Monday, July 02, 2007

Tottori Sand Dunes & Bad Wine

Leigh, Becky, and I were crammed in the backseat of the Yoshida's car early Saturday morning with plenty of food and snacks to tide us over on our 6 hour roadtrip to Shimane-ken (prefecture). By 8am, we got to Tottori sand dunes- another place I had been wanting to go! The sand was pristine in most places, windswept from the night before, but there were already many trails led by adventurous nightwalkers and early morning trekkers.

It was like a scene right out of Star Wars- this vast desert with steep sand slopes- but with a backdrop of the Sea of Japan! As we made the Star Wars comment, we noticed some huge markings in the sand made by previous visitors, one of them which said "YODA" in katakana! We sandsurfed and giddily ran down the slopes, stamping our footsteps into the sand like you would on a mountain of freshly fallen snow. We had a rejuvenating brunch (grilled inari-zushi, vegetables, salad, bread, salmon) at the top of one of the sandy slopes.

Even though it was still pretty early, the sun had been up for several hours already, and the sand was getting hot! Camels were waiting for prospective riders and there were the usual Japanese girls teetering in their high heels, cultching onto their boyfriends.

On the way to Matsue, we made a few stops. One of them was at the Shimane Winery, where we were thrilled to find out that they had free snacks and wine tastings. As you can see from the photos, the wine was pretttttttttttttty bad.

We also saw the most adorable kid's sumo wrestling match ever.

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