Making it to Tottori by Car

There is a train to Tottori City but I haven’t taken it yet because I just enjoy the drive so much. From Okayama, the approximately 135 kilometer Prefectural Route 53 is the most direct choice when going by private transport. The great thing about it is that you pass through so many towns and scenic spots on the way that the journey is as important as the destination.

If you start at the very beginning, you’ll find yourself at the Daiunji intersection right at the center of Okayama City, not far from the central post office. Moving along,  the road curves through the city toward the Kita-ku district of the city where it runs alongside the Asahi River.

Eventually Route 53 brings you to the outskirts of Tsuyama City and you pass the Sara River which cuts across the land weaving between houses and fields. For me personally, it’s always nice to come across a rural setting after an extended period driving through the city. It doesn’t last that long though because Tsuyama City center pops up fast.  

What can I say about Tsuyama? Well, I like the look of it, however, I always seem to just be passing through. I always wonder though, what it would be like to live in an inland city. What’s the pace of life like? Having passed through in the summer exactly on the day of the summer festival, I realized that it must be pretty good. Young people in colorful summer kimono always brings a smile to my face. One day maybe I’ll get up the guts to wear one and walk around. So far, I’ve only had the courage to put on a jinbe (Japanese traditional summer clothing for men).

After entering Tsuyama City you’ll have your first encounter with the Yoshi River, which is dotted with all sorts of businesses, with hotels particularly dominating.

There’s not much remaining of Okayama Prefecture at this point as the border of Tottori Prefecture nears. The prosperous town of Nagi and its wealth of nature and amenities gives way to the nationally recognized beauty of Chizu Town.

I still haven’t done it yet, but one day Chizu is going to be my destination. I just love the way the town is laid out, with a narrow river spanned by several traditional bridges. It’s a kind of mirror image of Hakone Town in Kanagawa Prefecture.

It’s not long before you get to the border of Tottori City where the stand out landmark is a reconstructed castle that is perched on a hilltop on the left. In no time you are in marvelous Tottori City, land of sand and sea.


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