20th. April 2022,
The slope at michi no eki Kumihama did not present any problem. There were perhaps 7 other overnight vehicles in this small michi no eki which, I realize in the morning, has a distant view of the sea and a constant chorus of frogs. Despite my initial reservations it is a good place to spend the night.
Our first destination for the day is Genbudo Geopark. Here there are some basalt cave formations we want to view. As luck would have it, there is major construction work in progress and one of the main features is closed. The first major basalt cave is a magnificent site the others, it must be said, less so. The off-limits cave is the other major feature judging by the promotional material. The whole area is only a hundred metres or so and we were expecting an extensive park consequently we felt a little frustrated.
We did not enter the Genbudo museum, but the gift shop has some very pretty polished stones, crystals and fossils on display.
From the Geopark, we make for the Hiyoriyama Coast. This is supposed to be an area of outstanding beauty but on arrival we follow the navi. which takes us to a fake sea attraction place, and we never do find the coast of outstanding beauty.
Takeno beach 竹野海岸
The road onward is high above sea level and heavily forested so we only catch glimpses of the rugged coast below. We stop as parking opportunities allow but the places to stop rarely coincide with great views. The coast, as we travel on and descend to sea level, is dotted with swimming beaches in the form of small, sandy coves.
We have lunch at Takeno, a pleasant beach which has a large house almost certainly a ryokan (hotel) actually down on the sand. Very odd. It is hot. T-shirt weather on the Japan Sea coast in mid-April.
Travelling on, we hit the famous Tottori sand dunes. Seeing a sign indicating a sand dune beach we pull over, but the beach turns out ot be concrete steps. Moving on, we pass a very commercial area with chair lifts and viewing points.
We know this area of dunes can be very beautiful as we have stayed here in a free camp site. And walked on the Tottori dunes in the early morning mists. You have to choose your area.
For the night we pull into Nishi Inaba Kirari. This is a new michi no eki with huge parking and high kerbs. It is not possible to park close to the toilet facilities as these are inside the main building. They are, on the positive side, new, clean and numerous. There is also a tatami area for cyclist or bikers to sleep. Plus, a large shop and adjacent Lawsons (24hrs.) The hot spring footbath was dry at the time of our visit.
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.