None COLUMN | JDF - Japan Defense Focus (No.118) | Japan Ministry of Defense

Japan Defense Focus No.118 Dec. 2019


Tottori Sand Dunes

Tottori Sand Dunes

There are various beaches along the west coast of Japan facing the Sea of Japan including rias coasts and flat coasts, but the most unique beach in western Japan is the Tottori Sand Dunes in Tottori Prefecture.

This coastal dune is made of gravel and stretches 2.4km from north to south and 16km from east to west. It is one of the Tottori Prefecture’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting more than 1 million tourists annually.

The Tottori Sand Dunes were created over a long period by the repeating cycle of weather turning mountain granite into sand which was then carried into rivers by rain and went out to sea. Subsequently, sand was pushed back to the seashore by waves and then carried ashore by strong sea winds.

A part of the dunes is designated as Special Protection Area of the Sanin Kaigan National Park. It is also nationally designated as Natural Monument.

The JASDF’s Miho Air Base is located in Tottori City, Tottori Prefecture. The base is the home to the 3rd Tactical Airlift Group and its headquarters, the Flight Group, the Maintenance Supply Group, the Air Base Group, the Miho Air Traffic Control Service Squadron, the Miho Weather Service Squadron, and the Miho District Air Police Squadron. It is the only air base in western Japan with a transport aircraft unit. Aircraft stationed there include C-1, C-2 and T-400 training aircraft.