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TOTTORI
  • TOKYO
  • TOTTORI

EXPERIENCE PAST AND FUTURE

After enjoying the scenery at Tokyo Tower, which provides a sweeping view of the global city of Tokyo, head to Nageire-do Hall at Sanbutsuji Temple on Mt. Mitoku, home to the gods and Buddha. Be impressed by the technique of the architecture and then struck by the natural grandeur of the unique, beautiful scenery visible from this hall located on a precipitous cliff.

Official Tokyo Travel Guide
https://www.gotokyo.org/en/

Local government official website
https://www.tottori-tour.jp/en/

TRAVELER

  • Traveled : October 2018 Rachel Chan
    Travel Writer
    Reside in Singapore
  • Traveled : October 2018 TAI, VICENTE
    Journalist
    Reside in Tokyo
    Home country: Singapore

Singapore Changi Airport

ANA842 Examine the directions from your country

  • Rachel Chan

    My flight from Singapore to Tokyo was unfortunately delayed by more than 4h due to a typhoon. Because of that, I encountered some problems with my ticket, but it was quickly resolved without fuss. The aircraft was clean, comfortable and the stewardesses were polite and helpful. The menu offered variety and good quality.

Haneda Airportmore

Haneda Airport

The airport serves as an air gateway for Tokyo. The passenger terminal is filled with various commercial facilities, and visitors can command a panoramic view of Tokyo Bay from the rooftop observation deck, so that every one, even those who are not flying, can enjoy the terminal.

Tokyo Metropolitan Area

Day1

TOKYO

Tokyo Towermore

RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS

Tokyo Tower

This 333 meter tall radio tower was built in 1958. There is an observation platform at 150 meters and a special observation platform at 250 meters. The way it is illuminated at night changes by season and for events. The building at the foot of the tower, 'Foot Town,' houses a wax museum, an aquarium, souvenir shops and restaurants.

  • Rachel Chan

    We walked from Hamamatsucho Station to Tokyo Tower on a crisp, early autumn morning and were pointed to the Shiba Daimon Gate. Before Tokyo Tower comes into view, one is confronted by the ancient Zojo-ji Temple. If we had had the time, it would have been nice to explore Zojo-ji Temple.

    It was my first time to Tokyo Tower. I thought that the audio guide was very good, and I enjoyed the view from the tower as it was a relatively clear day.

    We loved the food and atmosphere at TOKYO SHIBA TOFUYA UKAI. Stepping through its doorway was like entering another world; unimaginable considering that the sprawling compound was right in the middle of prime city space. Every dish of our course at Tofuya Ukai was meticulously prepared and the service was impeccable. It was as if our hostess had eyes inside our private room, because she could guess exactly when we were ready for the next course. We enjoyed admiring the beautiful garden from our private room and went for a delightful stroll after lunch. We spent 2h inside Tofuya Ukai and later on, at the end of the day, felt that it was the best 2h of the entire day.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    Start the walk on the Omotesando Avenue from Omotesando cross junction. Stop by Omotesando Hills and take a look at the Dojunkai Aoyama Apartments, which are still preserved today. It is said to have been the first apartment complex in Japan, and is a well-known landmark in the Omotesando area. Further along, at Takeshita-dori, is the trendy shopping district known for its teen fashion.

    The iconic Tokyo Tower stands at a height of 333 m, and this year commemorates the 60th anniversary since its opening. The scene from the top deck (250 m) is truly breath-taking. Not only do you have great views of the famous Rainbow Bridge and the Fuji Television building, but you can also see majestic Mt. Fuji in the distance. The view at night is particularly wonderful and romantic.

    Nobody would believe that this restaurant is situated just next to the iconic Tokyo Tower, right in the heart of the city. Once you step inside, it feels like you have been transported into the past. Enjoy exquisite Japanese Tofu cuisine in a classic Japanese ambiance.

Toei Oedo Line Akabanebashi Station → Aoyama-itchome Station
Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Aoyama-itchome Station → Omotesando Station Around 25 minutes

Omotesandomore

Omotesando

Constructed as the main approach to Meiji-jingu Shrine, this street links JR Harajuku Station and Tokyo Metro Omotesando Station. Japanese zelkova trees line both sides of Omotesando, creating a relaxed atmosphere. There are many stylish stores here, including brand-name shops, cafes and restaurants, and popular spots such as Omotesando Hills and Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku.

  • Rachel Chan

    The architecture of Omotesando Hills and the adjoining shopping complex were interesting, but the highlight of our visit to Omotesando would be the unplanned rest stop at Bills Tokyo café at Omohara no Mori. Because I had heard so much about the hotcakes at Bills, I insisted that we order one serving of the ricotta cheese hotcakes to share. The tall, fluffy hotcakes oozed with soft ricotta cheese and were paired perfectly with maple syrup and sliced bananas. After hotcakes, we adjourned to the rooftop garden, located in the same building, to soak in the relaxing atmosphere and take more pictures.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    One might compare this one-kilometre about long Omotesando Avenue with the Champs-Elysees in Paris. The neatly lined up zelkova trees on both sides of the avenue along with many cafés, restaurants, and shops of famous brands were some of the main feature of this Avenue. It is a prime location for retail.

Around 15 minutes

Yoyogi Parkmore

Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park is the fifth largest urban park in the 23 wards of Tokyo. It is separated by a road into two sections: Section A is a forest park, and in contrast Section B has an athletics stadium, outdoor stage and other facilities.
This site, once an army drill ground, was used as the Washington Heights U.S. military barracks after the war; it then became the Olympic village for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and afterwards was opened as a park. Trees that were still young when the park was opened have grown today to form a dense green forest along with those of Meiji Jingu Shrine.

  • Rachel Chan

    Our guides explained to us that Yoyogi Park had been the Olympic Village when Tokyo had last hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964. We walked past expanses of greenery and took pictures at the pond. Before we went to Yoyogi Park, we had made a detour to Takeshita Street, where we saw a bit of Japanese youth street culture..

    The food at Shabu-shabu Fujikawa was nutritious and just the right meal to end our day of overeating. The location was convenient as it was close to our hotel and the train station. It offered privacy and we could enjoy our conversation with each other.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    Following Omotesando and Harajuku, you can relax at nearby Yoyogi Park. Yoyogi Park is one of the largest parks in central Tokyo, and holds cultural events, flea markets, etc.

    Shabu-shabu Fujikawa restaurant is located at the 38th floor of the main tower of Prince Hotel Shinagawa, where we enjoyed shabu-shabu (Japanese hotpot dish of thinly sliced tender meat and fresh vegetables) while taking in the view across the city of Tokyo.

Keikyu EX Hotel Shinagawa

  • Rachel Chan

    This hotel offers clean rooms and very pleasant service. I liked that it provided toiletries and a very decent breakfast buffet. I enjoyed my stay there.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    A hotel targeting tourists and business travellers conveniently located just 5 minutes walk away from the Shinagawa Station. As it also targets tourists, the rooms are larger than most business hotels, and it boasts all the needed amenities. The location for morning breakfast is wonderful, overlooking a Japanese garden with a pond.

Day2

CHUGOKU(TOTTORI)

Haneda Airport

ANA (ANA Expericence JAPAN Fare) Show details

  • Rachel Chan

    The flight to Tottori departed on time. The aircraft was clean and the service was attentive, with flight attendants often offering drinks to allow passengers to stay comfortable. When we got to Tottori Airport, we were pleasantly surprised that it sported a Conan the Detective theme. We had fun posing for pictures at the trick-art installation.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    Haneda Airport, located in the southeastern part of Tokyo, is easily accessed by train etc. It takes just 15 minutes by monorail from the city centre. The check-in procedure at the ANA counter was smooth and easy. The flight to Tottori was quite a short one.

Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airportmore

Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport

Tottori Airport was given the nickname "Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport" on March 1, 2015 to make use of the national recognition of Tottori Prefecture's symbolic tourist spot, the Tottori Sand Dunes, and of the manga artist Gosho Aoyama, who authored the manga Case Closed (Detective Conan) and is a native of Hokuei Town in Tottori. This airport functions as a "station of the skies" with many fun attractions such as Detective Conan-themed decorations in many places and riddle-solving events (Sat., Sun., and holidays only) held in the airport. This airport is fun as a tourist spot, not just for air travelers, but for all guests.

Around 20 minutes by shuttle bus from Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport to Tottori Station

Around 30 minutes by limited express train from Tottori Station to Kurayoshi Station.

Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Templemore

RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS

Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple

Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple is a mountain temple on the premises of 900-meter high Mt. Mitoku. The rear temple, called "Nageire-do," is a designated National Treasure and is a rare structure built into a depression on a sheer vertical cliff face. It's unclear when exactly Nageire-do was built, but legend has it that the structure was thrown up ("nageire" in Japanese) from the level ground through the spiritual power of En no Ozuno, the founder of the mountain asceticism-shamanism tradition Shugendo.
While it's necessary to climb a difficult mountain path in order to see Nageire-do up close, there is an observation point located on a road at the mountain base where it can be seen. In addition, Mt. Mitoku and Misasa Onsen were designated as Japan Heritage sites on April 24, 2015 as "Places of purification of the six roots of perception and healing of the six senses - Japan's most dangerous national treasure and one of the world's finest radon hot springs."

