Last Updated on January 19, 2023

The Tottori Sand Museum is a unique and fascinating place that houses some of the most beautiful sand sculptures in the world.

The installations are made with recycled leftover sand from the nearby Tottori Sand Dunes, part of a national park known for its desert-like features, unique in Japan, which attracts tourists from all over the country with activities such as sandboarding and camel riding.

Tottori Sand Museum
The Sand Museum in Tottori, Japan.

A One-of-a-kind Museum

The Sand Museum opened in Tottori in 2006 with an outdoor exhibition centered around Italy and the Renaissance, and became an indoor museum after moving to a new location in 2012. It is as of today the world’s only indoor museum entirely dedicated to sand sculpture art.

The exhibitions change every year and last from mid-April to early January of the following year. Past topics include regions such as South-East Asia and South America, and countries such as Great Britain and Germany.

Sand Sculpture of Mahatma Ghandi at Tottori Sand Museum
Sand Sculpture of Mahatma Ghandi at Tottori Sand Museum

Opening Hours

Mon.-Fri., Sun. 9:00AM to 5:00PM
Sat. 9:00AM to 6:00PM

Getting there

Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport, just two kilometers from the museum, connects Tottori to Tokyo airports in just over an hour.

The sand dunes are a 20-minute bus ride from Tottori Station. The Sand Museum is located at the western end of the main dune area.

The fastest and most frequent direct train service to Tottori from Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto stations is the Super Hakuto Limited Express Train.

There is a surcharge to be paid for JR Pass holders because part of this itinerary is not part of the JR network.

If you prefer to use only the Japan Rail Pass, the Hamakaze Limited Express connects Osaka to Tottori.

There is only one round trip per day and it takes 90 minutes longer than the Super Hakuto. Night buses run between Tokyo Station and Tottori Station.

Read also: Sand Art: From Sculptures to Painting, Sand as a Canvas

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