Sand-loving Pokémon look right at home in this famous-for-sand prefecture.

Pokémon is popular all over Japan, but there are a few parts of the country that are lucky enough to have their own Pocket Monster goodwill ambassador. In the case of Tottori Prefecture, that ambassador is Sandshrew.

The partnership came about because Tottori’s most famous tourism attraction is its coastal sand dune, the largest in Japan. Add in the fact that Sandshrew’s name in Japanese-language versions of the Pokémon games and anime is simply “Sand,” and it was really a no-brainer. Tottori has had a series of Sandshrew Pokéfuta manhole covers for a while now, but the team-up evolved into a new form earlier this year with the opening of a real-world Sandshrew Park in Tottori City!

Sandshrew Park is located within Chubu Tottori Sakyu Kodomonokuni, a 19-hectare (46.95-acre) prefecture-run park and play area. Sandshrew Park isn’t hard to find, since it’s just a two-minute walk once you’re inside the main gate, and you’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the Sandshrew and Alolan Sandshrew play equipment.

The custom-made play equipment was built thanks to a donation by the Pokémon Company, and the official backing means that the characters are adorable and accurately represented.

In keeping with the sandy theme, the central area of Sandshrew Park is itself one big sandbox.

There’s also all sorts of things to ride on, climb up, and slide down.

While the Sandshrew-shaped stuff is the first thing to catch your eye, there are also other little touches that you’ll only notice one you go in for a closer look, like this mini step/slide equipment…

…with Sandshrew tracks on it.

There are a few other Pokémon species at the park too, like Pikachus (both male and female) on this bench…

Bunnelby on this art/puzzle wall…

…and a Phanpy slide.

…and Sandygast looking right at home near the sandbox.

And if you find yourself getting thirsty, there’s even a Sandshrew-wrapped vending machine.

Sandshrew Park isn’t big enough to spend a whole day at, but Chubu Tottori Sakyu Kodomonokuni itself is, with a wide variety of other play areas and attractions, including wide grassy fields, a mini kart track, and fire truck display.

And if you’re a Pokémon GO player (maybe fresh off the game’s Asakusa Routes event in Tokyo), the park has a number of PokéStops too.

As a prefecture-run park, Chubu Tottori Sakyu Kodomonokuni’s ticket prices are low, topping out at 500 yen (US$3.35) for adults and 200 yen for middle school-age kids on weekdays. Admission for elementary school-age kids is free every day, and students of any grade, including university, are free on weekends and holidays, so stopping by to play in the sand/with the Sandshrews is always an affordable option.

Location information
Sandshrew Park / サンド公園
Located inside Chubu Tottori Sakyu Kodomonokuni / チュウブ鳥取砂丘こどもの国
Address: Tottori-ken, Tottori-shi, Hamazaka 1157-1
Open 9 a.m-5 p.m.
Closed second Wednesday of every month (or second Thursday of every month if Wednesday is a holiday)
Open every day in August

Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]