Hokuei Town in central Tottori Prefecture is home to 9 gigantic wind turbines which are lined up facing the Japan Sea. They are perfectly positioned to gather the energy available from the strong winds which are particularly powerful in the winter.
In a bid to become an environmentally friendly town that looks to the future, in 2005 Hokuei Town erected these turbines to reduce its carbon footprint. The power that is produced is sold to the local power company and can be used to power roughly 6600 homes.
The turbines were made in Germany and have a projected 20 year lifespan, ensuring a modest profit from power sales.
At 70 meters in height the wind turbines can be seen from far and wide. They are planted in the middle of fields and farm plots like massive trees whose branches sway in the wind much in the way the turbine blades turn with purpose.
The walk from the train station is an adventure in itself. The turbines always seem closer to you than they really are given their immense size. As you walk towards them they appear to maintain their distance as you make your way past fields, between houses and through the sand.
Some of the turbines are in the fields while others are on the beach. To get a good view of the latter you have a choice. Namely, you can create a path though the packed sand and pine trees on the south side of the coastal fence or you can walk on the soft sand next to the surf.
It turns out that both ways are equally challenging but the reward is substantial.The best time to view the turbines is at sunset or sunrise when they stand like the sentinels of Hokuei Town.
Access: Take the Sannin Line to Yura Station. Walk north for about an hour to the coast of the Japan Sea.
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|Cancellation Date||Up to 21 days prior||20-8 days prior||7-2 days prior||Day prior to start of tour||Day of tour||After start of tour/non-participation with no contact|
|Cancellation Fee||No charge||20% of tour fee||30% of tour fee||40% of tour fee||50% of tour fee||100% of tour fee|