Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Remember when you're a child and wanting to build sand castle with your parents or siblings during beach vacation and failed EVERY.SINGLE.TIME? Yup that's right, that's how I realise I don't have the gift nor patience building sand castles as well as other structures. I never succeed building anything with sand in my life, never. What a sad childhood lolololol

I guess the "failure" of mine kinda make me look forward to visit Tottori's famous sand museum that's located just beside Tottori Sand Dunes (about 5 minutes walk):

About how to get to Tottori Sand Dunes, Sand Museums and nearby areas, please refer to my Tottori Sand Dunes post!

The Sand Museum of Tottori Sand Dunes

A welcome sand sculpture located at the entrance of museum
Super impressed by their works as this sculpture exposed to harsh weather (from Spring to Winter) as well sun & rain (occasionally snow) and it's still intact! How ah like seriously???????

It all started in year 2006 by Katsuhiko Chaen, who is then executive producer of Tottori Sand Museum and now world renown sand sculptor and producer who invited sculptors from all over the world and started exhibiting sand sculptures at Tottori Sand Dunes. Yup, you're reading this right, the Tottori Sand Museum started with open-air exhibition at the sand dunes area. The sand sculptures collapses eventually (due to weather and environment causes) but it doesn't dampen Katsuhiko Chaen's sculpting spirit. 

This year marks the 11th year since The Sand Museum started and since year 2012, The Sand Museum reopened at its current location which is known as world's first permanent indoor sand exhibition space. Each year they have different theme for the sand sculptures and this year is:

The Nordic Countries
World famous sand sculptors from around the world came to Tottori to build sand sculptures

Seriously, the amount of time and effort in order to make this whole exhibition thing happen seriously amazes me. The large scale of this exhibition as well as each and every sculpture details that shows the quintessential of Nordic Countries really impressed each and every visitor who came to visit. 

Exhibition area view from 1st floor
Did you found something that only can be seen from this height?

Look at the size of human comparing to these sculptures!

It's even taller than me!
(I'm consider tall in height as an Asian with 175cm, these sculptures are wayyyy taller than I am)

There's a saying in Chinese proverb: 

Happiness is like the sand in your hand, 

the harder you're grasping it the more it escapes from your hand.

I guess this is why when such a huge sand sculpture being build, stood still against time and environment factors, visitor feel amazed! The effort and method it takes to built all these sand sculptures are concluded in one single picture as below:

but we know very well the amount of time and passion it took to build sand sculptures are immeasurable  

Growing up in a multilingual country, I've heard stories about The Little Mermaid, The Vikings, Santa Claus and also I love all the Nordic Folklore and tales of Norse Gods and Goddesses.  All these imaginary images are sculpted into sculptures using sand and they've connected visitors with these Norse mythology and fairy tales. 

The Statue of Little Mermaid, which is originally located in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Fairytale-like sceneries, forests, horse carriage, rock bridge and river

Norse Gods, Godesses and Mythology

Forest animals

I've never been to any Scandinavian but these are very close to what I've been imagine about the nordic countries. I can feel the mysterious, calm, vast, and energy hidden in each and every sand sculptures exhibiting in this Sand Museum and that makes me wanna visit the countries even more! 

Initially I wanted to show you more of the sand sculptures photos but I deleted some because I don't want to spoil the surprises and effort of all the sand sculptors who worked together day and night and build all these. I think it's best to put some exhibits away from the limelight so it will make you more curious and you will wanna visit this sand museum even more.

Just when I was thinking: Phew, luckily sand museum nothing to buy... They can't literally sell sand to me right??? I was wrong, like super duper wrong! There's a Scandinavian Market just located 1 floor above the exhibit area and it has all the cute stuff (Marimekko!!!) imported from Nordic countries. Japan, why you do this to my purse????

You can't go to nordic countries? Is okay, Japan will bring Nordic countries to you!!!

After spending some Japanese yen at the market, I think I need to find a place to chill down before my impulsive shopping disorder hits me again and I discovered some outdoor fun places located just few steps walk to the outdoor section of the Sand Museum. There are some smaller exhibits along the pathway as well.

Panoramic view of Tottori Sand Dunes from The Sand Museum

You can start your own sculpture here at the sand play area

On the hilltop, there's this Bell of Happiness which you can make a wish to.
Just stand facing towards Tottori Sand dunes, make a wish and ring the bell once!
Wahhh that very moment when I rang the bell I really feel my wish will come true no joke!

Right before we left the premise:

You can get some Tottori specialties here like sand coffee, crab miso, crab crackers and such.
The crab crackers are really, really tasty!

I bought a vanilla + sand coffee toppings soft serve
Taste so good~ Who likes ice cream during cold days too?

Tottori is such a fun place to visit in Japan and with just the sand dunes and sand museum, I had so much fun at these two places! I wish I had more time here instead of rushing to the next location but oh well, I know I'll come back to Tottori very, very soon! 

NOTE: To those who are visiting The Sand Museum from 8th December - 24th December 2018, there's this special Christmas event 3D Projection Mapping going on! Do check out the projection show time!

An early Christmas greetings to all of you from Sandy Santa Claus!

For more information:

Tottori Sand Museum Entrance Fee:
adult: 600yen
primary-secondary school students: 300yen

Opening Hours:
9:00am - 6:00pm (Last admission 5:30pm)

Contact number: 0857-20-2231

No comments: