If you want to go off the beaten track in Japan, Tottori Prefecture – the region’s least populated prefecture – is about as far as you can go.
Visitors to Tottori usually do it to see the famous sand dunes or visit famous manga artists from their hometown who were born here, but there’s much more to see than these famous destinations. Surreal art museums, ancient historical sites and rich natural beauty await you.
Public transportation to these lesser-known destinations is scarce, but guided tours, local taxis, and rental cars cater to tourists.
If you’re ready to explore this rural corner of Japan, here are five places to start your journey.
Ueda Shoji Photographic Art Museum
The museum itself is reminiscent of how Ueda’s most famous photographs create surreal scenes from Tottori’s natural surroundings. Photo: WikiCommons/663highland
Surrealist photographer Shoji Ueda (1913-2000) was one of Tottori Prefecture’s most influential artists. Although he insists that he is an amateur photographer, his work has gained worldwide acclaim.
The Ueda Shoji Photographic Museum introduces Ueda’s photographs through rotating exhibitions. In addition to perusing these works, museum visitors can also stimulate their passion for photography by hands-on with the exhibits.
Set up props in front of the mountain vistas and take your own surreal photos, or step inside the giant camera obscura (precursor to the modern camera) and experience some photographic history.
10am-5pm (last admission 4:30pm). Closed on Tuesday. and changes during the exhibition.
Admission: 1,000 yen (adults), 500 yen (university and high school students), 300 yen (junior high school and elementary school students). Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more.
353-3 Fukuokahara, Hoki, Nishibaku-gun, Tottori Prefecture – Map
Nearest station: Kishimoto Station
In Central Historic Park
By exploring Mukibanda, we can imagine what Japan was like before it became Japan. Photo: PIXTA/Ugei
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© Gaijin Pot