TOTTORI (TR) – A parks foundation plans to up patrols over the upcoming holiday period after a name was found scrawled on the sand at the popular Tottori Sand Dunes in Tottori City on Wednesday, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Apr. 4).
According to the Natural Parks Foundation, the text “SEBASTiAN” and a portrait — measuring about 35 meters tall and 27 meters wide — were discovered drawn into the sand. After being alerted, a foundation staff member erased the markings.
Under a local regulation, letters, images or symbols exceeding 10 square meters are prohibited. Violators are liable for a fine up to 50,000 yen. Thus far this year, the foundation has confirmed 19 violations.
According to TBS News (Apr. 5), scrawls found in January were believed to have been carried out by foreigners. As well, there were signs that a car traveled on the sand in one area. To raise awareness, signboards indicating that scrawls on the sand are prohibited have been posted.
The foundation plans to increase patrols of the dunes with an unprecedented 10-day holiday period set to begin on April 27 in honor of Crown Prince Naruhito ascending to the Chrysanthemum Throne for the start of the Reiwa Era. During that period, a large number of tourists are expected to travel to the Tottori Sand Dunes.