Ochidani Park, Tottori 樗谿公園
Ochidani is a narrow valley near the center of Tottori city that is home to some traditional Japanese gardens, an interesting history museum, an historical shrine, and a nature preserve.
Located south of the Tottori Castle area and northeast of the main train station, the park is not so well known but has quite a bit to enjoy. At the entrance to the narrow valley is a garden which is free to enter known primarily for its plum trees. There are more than 40 different species of plum tree as well as cherry trees and maple trees and a small koi pond, so it is enjoyable all year round.
Tottori City History Museum
Across the road is the Yamabikokan, the Tottori City History Museum. In a modern and colorful building, the displays are also modern and feature interactive and hi-tech displays that cover the history of the whole Tottori Prefecture and not just the city.
Topics covered include the variety of important cultural properties in the area, the castle and the daily life of people through the ages. The museum also regularly hosts special thematic exhibitions.
Inaba Toshogu Shrine
The stone-paved path leads up the narrow forested valley to the shrine area, passing through a torii and a gate. This is the Inaba Toshogu Shrine, established in 1650 during the Edo Period, and until recently known as Ochidani Shrine, but now reverted to its original name.
The shrine is a branch of the famous Toshogu in Nikko, the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the great unifier of Japan and founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The original is known for its marvelous and intricate decoration, the most ornate shrine in Japan, but the Inaba Toshogu is somewhat more restrained and unpainted, though with some carved reliefs.
Several of the structures, including the main shrine, are original and listed as Important Cultural Properties. The local daimyo (feudal lord) who ordered its construction was Ikeda Mitsunaka, a great grandson of Ieyasu.
The path carries on up the valley and reaches Omiya Pond, popular with birdwatchers both for the year-round residents like the Kingfisher and the visitors who stop in on their migrations. A path circles the pond and also carries on another two kilometers up the valley until reaching the top of Mount Honjin.
88 Uemachi, Tottori-shi
Tel: 0857 23 2140
Open from 9am to 5pm. Closed Mondays and over the New Year.
300 yen entry
Take the 100 yen Kururi bus from Tottori Station.
If you are staying in Tottori you have a fairly wide variety of hotels and ryokan to choose from. Some recommended places are the 4-star Misasa Royal Hotel with an open-air hot-spring bath (rotemburo) and aromatherapy massages, the Japanese style Hannaya Bekkan with tatami floors and futon bedding and the business style Tottori Washington Hotel Plaza. Also near Tottori Station is the budget Y Pub & Hostel Tottori.
See a listing of hotels in Tottori.