Mt. Uomidake (Fish-Seeing Mountain), 214.8 m above sea level, is a low mountain near the central part of Ibusuki City, Kagoshima Prefecture. It is said that it was named so because fishermen watched the movements of fish schools from the top of the mountain.
The area around the mountain top is arranged into a natural park, to which you can go by car. Going up the stairs of the observatory deck, you can command a panoramic view of streets in Ibusuki City, Kagoshima Bay, and Chiringashima Island. On a fine day you can also see Mt. Kaimon, the Takakuma Mountain Range and Mt. Ontake in Sakurajima as well as Iojima Island in the distance.
Mt. Uomidake is a part of a volcano that existed in the ancient times. As the southern and eastern sides form sheer cliffs, the mountain is said to be like Diamond Head in Hawaii. About 10,000 cherry trees come into bloom in spring, when the mountain is alive with people who come to enjoy family hiking and driving.
Mt. Iwaonupuri is a part of the Niseko-Annupuri volcanic mountains. Although it has an altitude of only 1,116 m, the panoramic view from the summit is famous among hikers. It is also popular for its relatively easy access. As it takes only one hour to the summit, it is recommended for beginners. There is a steep ascending slope just after the starting point, but the rest of the way is almost flat. You can give yourself over to natural wonder and enjoy viewing nameless ponds or a community of cowberry on your way. In about 30 minutes, the summit will come in sight. From there, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Mt. Annupuri in front, the rural landscape of the town of Kucchan to the left below, Weiss Ski Resort and Niseko O-numa Pond. The best season is the fall, when leaves turn blazing red and bright gold to weave out a magnificent landscape. In winter, a lot of skiers come to enjoy ski-trekking.
Fireworks are displayed at Shinoda Shrine on May 4 every year for the shrine’s annual festival. This tradition dates back to the Edo period, when villagers made fireworks using potassium nitrate and dedicated the fireworks display to the deity in token of their gratitude for rain.
The fireworks displayed here are the Japanese traditional gimmick fireworks. Sulfur, potassium nitrate and paulownia ashes are mixed together and applied onto the patterns drawn on the cedar board, which is 15 m tall and 25 m wide. It takes more than 1 month to make these fireworks. The patterns are selected from the topics of the year.
At 7:00 P.M., when the Japanese drums are powerfully beaten, the people carrying a large torch come into the shrine precinct and set it up on the ground. At the moment the fireworks are lit at 9:00 P.M., the precinct is covered with smoke and blaze. Small fireworks are shot up in rapid succession with explosive sounds, while swirling fireworks beautifully illuminate the precinct. When they are burned down, fantastic picture fireworks come up among vanishing smoke.
Shinoda Fireworks Festival, Sagicho Festival and Hachiman Festival are generically called the Fire Festival at Omi Hachiman Shrine, which is selected as a national Important Intangible Cultural Property.
Kawarage Jigoku located at the foot of Mt. Takamatsudake in Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture, is one of Japan’s three great spiritual places; others are Mt. Osorezan in Aomori Prefecture and Mt. Tateyama in Toyama Prefecture.
Kawarage Jigoku is the ruins of the sulfur mine, which had been flourished since the Edo period (1603-1868). It is said that the mountain was first trekked by the priest Doso in 807. Fumes of hot water gush out of the mountainside covered with grayish white lava, giving off strong smell of sulfur. The desolate scenery of naked hillside evokes us of the horrible images of Hell.
There are as many as 136 small and large Jigokus (geothermal pits) in the mountain area, 800 m above sea level. Jigokus include Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Pond Hell), Tsurugi Jigoku (Sword Hell), Bakuro Jigoku (Horse Dealer’s Hell), Hariyama Jigoku (Pincushion Hell) and Nusubito Jigoku (Thief Hell).
This high-temperature hot water flows down into 20 m high Kawarage Oyutaki in the downstream. The waterfall then flows into the basin in the huge rock, where people can enjoy soaking in a natural hot spring.
Okushiri Island is Japan’s westernmost island and the second largest island in Hokkaido. The name “Okushiri” comes from an Ainu word “iku-shir,” which means “the island beyond.” The whole island is formed of the terraced granite hills, in which rivers flow down to create a lot of waterfalls. According to Tsushima Current, there is not very large temperature variation all through the year.
The island is blessed with bountiful nature including fine beaches and oddly-shaped rocks. Tourists can enjoy the beautiful sunset from anywhere on the island. As there used to be a sulfur mine on the island, a lot of hot springs gush out on the island. Mt. Kamui, the highest mountain on the island, is 584 m above sea level.
Okushiri Island is known as the treasure trove of sea resources. Many kinds of fish and shellfish including sea urchin, abalone and cuttlefish are caught in the ocean around the island.
Although the island was seriously damaged by the Hokkaido-Nanseioki Earthquake in 1993, it was completely reconstructed.
The Kamuiwakka Waterfall located in Shari-cho, Hokkaido is famous for the natural open-air hot spring pool at the top of the waterfall. “Kamuiwakka” means “the spring of the god” in the Ainu language. The Kamuiwakka River, which springs out of Mt. Io, an active volcano in the central part of Shiretoko Peninsula, is a hot water river with succession of waterfalls. Hikers can enjoy hot spring bathing everywhere on their way. If you climb up along the river for about 20 minutes, there is a relatively large waterfall basin. This is the natural open-air hot spring bath called “Kamuiwakka Yu-no-taki,” where you can enjoy bathing in the deep mountain. Shiretoko is called “the last land of seclusion,” and Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall is a secluded hot spring spot known all over the nation.
Niseko Oyunuma is a pond located in Yumoto Hot Springs in Rankoshi-cho, Isoya-gun, Hokkaido. The source of the hot springs is Oyunuma Pond. It is a hot water pond, which is 50 m from east to west. There is a promenade arranged around the pond, by which you can walk around it in 3 or 4 minutes. The yellow flowers of sulfur floating on the surface of the hot spring source are called spherical sulfur, which is academically very precious. The average temperature of the water is 70℃; however, it is as high as 360℃ at the hottest point. White steam and the smell of sulfur create a distinctive atmosphere. Oyunuma Pond is the most popular sightseeing spot in Niseko area, where you can enjoy the natural beauty that changes from season to season.
Hell Valley (Jigokudani) is the biggest spring-source for Hokkaido’s Noboribetsu hot springs, and were designated a Hokkaido Treasure in 2004.
The area is defined by the remains of a crater that resulted from the eruption of Mt. Kasa about 10,000 years ago. Hell Valley has many vents from which hot water, vapor and volcanic gas erupt. The hellish bad smell of sulfur around the whole area gives the district its name. There are 15 places with names such as Pistol Hell or Lead Hell. You can see them from three spots.
There are 15 different kinds of springs, which is very rare in one place. Hot water issues from he springs at an astonishing rate of 10,000 tons a day.
Many people, in all seasons, visit this resort and sightseeing place; and it is a very popular hot spring.