Mount Daisen is the tallest mountain in Tottori Prefecture, reaching up to 1,729 meters tall. In olden times, Tottori region was called Houki, and as Mt. Daisen has a striking resemblance to Mt. Fuji, it's nickname is Houki-Fuji. One of Japan's hundred famous views, Mt. Daisen is the symbol of Tottori. A popular power spot, Mt. Daisen is also a revered mountain of worship as ancient people believed the gods lived on the mountains.
Daisen-ji is a Buddhist temple built on the slopes of Mt. Daisen and houses many national treasures and ancient documents. After the 9th century, this temple came under the control of the Tendai Buddhist sect as one of the most important of its centers in this region. The head monk, or zashu, of this temple had been sent from the Enryaku-ji in Kyoto, the headquarters of the Tendai sect. Daisen-ji was greatly affected by the anti-Buddhist movement (1868-c.1874) after the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Daisen-ji was closed in 1875. One of the main buildings became the Ogamiyama Shrine, and the Shinto related assets of Daisen-ji were removed and transferred to the shrine. Daisen-ji was allowed to reopen in 1903. In 1928 the Dainichi-do was destroyed by fire. Numerous cultural treasures were lost in the flames, notably the Daisen-ji engi e-maki - the illustrated scrolls of the history of the temple. The main building standing today was reconstructed in 1951.
The Amida-do and other parts of the temple are designated National Treasures of Japan.
If you make a reservations, you can get a lesson in Zen meditation from the temple priest; fees are 500 yen per person. 20-minute “Mini ZaZen” sessions are available at the Amida Hall for 500 yen, also by reservation only.
Ogamiyama Shrine is a Shinto shrine located on Daisen in Tottori Prefecture. It has been designated as the national important cultural asset. Historically, Daisen has been a host to many temples and shrines, as it was considered as a mountain given by god. Daisenji is located in the middle of the mountain, and it served as a training ground for Shugendo (Shugendo refers to those who come to Daisen for training). Higher up the mountain, is a long 700m path paved in stone. The main hall in Okunomiya features the largest gongenzukuri in Japan (gongenzukuri refers to a style of shrine construction, where the main hall and the worship hall are separated by a lowered hallway but connected by a shared roof). It originated from a simple structure to worship god, built at 998m above sea level. This simple structure was build during the Heian era. Since Okunomiya experiences heavy snowfall in the winter, another structure was built at the base of the mountain. This was referred to as the winter palace, and Okunomiya was referred to as the summer palace. The summer palace has been in existence since the Heian era. After the Meiji Restoration, this temple was separated as Daisenji. The summer palace was renamed as Okunomiya of the Ogamiyama Shrine and the principle image of Buddha was also transferred. Currently, Onamuchi god is displayed in the main hall.
Located on the west side of Tottori Prefecture marking the boundary between Yonago City and Shimane Prefecture, Kaike Onsen is a lovely hot spring village overlooking the Japan Sea. The hot spring was first discovered by a fisherman in the bay of Kaike. The source of the hot spring bubbles up from deep in the sea floor and contains a array of skin beautifying minerals. You can also experience health and beauty spa Thalassotherapy, using the natural sea salt contained in the the hot spring water.
Kotobuki Castle is located at the base of the Daisen National Park. This castle was modeled after Yonago Castle. Sweets Castle Kotobuki-jo has a magnificent keep that looks just like the real one. Inside the mock castle, there are places to shop, rest, eat, watch, and learn. There are stores selling Sanin specialty snacks and seafood items, a café and take-out corner for taking a rest, an exhibition hall overlooking the Sea of Japan and Mt. Daisen, a factory observation hall to watch Japanese sweets being made, and an exhibit corner to learn about the history of the Sanin region and Yonago Castle. Look out for
Facing the Sea of Japan, the Sakaiminato Port is ranked number 13 of the most important ports of Japan's 3,000 ports. This port annually has the biggest catch of crab in the winter, and "maguro" tuna in the summer. Although the region is most famous for tuna and crab, they also catch snow crab, red snow crab, horse mackerel, chub mackerel, sardines, cuttlefish and many other varieties of seafood. For the last five years, Sakaiminato Port has topped all other ports in Japan with the biggest annual catches on record.