Drive Away to Chugoku Region in A NISSAN's Car Rental Services

Shikoku / chugoku Tour Izumo 2020.01.17
How many of you have been to the Chugoku region of Japan? Chugoku Chihou/region 【中国地方:ちゅうごくちほう】, is a region that consists of five prefectures, which are, Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi. Although there are airports at these locations, most of them are either domestic or very limited numbers of international flights that’s why many places around the region are not yet recognised by tourists. That is why we have gathered places we’ve been and built this list of places to visit in an itinerary for a rent-a-car experience around the region.

Have you ever been to the Chugoku region?

If you are going to drive around the Chugoku region, you will either be driving in from Fukuoka Airport or Kansai International Airport. For this itinerary, we decided to make our way in from Kansai international airport since we wanted to show around places like the Tottori sand dunes and make our way to the great shrine of Izumo.

So, as we did for the Kansai drive around, we took Nissan’s rent-a-car from Kansai international airport.


First destination, the only desert in Japan! Tottori sand dunes.
  • The Tottori Sand Dunes
Believe it or not, there is a desert in Japan and it is located right by the sea of Japan within Tottori prefecture. It’s called the Tottori Sakyu【鳥取砂丘:とっとりさきゅう】, Sakyu meaning sand dunes.
It’s approximately sixteen kilometers east to west and two kilometers north to south.
If you walk to the top of the dunes, which is called Umanose【馬の背:うまのせ】, meaning the back of a horse, you will be able to see the panoramic view of the rest of the sand dunes with the ocean horizon.
  • Is it just us, or do other people also see this and feel like running?
Check out what else you can do here in our previous article!

Go visit to see the desert of Japan! (map)

A unique stop by spot
  • Since you are driving around Tottori, we thought it would be interesting to include this as one of the spots to check out for a photograph!

    This is the Eshima Ohashi 【江島大橋:えしまおおはし】.
    It is a bridge that the local people use every day and for commuting. However, from a certain angle, the bridge looks so steep that it makes a good scene to photograph. Check out how we managed to take a photo of this optical illusion here!

    Second Destination: The Origin of Japanese Ancient Mythology, Izumo

  • The great shrine of Izumo, located in Shimane prefecture (map), is one of the oldest shrines that currently exists in Japan. 
    It is old enough that its name is mentioned in the oldest historical book that mentions the origins of Japan. Each year, approximately six hundred thousand people come to make their new year wishes.
    By the way, if you are going to make your prayers here, there is a traditional way that is unique to the Izumo Taisha, so make sure you check it out here before you go!

    Since this Izumo area is fairly big, and considering you would have driven a fairly long distance by then, we suggest you stay the night here. There is a beautiful old accommodation where you can enjoy great local cuisine and lovely hot springs called Yuyado Souan【湯宿草菴:ゆやどそうあん】.
  • The beautiful hinoki bathtub with a garden view.

  • The tatami rooms furnished with western style furniture.
    Check their official website for any details.
    In case you do decide to stay and you are looking for places to visit, and food to try, check out our detailed trip to Izumo part 1 and part 2.

    On your way back, you can choose to either travel back towards the Kansai region, like Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, etc or you choose to take your trip further towards the Kyushu area, which takes about the same time you spent traveling to get here from Kansai international airport to prefectures like Fukuoka, Kagoshima, and so on. You can even take a trip to Hiroshima which is a bit closer.

    What would be your option?
    Share your thoughts and your preferred destinations.

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