  • Rachel Chan

    The meal at Wakoin was one of the best meals during the trip. We loved every single dish on the table. My favourite was the savoury o-dango which was served at the beginning of the meal. I am still thinking of that taste! The firm, yet chewy, o-dango absorbed the umami sauce it had been resting in and made every bite such a pleasure. It was difficult not to eat it quickly because it was so good. As we ate our food, seated Japanese style in Wakoin Temple, we listened to the head monk recount the history of the area, including Misasa, which built anticipation for not just our climb, but also for the evening that awaited us.

    The climb was truly exhilarating and humbling at the same time. I was reminded of the great forest in the Studio Ghibli animation My Neighbour Totoro. Along the way, we appreciated the breathtaking scenery and the lengths devotees have gone to to conserve the ancient monuments onsite. As we hiked up a stretch of what I thought to be the most difficult part of the climb, our guide made us chant: “San-ge, san-ge, rokkon shojo.” By the time we reached Sanbutsuji, I did feel purified, having focused all my energies and perceptions on one task alone.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    Having the Buddhist cuisine here completely changed my understanding of what vegetarian cooking can be. Many dishes were made from fresh vegetables besides using the bean curd and tofu as main ingredients. I was amazed by the variety of tastes and flavours made possible by this humble cooking.

    The climb was not only the physical challenge of climbing. It was like a trial. The monk guided us through the same steep rocky route that other monks had taken many years ago in seeking spiritual cleansing. When we finally arrived at the Nageiri-do Hall, clinging to the side of the rock wall of Mitoku-san, we stood there for a while to appreciate the structure while wondering how it was built 850 years ago.

Around 30 minutes by bus from the Mitoku bus stop to Misasa Shoko Center

Izanro Iwasaki

  • Rachel Chan

    Dinner was served at a private room in the restaurant on the second floor of the Izanro Iwasaki ryokan. We went for dinner after a dip in the hot springs and were still wearing yukata when we poured each other sake. The food was sumptuous and my favourite dish of all was the chawanmushi. The server was attentive and we enjoyed our meal.

    My room at Izanro Iwasaki ryokan was superb. The very same hostess who served us at dinner showed me to my room and even made me tea before leaving. I loved the spaciousness of the room and the fact that there were two sets of yukata inside the cupboard. I enjoyed the onsen very much. I loved that there were all sorts of toiletries available at the onsen for our use. The layout of both hot springs (for men and women) was interesting.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    After taking a bath at the ryokan, we had dinner dressed in yukata. The dinner course came in traditional Japanese dishes that included seafood sashimi (or otsukuri), grilled fish, fish and shrimp (mosa-ebi which could only be found in Tottori) tempura, and a mini nabe-dish, etc. The variety of flavours in the different dishes was very enjoyable.

    The Izanro Iwasaki Ryokan is one of the historic hotels in the Misasa Onsen that has always been a favourite of the Japanese Royal family and famous intellectual Japanese poet-painters (bunjin) of yore. This hot-spring in this four-star hotel is said to be one of the world best radium hot springs. The monk at Wakoin said, one would go to Mt. Mitoku heal his soul and to Misasa to heal his body. The staff were also really friendly, and it was a comfortable place to stay.

Day3

Izanro Iwasaki

Around 30 minutes by bus from Misasashoko Center to Kurayoshi Station.

Around 30 minutes by limited express train from Kurayoshi Station to Tottori Station.
Around 20 minutes by bus from Tottori Station to Sakyu Higashiguchi bus stop. Around 15 minutes by foot from the bus stop.

Sankouenmore

Sankouen

Picking pears will engross men and women, young and old. You can enjoy picking a variety of pears from late July to late November. You can also enjoy all-you-can eat, fresh-picked pears. Don't worry about the weather when planning a visit here.

  • Rachel Chan

    This was a delightful excursion. We managed to pick 20th Century pears and we found out the difference between ones that grow nearer to the tree trunk and ones that grow farther away from it–the former is sweeter and softer, and the latter is less sweet, but crunchier.

    The papermaking experience was fun and interesting and we got to see and purchase some beautiful paper products from the shop.

