I spent two days with my family in the city of Tottori, beautiful for so many reasons. The Japan Sea is at its doorstep and a mountain forest encircles this magical place.
We did Tottori on a budget, so we decided to look for a campsite. We found a free one called Yanajijaya Campground. Having gone to the beach beforehand, we decided to go the campsite around 5:00 before the sun went down.
Yanagijaya Campground is a few minutes from the seaside and is next to Kodomo no Kuni children’s park. The area is not far from the city center and there are buses that run to the area that would be perfect for backpackers.
We arrived in our van and quickly saw that it truly was free. No money was required. There was a reception booth but it was unmanned. You just have to arrive and pick a spot. We chose one close to the toilet yet far enough way to feel a sense of privacy.There is also free parking so we took our time unloading and setting up camp.
The license plates of the other cars were from various prefectures but surprisingly Tottori was the dominant plate.The camp was clearly popular with the locals.The camp has a men’s and women’s toilet, an area to wash dishes and barbecue pits.That’s it as far as amenities go, but just across the street are the sand dunes.You can easily hop over for a photo session or a quick stroll through the sand.
If you need supplies, stock up before you come, as there are no shops in the vicinity.Just through the tunnel though is the world we are used to. There is a convenience store a supermarket and the gamut of places to spend money through the Sand Dune Tunnel.
Back in the camp there are some characters.There is the tent that seems like it’s been there forever. There are the bikers.One of whom is on a chopper. He sits in front of the tent like it was the Wild West and lights a fire at night like Bear Grylls.There is room for everyone at Yanagijaya Campground.
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I was born and raised in Baltimore City, Maryland in the USA after which I moved to New York City at the age of 21. I lived, studied and worked in New York for five years then moved to Okayama in 1998 at the age of 26. After living in Japan for 5 years I decided to try to naturalize. I was granted Japanese citizenship at the age of 33. I am interested in education, political philosophy, and Japanese society. I enjoy playing softball with my kids, driving and motorcycles. I can't say I enjoy running but I often join local 5k races. I want more people from abroad to come to Japan for a visit and I hope that some portion of that group decides to stay. Japan is for everyone!