NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/2/16


尾瀬 Oze Oze Marsh

Jp En

Oze Marsh spreads across the 3 prefectures of Fukushima, Niigata and Gunma in central Japan, and is a high marsh and part of Nikko National Park.

Entry to Oze is strictly limited, making the marsh a symbol of the natural and environmental conservation movement in the country. Oze has been designated a National Park Special Protection Area and is under strict protection by the government.

Additionally, Oze has been designated a Special Natural Monument under the Cultural Treasure Conservation Law, and changes to the current environmental conditions are strictly prohibited. The double and triple protectional laws put on Oze describes the utmost importance of the natural environment there.

Lava from the eruption of Mt Hiuchigadake more than 10,000 years ago dammed up the Tadami River and formed Oze. Because it is a basin completely surrounded by mountains, a greatly diversified ecosystem exists here.

Ozegahara at 1400m is the largest high marsh in the country. Many distinct species of plants have formed here because the marsh's only source of water is rainwater.
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2007/1/26


羅漢淵 Rakan-buti Rakan-buchi Ravine

Jp En

Rakan-buchi Ravine is located in Amagasemachi, Hita, Oita Prefecture. It is between JR Sugikawachi and Amagase stations, and is on the northern side of the Kusu River with a cliff rising 30m on one bank.

National Route 210 snakes alongside the Kusu River, and on rainy days the water runoff from the rocky cliff forms many miniature waterfalls. Gazing at the surrounding view of nature while relaxing in the Yunozuri Hot Springs nearby is another way of enjoying the ravine.

Also near the ravine is a cave where, according to legend, a defeated Heike soldier fleeing from the enemy took refuge and carved a rakan statue for salvation. The statue can still be seen inside the cave.

The rustic view of rocky cliffs surrounded by nature is a pleasurable sight to the observer. And Rakan-buchi is a place where one can taste the true charm of nature.
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2007/1/25


鯉が窪湿原 Koigakubo-shitugen Koigakubo Marsh

Jp En

In the northeastern part of the Kibi Plateau, at the top end of Koigakubo Pond and at 550m above sea level, is a hidden spot where Japanese nature remains intact: this is Koigakubo Marsh.

Koigakubo Marsh is designated as a National Natural Treasure. The precious hygrophytes (plants that grow in moist habitats) that naturally grow here show that Japan was once linked to the landmass of continental Asia. Among the 380 types of hygrophytes growing here are Ogura-Sennou, Mikoshi-Giku, Bitchu-Fuuro, Ryu-Kinka.

The marsh is 3.6ha in area and a walking trail around it is 2.4km long. Some 20,000 people visit every year and are fascinated by the mysteriousness of the plant community here. Recently, there has been concern that these precious plants are endangered. The city of Niimi is now cooperating with the Agency for Cultural Affairs to research, protect and manage the marsh and its flora.
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2007/1/23


大杉谷 Oosugidani Oosugidani (Large Cedar Valley)

Jp En

Oosugidani valley is located in Oodai-cho, Taki, Mie Prefecture. It lies in the upper reaches of the Miyagawa River, inside Yoshino-Kumano National Park. Being one of Japan's regions most famous for heavy-rainfall, the valley has a wide variety of changing scenery with large boulders and lush mountain river torrents. A hidden scenic spot of the Kansai region, it is even dubbed one of Japan's three best valleys, along with Kurobe Valley and Kiyotsu Valley.

Oosugidani's fame is mostly for its untouched forests, many waterfalls and large boulders. Hiking is the only way to reach the valley, and since the path has many intensive ups and downs and goes along steep cliffs, trekking with an experienced hiker and possessing the necessary equipment is a must. Unfortunately, every year a small number of hikers fall to their deaths.

The path leading 3 kilometers out from the 3rd power station to the Chihiro Waterfall is fairly safe, but it still should not be taken lightly. Oosugidani stands side-by-side with death, and is one of modern Japan's rare, untrodden scenic regions.
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