    Kaiyotei was a superb place which showcased the seafood of Tottori. The ambience of the restaurant was very Japanese and we sat on tatami mats in a private room which had a partial view of the sea. The main highlight of the food we had that day was “odori shiro ika,” which was a white squid julienned into thin slices of sashimi while still alive. After we had feasted on the sashimi slices, the rest of the squid was sent back to the kitchen and made into tempura, which we also enjoyed.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    “20th Century Pears” were so named because they were first found growing in the wild at the turn of the century. These pears typically have a round shape, yellow smooth skin, and are juicy. This is a place that I highly recommend for people that like pears or families with children.

    At the Aoya Washi Studio, I was able to learn the process of making Japanese paper, known as “washi,” and could experience making the paper too. I was able to make my very own washi paper, and both adults and children are sure to enjoy the activity.

    The seafoods served here were freshly taken from the Sea of Japan. One could watch his (white) squid or lobster be pulled from the tanks in the middle of the room. The most unforgettable dish was the Odori-ika (dancing squid) which the squid was served in sashimi dish while its tentacles were still moving, but the real treat was the tempura of the tentacles which the taste of freshness remained unspoiled.

6 minutes by foot

Tottori Sand Dunes, The Sand Museummore

Tottori Sand Dunes, The Sand Museum

The Tottori Sand Dunes are located in an area of the San'in Kaigan Geopark and are Japan's second largest sand dunes, stretching 2.4km south-to-north and 16km east-to-west. The wind ripple patterns on the sand created by winds from the Sea of Japan are very beautiful and charm the hearts of all who see them. In one corner of the Tottori Sand Dunes is the world's first Sand Museum dedicated to exhibiting sculptures made of sand. The basic concept of The Sand Museum is "World Tour on Sand," with their theme changing every year. The world's top sand sculptors create intricate works with powerful presence here.

  • Rachel Chan

    The Sand Museum was a much riveting tourist attraction. The amount of detail and artistry which have gone into the Scandinavian-themed sculptures was simply spell-binding, and we spent a great deal of time admiring them.

    Jinpukaku is a very picturesque house and quite unforgettable.

    This teppanyaki was superlative because we had a chance to try the famous Tottori wagyu beef. The chef was extremely competent at preparing it and the result was melt-in-your mouth. The wine was good and everything else served that evening was delicious. We had a hearty meal.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    The overwhelming feeling of seeing the landscape of sand after ascending up stairs was a memorable experience. Not far from the Sand Dunes stands the Sand Museum where it showcases some extraordinary and real life looking sculptures. Strongly recommending it to visitors who enjoy art and creativity.

    The Jinpukaku is a grand Western-style mansion in Tottori City. Next to it lie the Tottori Castle ruins which his ancestor built during the 16th century. Visiting here during spring for cherry blossom viewing would be perfect as there are many cherry trees in the surrounding area.

    Luckily, we were recommended by the local to this restaurant. From the chef’s thrilling performance at the grill to the restaurant’s lusciously tender, high-quality Tottori Beef, this was a really enjoyable experience. All these came in a very reasonable price that one would not be able to get in a similar restaurant of such quality in taste in the major cities.

Around 20 minutes by bus from Sakyu Higashiguchi bus stop.

Tottori Green Hotel Morris

  • Rachel Chan

    The Tottori Green Hotel Morrison is a lodging most suitable for those who just need a comfortable place to stay the night.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    This modern and stylish hotel is situated just about 2 minutes away from the JR Tottori Station. An excellent location for both business and leisure traveller. The room was clean and tidy with comfortable bed. The hotel also has a large public bath including a sauna for travellers to soak away their tiredness.

Day4

Tottori Green Hotel Morris

  • Rachel Chan

    The boat cruise was fun and rewarding, not just because of the beautiful scenery of the Uradome Coast, but also because of the seagulls that flew together with our boat for the prawn crackers we cast into the air. So, before one boards the cruise, it is highly recommended that one should buy one or two packets of prawn crackers! The clear weather meant blue skies and a good view of Sengan Matsushima, as well as other landforms carved by marine erosion. Afterward, we had a pear smoothie and a surprisingly good squid ink soft serve ice cream.

    Mitakien was one of my favourite spots in Tottori. We were transposed to a different part of the great forest we had seen at Sanbutsuji. When the atmosphere at Sanbutsuji was solemn and sacred, Mitakien was of nostalgia and joyfulness. We were impressed by the smorgasbord of sansai cuisine that the staff had prepared from scratch early in the morning. After lunch, we strolled to the cafe located deeper in the woods and had a cup of tea/coffee as we admired the waterfall. I expect this place to be even more beautiful as the leaves change colour in late autumn. The crisp weather, cool temperature, and fresh air make the hours in Mitakien so easy to pass.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    The 30 minutes approximately cruise along the Uradome coast started with much pleasure feeding the seagulls. Further into the tour along the Uradome coast, one would have a transparent visibility into the depth of the blue sea and appreciating the marine eroded terrain while the pleasure boat was navigating in between the tiny islands.

