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Published: July 31st 2008
A darkening sky and regular rain showers was not the start to the long weekend that I was hoping for. Never mind, hopefully it will keep a few people at home I thought. The plan was to meet my friend in Matsue and head up the coast to check out beaches and the Tottori Sand Dunes.
When pouring rain began to give way to small patches of pale blue we knew we'd made the right decision by pushing on. After stopping to watch the sunset from a rocky bay, which I'm sure does have an actual name, we headed further up to find a place to stop for the night. We'd both packed sleeping bags and figured we'd just crash on a beach somewhere. No set time schedule, very much a play-it-by-ear getaway - the kind where after a while you're not sure what day of the week it is even.
Not long after it got dark we picked out a beach to stay at - still quite a few people around having barbeques, and some letting off fireworks :-) Everyone just having a good time without getting drunkenly rowdy. As it turned out a few people seemed to
be intending on staying the night.
We had decided to pack up pretty much when we woke up the next morning, and move on in time to make it to the sand dunes for the sunrise. Just before we drove off my friend checked her phone to see what the time was, and even though it was quite light it wasn't even 5am! Needless to say we made it to the sand dunes before the main tourist invasion - fortunately we never really found out if it does get that crowded as we were only there at both ends of the day. The Tottori Sand dunes are the only large dune system in Japan, and have apparently existed for over 100, 000 years. A sandboarding competition is held there each year in August. We spent a couple of hours there in the morning, then kept moving in our quest for finding out more of what the coast had to offer. At some stage during the day we called in to Tottori station so my friend could organise return tickets for the next day, and on our way past the convenience store saw some cardboard boxes which we souveniered to
test on the dunes.
The plan had always been to spend a night on the dunes, which we managed. Except we arrived back there later than planned, so ended up carrying bedding up the tallest part of the dunes, in the dark, and hoping the clouds above weren't going to hang around. Yes, we were sober.
I don't usually concern myself too much with the reason for a public holiday :-) but waking up on Marine Day near the top of sand dunes, and hearing the waves was fitting I thought. After packing up and carrying our gear back down the dunes (and feeling a bit like a tourist attraction ourselves as some people seemed to think the sight was worth taking photos of) we traded sleeping bags and futons for the cardboard boxes we had acquired the day before, and headed back up.
The 'dune sliding' - well, it didn't exactly work, but better that than damaging the snowboard :-)
Not a bad morning's effort - not only had we packed up bedding and made a failed attempt at dune-boarding, we even got out of the carpark before the parking attendants came on duty.
2 days of sand and surf we decided to head inland for the day. Again with no set plan, we ended up hiking to Daisen Falls.
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