Tategami (Standing God) Rock is a huge rock with a height of 42 m located about 300 in the offing of Makurazaki Port in Makurazaki City, Kagoshima Prefecture. It is a landmark of Makurazaki Coast. From its mysterious shape, it is thought to be the guardian god of the port who brings bumper catch and navigation safety.
There is an interesting legend about Tategami Rock and Mt. Akabo, which rises opposite the rock. Once upon a time, the gods living in Tategami Rock and Mt. Akabo had a fight with each other and the god of Mt. Akabo threw an ax at the god of Tategami Rock, who got raged and breathed fire; hereby the rock took such a sheer shape and the mountain took on burning red color. From this legend, Tategami Rock is also worshipped as the god of fire and Tategami became the place name. At present, both gods sit quietly in their places and guard the city of Makurazaki.
Magaibutsu are Buddhist images carved on large rock outcrops, cliffs, or in caves. The ruins site of Fukurinji Temple is located in a quiet forest in back of Yasu Junior High School in Yasu City, Shiga Prefecture. Nothing pertaining to the temple has been discovered yet but the site is dotted with large and small rocks on which Buddhist images are carved. Together with many stone images of Buddha also placed everywhere in the site, they create a mysterious atmosphere.
On the large flat rock outcrop are 13 Jizo Bosatsu, each of which is about 45 cm tall. Two images of Amida Nyorai and one Kannon are carved on another large rock. Both of them are said to be carved in the early Muromachi period (1336-1573). Though they are small in size, the carved lines are delicate as if carved on woodblocks.
It is said that there used to be a lot more rocks with Buddhist images at this ruins site, but many of them were taken away by wealthy merchants in Osaka during the Meiji to Taisho periods (the late 19th to the early 20th centuries) to decorate their gardens.
Lizard Rock clings to the steep cliff to the northwest of Mt. Washigamine (563 m) in the eastern part of Oki-Dogo Island in the offing of Shimane Prefecture. Clearly, the rock looks like a giant lizard climbing the precipice.
You can get a first view of the rock from the point on the Shizenkaiki-no-mori walking trail, 50 m away from the parking lot located at the end of Nakabayashi Forest Road. The best viewing point is the observation deck further 100 m ahead from there, where a bower and the description board are built.
Lizard Rock was formed by the erosion occurred onto the rock surface of different properties. As the result of such erosion, the lizard-shaped part, about 30 m in total length, remained on the cliff. It is a scientifically precious natural phenomenon.
It is said that one of the forepaws dropped off due to an earthquake some years ago. The lizard will continue changing its shape with the course of time from now on.
Cape Sukai is one of the representative scenic spots of Rebun Island in the northernmost part of Hokkaido. You can get to the cape by sightseeing bus or by taking the 4 hour trekking route from Cape Sukoton via Cape Gorota.
The attraction of Cape Sukai is the beauty of the sheer cliffs and rugged coastline with many oddly-shaped stones and rocks as well as the plentiful alpine plants such as Ezo daylilies and Ezo gentians (Gentiana triflora var. japonica).
Looking down at the ocean below, you will be astounded by crystal clear water. The water is so clear that you will feel you can touch the bottom with your hand. It is one of the most beautiful parts of the sea of Rebun. The color of the sea changes to various colors such as light green and emerald green according to the depth of water and the course of sunlight. You will be so fascinated that you may not be able to turn your eyes away.
Cat Rock is in the ocean near the southwestern end of Rebun Island, 25 km off Japan’s northernmost city, Wakkanai in Hokkaido. Cat Rock is a 25 m tall rock, which resembles a cat sitting with her back hunched up and viewing the Sea of Japan. With the ears erected and the tail extending straight to the rear, its cute appearance excites a smile of tourists. Is she ignoring us as she feels like it? Or is she fascinated by something in the distance? It gives us various impressions according to our state of mind.
Jizo Rock is a 50 m pair of rocks located in the southwestern coast of Rebun Island in the northernmost part of Hokkaido. It is one of the representative sightseeing spots of the island and used as the motif of the town sing board of Rebun Town.
It was named Jizo because the two rocks look like two hands joined together in prayer when seen from the sea. Actually, the rocks in the bottom of the sea were erected by an ancient crustal movement and have been eroded by the rough waves to create such shapes.
Alpine plants bloom on the surface of the desolate cliffs around the rocks and create a marvelous landscape in summer. Jizo Rock looks dynamic in the daytime, while benevolent in the evening. Either has its own interest, but it is the most splendid when the sun sets between the two rocks. The photos of Jizo Rock in the sunset often appear in brochures for tourists.
Momo (Peach) Rock is located in the southern part of longish Rebun Island in the northern part of Hokkaido. The place where the rock is located was on ancient battle field referred to in an Ainu legend.
The rounded huge rock with sharply wringed top really looks like a peach. The green grass that is covering the rock surface looks velvety as if they were real peach skin. The soft feel of peach skin will come to your mind. It stands magnificently against the blue sky.
The area around this huge rock is covered with colonies of alpine plants peculiar to this island such as Rebun-kozakura (Primula modesta var. matsumurae）and Rebun-kinbaiso (Trollius ledebourii var. polysepalus). You can enjoy viewing these cute flowers from the observatory as well as from the promenade. It will be really refreshing to command this exquisite view in the wind from the Sea of Japan.
Ganbou Rock is a 78-meter-high rock located near the town of Engaru in Noboribetsu county, Hokkaido and is designated as one of Hokkaido’s 100 Natural Spots.
There is an observation deck at the top of the rock, which is a 15-minute walk up.
This rock is the symbol of Engaru and is popularly known as ‘the rock that is the first place to receive the morning sun in this town’ or ‘the rock that is settled warmly in the evening sun’.
The name ‘Ganbou’ is derived from the Ainu word ‘Ingarushi’ (which means ‘the place with a fine view’). It is also known as an historic battlefield of the Ainu people. The view from the observation deck gives a marvelous 360-degree panoramic view.
Sun’s Hill Engaru Park, much loved by the town people, marks the starting point of the hike to the top.