Tottori was incorporated as a city on October 1, 1889. Most of the downtown area was destroyed by the Tottori earthquake of September 10 1943, which killed over 1000 people.
The organization AFS (AFS Intercultural Programs) for exchange students is relatively developed in Tottori as it is run by a group of very devoted ladies. Therefore the exchange students who come to Tottori get to experience a peaceful countryside life and enjoy traditional Japanese customs through the many events organized by AFS in Tottori.
Redistricting ("gappei") of the city's borders in November 2004 increased its size to include a number of surrounding areas. On November 1, 2004 the municipalities of Fukube and Kokufu (from Iwami District), Aoya, Ketaka and Shikano (from Ketaka District) and Kawahara, Mochigase and Saji (from Yazu District) merged into the city of Tottori. Ketaka District was dissolved as a result of this merger