NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/23


御在所岳 Gozaishodake Gozaishodake Mountain

Jp En

Gozaishodake is a mountain located between Komono in Mie Prefecture and Higashioumi in Saga Prefecture. At 1212m, it is the highest peak in the Suzuka mountains.

Gozaishodake is covered in precipitous and jagged rocks, and is lush with all kinds of changing, gorgeous azalea flowers. This mountain is an excellent place to visit in any season. It has all sorts of activities on offer: viewing the beautiful azaleas, cherry blossoms, and other plants in spring; retreating from the heat in summer; hiking in autumn; and skiing, mountain climbing and viewing the snow-covered trees in winter.

On the other hand, intense, extreme sports can be enjoyed as well. Tounaiheki is a mecca for rock climbers. In winter, ice climbers can try the frozen waterfalls and icy cliffs. The summit used to have the world's only center for the study of Japan's kamoshika (mountain goat), but it unfortunately closed in 2006.

What is so captivating about Gozaishodake, the mountain that represents Suzuka, is that it has similar features and aspects to the Alps. Majestic and mind-blowing are the only apt words for the dramatic appearance of Tounaiheki and Daikanpeki.
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2007/1/16


蔵王 樹氷 Zaou Jyuhyou Zao Ice Trees

Jp En

Ice trees can be seen in winter at the Zao Onsen Ski Area. At that time, the hills of the Ou Mountains are covered with snow. Many ice trees, standing at twice the height of a man, appear like 'shrimp tails'. Skiers on the slopes glide between the ice trees.

Zao is the only place in the world where ice trees can be seen. Certain conditions are necessary for them to appear:
*a place where aiophyllous coniferous trees, such as pines, grow;
*strong seasonal winds of a low-temperature that blow from the same direction so that, as cloud droplets strike the trees' branches and leaves, they freeze immediately, in a process called 'ice coating';
*the snowfall should not be too much nor too little.

From late January to late February, the ice trees are illuminated, producing a fantastic atmosphere.
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