    In the heart-comforting nature, about an hour drive to the south from Tottori City, there stood a few nostalgic thatch roof houses that seasonal sansai (wild plants) dishes taken from the mountain were served. One would enjoy the meal in a sunken hearth ozashiki. Some of the impressive dishes were the exceptional flavour of the soup and the handmade konjak.

47 minutes from JR Tottori Station to Chizu Station on the Inbi Line. Around 11 minutes by foot from the station.

Ishitani Residencemore

Ishitani Residence

An example of contemporary Japanese architecture in the once flourishing post town of Chizu, Tottori Prefecture, the residence has been designated an Important Cultural Property. The magnificent residence is regarded a masterpiece of contemporary Japanese architecture that blends various styles, and is worth seeing!

  • Rachel Chan

    Ishitani Residence was gorgeous, from its grand timber pillars and beams, to its ornate garden, to the minute luxurious details of its interiors. There, we learned how traditional Japanese clans used to live and entertain. The Ishitani family is very generous to have shared (part of) their family home with the public.

  • TAI, VICENTE

    Opposite a tiny wooden fire station is a glamorous old Japanese structure. In here, the guests would learn more about the structure of the house, how it was constructed and what wood had the builder used for the structure, etc. than hearing the historical significance of this family and its presence in the old days. For those who are curious and interested in Japanese building techniques and joinery, this would be a right place to visit when visiting Chizu in Tottori.

Around 11 minutes by foot from Chizu Station. 47 minutes from Chizu Station to Tottori Station on the Inbi Line.

Around 20 minutes by shuttle bus from Tottori Station to Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport.

Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport

ANA (ANA Expericence JAPAN Fare) Show details

Haneda Airport

  • Rachel Chan

    Overall, I enjoyed the trip very much. I would highly recommend Tottori x Tokyo as a one-week trip for Singaporeans, whom, I am sure, would be delighted to learn that this is itinerary is not known to many yet. As foodies, Singaporeans would love to feast on Tottori wagyu and the fresh seafood. Tottori has much to offer, and I hope that other fellow Singaporeans will agree with me!

  • TAI, VICENTE

    Well co-ordinated tour. We could visit many iconic landmarks and noteworthy places in both cities within a short 4 days. Contrary, we could only take a cursory glance at the site and we were have to move on to the next. A few memorable visits were the lunch at "Tokyo shiba Tofuya Ukai",the tour from the delicious and healthy Buddhist lunch at Wakoin Temple to the exciting hike of the Mt. Mitoku and the magnificent view at its top, as well as the relaxing bath at the Izanro Iwasaki Ryokan to end the day -it as a perfect arrangement!

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TRAVELERS

We admired the city of Tokyo from Tokyo Tower and had a wonderful meal at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai before taking a 1h domestic flight to Tottori the next day. While this itinerary does not cover everything Tokyo has to offer, it suggests to the reader (especially one who has been to Japan many times but has never even heard of Tottori) a new travel arrangement: fly to Tokyo, stay there for a night, catch a domestic flight to Tottori, enjoy it there for a few days before returning to Tokyo for some shopping, and then head back to Singapore.

Rachel Chan
Travel Writer
Reside in Singapore
  • Hobby

    Japan's food and drink (notably, sake and whisky), history and culture.

  • Number of visits to Japan

    I have been to Japan on four occasions.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TRAVELERS

Visitors are strongly encouraged to go up the iconic Tokyo Tower to take in the panoramic view of Tokyo. To get to Tokyo Tower, I suggest walking towards Zojoji Temple. You can then conclude your walk and enjoy lunch at Tofuya Ukai, a restaurant at the foot of Tokyo Tower, where you can take in the contrast between old and modern Japan.
And for those who love nature and interested in history, myths, traditions, etc., Tottori will be a must-go destination. It is located in the western part of Japan facing the Japan Sea. You can see an nature filled by rich culture and relaxing lifestyle.

TAI, VICENTE
Journalist
Reside in Tokyo
Home country: Singapore
  • Hobby

    Travel, Arts, Charity Works, Sports

  • Length of stay in Tokyo

    live in Japan from 1996

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