
Alright, now we are heading to the campsite and the sand dunes. The campsite is very close to the sand dunes, so our plan was to check-in at the campsite first and visit the sand dunes.
After driving about 15 min, we got to the campsite.
I can see the sand dunes already!
It was still early, so we decided to drive around.
Sengan Matsushima (Geopark)
We drove down the road, then saw this sign.
We followed the signs and got to this place called Sengan Matsushima. Let’s go take a look up there!
Hmmm. It was harder than I expected….but see, it’s a worth trying. Beautiful!
Make Our Camp!
Alright, we headed back to the campsite to prepare our tent.