More on Tottori, Japan

This item appears on page 16 of the February 2012 issue.

I have a bit more information regarding a couple of the places mentioned in the article on Tottori Prefecture in Japan (Nov. ’11, pg. 6). I visited the area Nov. 1-7, 2011. Regarding the Uradome Coast boat excursion with the San’in Matsushima Yourun Company (Iwami-gun; phone 0857 73 1212 or e-mail, the small-boat ride described in the article runs only from April to October and lasts 50 minutes, while the large-boat ride runs from March to November and lasts 40 minutes. Although the large boat, which I took since it was the only one running, did not pass between as many of the rock formations as the company’s pamphlet indicated the small boat does, it did pass through many and did get pretty close to a beach in at least one spot. In addition, although most seating in the large boat was in an enclosed area, there was room to sit outside in the back of the boat. Regarding Tottori Hanakairo Flower Park (phone +0859 48 3030, [website in Japanese only]), the article stated that the admission fee to the flower park was ¥700 (near $9) for an adult. The regular adult prices specified in the pamphlet I received at the ticket office were ¥1,000 ($13), April-November, and ¥700, December-March. I thought ITN readers would like to know that there is a free shuttle between the Japan Rail Yonago Station and Tottori Hanakairo Flower Park. It takes about 25 minutes and runs hourly, leaving Yonago Station on the hour and the flower park on the half hour. As there are only about 20 seats in the shuttle, it’s best to arrive a bit early. For beautiful flowers with Mt. Daisen in the background, the flower park is really worth visiting. Regarding public transportation in Japan, to make the best use of your time, it is really worthwhile to pay extra to take the fast trains. It took only one hour to get from Tottori to Yonago on the fast train but one hour 15 minutes to get from Tottori to Kurayoshi, halfway between the two cities, on the slow train. Buses and trains do not run very frequently in Tottori Prefecture, so getting around by public transport can be a challenge. In Tottori City, itself, there are two loop bus lines, the red line and the blue line, which charge only ¥100 a ride. During my trip, there were many discounts and promotions available to foreign visitors (half off admission to the flower park, for example). In the Tottori Prefecture, to check if there are any special offers being made, contact the Tottori City International Tourist Support Center (phone [0857] 36 3767) or go to their office located to the right just outside the north exit of JR Tottori Station. The people there speak English and were very helpful in providing sightseeing suggestions plus pamphlets and bus and train schedules. Also check with the Japanese National Tourism Organization (Los Angeles, 213/623-1952, or New York, 212/57-5640). KARYN KANDELL Kyoto, Japan