Par Elodie Pourrat
For those looking for a more active adventure when travelling, the San’in Region has a number of experiences to make for a memorable trip. Here are some of the top activities you can enjoy across the region.
Mt. Daisen (Tottori)
Designated as a national park and selected as third place in NHK’s “Japanese Greatest Summits", Mt. Daisen, located in Tottori Prefecture, is the highest in the Chugoku region standing at 1,709 meters tall. The scenery of Mt. Daisen is impressive in all seasons with its greenery and grazing cows during spring and summer, colorful foliage during the autumn and snow peaks in the winter. There are hiking trails to suit all levels of experience and they are most popular amongst visitors in the peak month of August.
Tottori Sand Dunes (Tottori)
When thinking of Tottori, the first thing that comes to mind are the sand dunes. But when admiring the sprawling desert landscape is just not enough, you can make the most of your trip there by either sand boarding or paragliding, or even trying out both!
Sand Boarding courses at the dunes cost ¥2,500 for two hours. The price includes board and helmet rental as well as an instructor. Courses are offered from April to November and reservations are required.
Paragliding courses with the Zero Paragliding School last four hours and cost ¥7,000 per course. You can rest at ease in the soft sand even if you stumble and fall, don’t worry and get ready to fly solo out toward the sea.
A famous Japanese traditional performing art, originating in ancient Japanese mythology, Kagura is older than both Kabuki and Noh. It was originally only performed by Shinto priests and Miko to the Shinto deities, but it has become popular and is now shared with the public. Performers dress up in costumes and dance to the sounds of traditional instruments as they welcome the deities. In the Iwami region in the Eastern part of Shimane Prefecture, they have an original style of Kagura that appeals to all the senses and is found to be more entertaining for the audience.
Oki Islands (Shimane)
The Oki Islands are a set of volcanic islands off the coast of Shimane and due to their rich geological heritage, they were designated a UNESCO Global Geopark in September 2014. The Oki Islands have a long history of inhabitants that date back to the Japanese Palaeolithic period. Archaeologists have been able to discover artifacts from the early Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods. Visiting the islands you will be in store for stunning landscapes, breathtaking views and spiritual rituals that may bring you good fortune and luck in love.
There are ferries that depart from Sakai-Minato in Tottori Prefecture and Shichirui Port in Shimane Prefecture multiple times daily, as well as inter-island ferries for travel between the islands.
Lake Nakaumi Cycling Tour (Tottori & Shimane)
Lake Nakaumi is located between Tottori and Shimane Prefectures and is connected to the Sea of Japan by the Sakai Channel. The distance around the lake is 68 km and it makes a fantastic course for cycling; the road is flat so is comfortably completed by even beginners. The average time it takes to cycle around including breaks is about 6 hours and the city has done a great job in mapping out cycling routes of the area. Renting a bike for the day is pretty simple with several rental shops offering bikes by the hour for around ¥1,000–2,000 depending on the overall length of time.
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