A Japanese city has a problem with graffiti, but not the usual type of spray-can graffiti on walls. It is graffiti in sand. Officials in Tottori City are asking tourists to stop writing messages and drawing pictures on its giant sand dunes. They said the graffiti damages the dunes and ruins the pleasure others get in looking at the sand. There were more than 3,300 cases of 'sand graffiti' at the tourist hotspot in the last decade. A newspaper said there were more than 200 cases last year. In January, two tourists were ordered to erase a 25-metre-long birthday message.
Tottori's sand dunes are famous all over Japan for their natural beauty. They are Japan's largest and longest dunes. The biggest dune is 50 metres high. They stretch for 16 kilometres along a scenic geo-coastal park on the Sea of Japan. Tottori officials want tourists to understand how important the dunes are. They will put more signs up to ask people to respect the dunes. The officials are worried whether or not tourists will follow the rules. They said: "We want to continue to protect views of the beautiful sand dunes." More tourists are visiting the site each year.