Japan's Most Beautiful Starry Sky! Night Tours And Lodgings In Tottori

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Tottori is said to be Japan’s best spot for stargazing as the Milky Way can be seen in all the cities during the summer. We will introduce you to night tours and recommended lodging facilities where you can enjoy bonfires and fireflies!

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Humans have felt awe and wonder at the starry sky since long ago; this has even been mentioned in Greek mythology.

Japan also has the legend of Tanabata (Star Festival) that was introduced from China. It is a love story between Orihime of the star Vega in the Lyra constellation and Hikoboshi of the star Altair in the Aquila constellation. The two lovers can only meet once a year on July 7th.

Why don’t you, too, gaze at the starry sky while immersing yourself in these mystical feelings when you visit Japan?

We recommend Tottori, located in western Japan on the coast of the Sea of Japan, if you long to gaze up at the beautiful night sky.

This prefecture has the smallest population out of all the prefectures in Japan and there are few lights. As such, the Milky Way, as well as several shooting stars, can be seen from all the cities, towns, and villages in the summer. For these reasons, Tottori was chosen by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment as the region with Japan’s most beautiful night sky.

In this article, we will introduce spots where you can especially see the beautiful starry sky and lodgings where they can be enjoyed.

The Tottori Sand Dunes Stargazing Tour

Tottori Sand Dunes

Photo courtesy of: Tottori Prefecture

A stargazing tour is held throughout the year in Tottori’s most popular tourist attraction, the Tottori Sand Dunes. You’ll feel like you’re in a parallel universe when you look up at the starry sky from the vast sandy area that stretches 2.4km from north to south and 16km from east to west.

The Tottori Sand Dunes is near the city of Tottori and can be visited by either bus or taxi, so you’ll be able to enjoy stargazing late into the night if you’re able to get a hotel within the city. For information on the stargazing tour, please check out Tottori’s Facebook page or their official website (Japanese).

Use the Sky as a Canvas! Mt. Daisen’s Starry Sky Event

Mt Daisen

Photo courtesy of:TAKASHI KARAKI

A stargazing event is also held every month on Mt. Daisen, a popular Tottori tourist attraction that rivals the Tottori Sand Dunes. A feature of Mt. Daisen’s starry sky event are its unique play activities, such as drawing letters in the night sky with a penlight.

The event is held twice a month; you can choose between stargazing at the time of the new moon when the starry skies are very visible or during the time of a meteor shower. For confirmation on the event schedule and reservations, please send an e-mail to guide@daisen.gr.jp.

There are various accommodation facilities where you can stay after gazing at the starry sky near Mt. Daisen such as Kyukamura Oku-Daisen. For details, please refer to Mt Daisen’s official website.

Enjoy the Night Sky From Tottori Lodging Spots

BASE8823: the Starry Sky and a Bonfire in the Land of Motorcycles!


Photo courtesy of: BASE8823

BASE8823 (Japanese) is a guest house located a ten minute walk from the Hayabusa Station on the Wakasa Railway. At night, you can enjoy the entire starry sky while surrounded by paddy fields and mountains.


Photo courtesy of: BASE8823

Furthermore, you can also enjoy barbecues and bonfires in the evening at BASE8823.


Photo courtesy of: BASE8823

BASE8823 was remodeled and built from an old Japanese-style home with the concept of “combining the old with the new” in mind. You can enjoy Japanese decorations such as paper lanterns hung in the bedrooms.

On the other hand, you can also enjoy food and Japanese sake made using locally harvested ingredients in a modern café space.

BASE8823 is frequently visited by local residents as it is a guest house that was started by the local youth. It’s fun to interact with the local residents and apparently there are also tourists that are frequent guests here as well.


Photo courtesy of: BASE8823

Hayabusa Station, the nearest station to BASE8823, has become the “holy land of motorcyclists.” Motorcycle lovers gather here from all over Japan due to the fact that it shares the same name as the large Hayabusa motorcycle model from the popular Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Suzuki.

For that reason, BASE8823 is also often visited by tourists that love motorcycles. They are able to interact with Japan’s riders here. Motorcycle rentals are also conducted at BASE8823 and can be reserved from Best Bike’s official website.

Kyukamura Oku-Daisen: Enjoy Tottori’s Beautiful Nature

Kyukamura Oku-Daisen

Photo courtesy of: Kyukamura Oku-Daisen

Kyukamura Oku-Daisen is a hotel located at the foot of Mt. Daisen. As the plateau is an elevation of 920 meters, here you are able to feel even closer to the starry sky than if you were to gaze at the sky from the lowlands.

Kyukamura Oku-Daisen

Photo courtesy of: Kyukamura Oku-Daisen

A characteristic of Kyukamura Oku-Daisen is that you can enjoy the outdoors while surrounded by beautiful nature, which includes the primeval Japanese beech forests. You can enjoy camping at a campsite located a five minute walk from the hotel during the summer too.

Gazing up at the starry night sky from the campgrounds while enjoying the hush of nature all around is an exceptional feeling.

Kyukamura Oku-Daisen

Photo courtesy of: Kyukamura Oku-Daisen

Tourists staying at Kyukamura Oku-Daisen are able to participate in various seasonal events such as a plateau plants and firefly watching tour in the summer as well as bird-watching in the winter.

If you are staying at Kyukamura Oku-Daisen, a bus will come to pick you up from either JR Neu Station or Kofu Station if a reservation is made beforehand, so transportation is also convenient.

Misasa Onsen - The Starry Sky Above and the Light of the Fireflies Below

Misasa Onsen

Photo courtesy of: Misasa Onsen Tourism Association

Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple Nagareido Hall, called Japan’s most dangerously situated National Treasure, and Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory, where you can enjoy the world of Detective Conan, are located in central Tottori.

Misasa Onsen, located 20 minutes by bus from JR Kurayoshi Station in central Kurayoshi, is also a spot where you can beautifully see the starry sky.

Misasa Onsen

Photo courtesy of: Misasa Onsen Tourism Association

Fireflies flutter about during the summer above the Misasa River that flows through the hot springs district of Misasa Onsen. Both your body and soul will be healed when you enter the hot springs while enveloped in the art that is the entire starry sky above and the light of the fireflies below.

A stargazing tour is also held during the summer at Misasa Onsen. Anyone staying at the ryokans (Japanese inns) or hotels in Misasa Onsen are able to participate, so by all means, please inquire about the tour when making your reservation.

For information on access, hotels, and ryokans in Misasa Onsen, please read the article “Tottori's Skin Care Hot Springs - Easy Access From Osaka And Kyoto!” or check Misasa Onsen’s official website.

Many Other Stargazing Spots in Tottori!

There are also many other spots in Tottori where you can enjoy the starry sky. One such spot is the astronomical observatory Saji Astro Park that contains cottages furnished with telescopes.

There are plenty of charms to the nightlife of Tottori! Please fully enjoy your sightseeing stay in Tottori whether it be in the afternoon or the evening!

For more information please check the official website of Tottori Prefecture: https://www.tottori-tour.jp/en/

Please also check out our articles in the Tottori section.

Sponsored by Tottori Prefecture

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Tokyo, Japan

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