NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2008/7/25


三陸リアス式海岸 Sanriku-riasushiki-kaigan  Saw-tooth Sanriku Coastline

Jp En



The Riasu (or Saw-tooth) Sanriku Coastline is a raised coastline of 600km in total that spreads out from southeast of the Aomori Prefecture through the coast of the Iwate Prefecture to Ojika Peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture.  Sanriku (or three riku) is a generic term referring to Mutsu in Aomori, Rikuchuu in Aomori and Rikuzen in Miyagi.  The Riasu coast is a jagged stretch of coastline that consists of many long, narrow coastal inlets which uniformly cut into the coastal lands creating the appearance of saw teeth.
Offshore at the Sanriku coast is where the Okhotsk current (Oyashio) , a cold current, and the Japan Current (Kuroshio),  a warm current, meet,  creating a rich fishing spot that is considered to be one of the Four Great Fishing Grounds in the world.
The precipitous cliffs of the Sanriku coast are also an ideal breeding ground for wild birds such as osprey, Japanese cormorant and black-tailed gull.
Along the Riasu Sanriku Coastline there are many spectacular vistas created by the raging waves and rain storms of the Pacific Ocean.

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2008/7/14


黒石よされ Kuroishi-yosare Kuroishi Yosare Festival

Jp En

Kuroishi Yosare Festival is the biggest event held in Kuroishi City, Aomori Prefecture. It is held on August 15 and 16 every year and counted as one of Three Nagashi-style Dances (dance parades) in Japan.

About 3,000 dancers called “Tokomanpo,” the workers of the local shopping area, wear straw hats and yukata with pictures of sparrow and dance around the city with distinctive call of “E-chaho, E-chaho.” The concept of the dance is to drive away sparrows by swinging the rice ears, from which the present design of the yukata was contrived.

The dances are mainly composed of Nagashi-odori (dance parade), Mawari-odori (a circle dance) and Kumi-odori (a pair dance). The dance parade sometimes stops and takes the form of a circle dance, where spectators invited to join and dancers perform more enthusiastically.

Kuroishi Yosare originates in the pair dance performed by male and female dancers to represent love call about 600 years ago. Later in the Tenmei era (1781-1788) in the Edo period, the chief retainer of the domain, Sakai Gyoemon, encouraged this dance to gain the popularity of the townspeople. Since then it has been handed down in this city.
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2008/6/6


青森花火大会 Aomori-hanabi-taikai Aomori Fireworks Display

Jp En

Aomori Fireworks Display culminates the last day of Aomori Nebuta Festival, one of the three most magnificent festivals in the Tohoku region. In Nebuta Festival, a gigantic lantern floats called “Nebuta” illustrated with historic figures and pictures of samurai warriors in Kabuki dramas parade through the city to the music of ohayashi, accompanied by the Haneto dancers.

On the last day of the festival, the five Nebuta floats, which are awarded the prizes given to excellent floats, are placed on boats and go slowly through the sea in Aomori Bay. Then thousands of fireworks are continuously shot up to illuminate the colorful Nebuta floats. The combined beauty of colors and lights emitted from Nebuta floats and fireworks makes the spectators forget about the footsteps of approaching autumn. People are reminded of the short summer of the north land by the fantastic spectacles created by 9,000 fireworks and the Nebuta lanterns.
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2007/10/4


ベンセ湿原 Bense-shitsugen Bense Swamp

Jp En

Bense Swamp located in Kizukuri Tateoka, Tsugaru City, Aomori Pref. is one of the largest swamps in Tsugaru Qausi-National Park. In the area around this swamp are numerous large and small lakes and pond. Surrounded by Hirataki Pond, Otaki Pond and Bense Pond, this swamp at an altitude of 20 m above sea level has an area of 20 ha, where the community of Nikko-kisuge (Hemerocallis middendorffii var. esculenta) forms a bright orange carpet in June, and the purple community of sword-leaved iris shudders in the breeze in July. The swamp was formed because dead plant layers such as peat moss have heaped up due to the severe climatic conditions. It is unusual that this kind of marshy plant community is formed near the beach. In Honshu and the northeastern part of Hokkaido, it can be seen nowhere other than in the wetland area around Mt. Byobuyama including this swamp. Bense Swamp is a scenic spot where visitors can enjoy bright-colored cute flowers.
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十三湖 Jusanko Lake Jusan

Jp En

Lake Jusan is a brackish lake on the Sea of Japan in Goshogawara City in Aomori Prefecture. It is also called Jusan-gata. With a circumference of 30 km, an area of 2,060 ha and a depth of 3 m, it is the 3rd largest lake in the prefecture. It is known for a collecting ground for common clams (Corbiculidae).

The excavation research carried out in the 1990s revealed that Tosaminato, a legendary port city, which existed from the late 12th to the 15th centuries, was located on the sand bar between this lake and the Sea of Japan. As the home ground of the Abe and Ando clans, the powerful warrior families in the Tsugaru region, the city was prosperous as a port city, where international trade was actively carried on. It declined in the late 15th century with the ruin of the Ando clan.

A lot of historic sites, which prove the prosperity enjoyed by the Ando clan, remain in the area around Lake Jusan. Those include Sannobo Hie Shrine with the double Torii gate in Kyoto-style and the thirteen attached temples and Fukushima Castle ruins, where the Ando clan had resided.
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亀ヶ岡遺跡 Kamegaoka-iseki Kamegaoka Site

Jp En

Kamegaoka Ruins in Tsugaru City in Aomori Prefecture is a large-scale ruins site, which is emblematic of the Jomon period of the Japanese history. The site was first discovered as early as in 1622 during the Edo period.

Kamegaoka Site is most famous for “Shakokidogu,” the 34.5 cm tall clay figure with a sun shading device. Its distinguishing features are not only the slitted eyes but also the exaggerated shape of the body. Furthermore, the abdomen is covered with elaborate patterns. It is nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property.

The site is also famous for many pieces of beautiful pottery such as pot or vases decorated with fine patters and colored with black or vermillion lacquer. During the Edo period, the pottery pieces discovered in Kamegaoka were highly esteemed as first-class art objects.

Today, the replica of Shakokidogu is erected in the ruins site and a variety of excavated items are displayed in Jomon Museum on top of the nearby hill.
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大間崎 Oomazaki Omazaki Cape

Jp En

The stone monument inscribed with the words meaning “This is the northernmost point of Honshu” stands on the extensive beach of Omazaki Cape at the tip of Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture. The streets of Hakodate City, about 18 meters away across the Tsugaru Straits, can be viewed on a fine day. The magnificent ocean view from Omazaki Cape will make you realize you are standing at the end of the farthest land. The sun setting in the land of Hokkaido is a superb view.

The town of Oma is famous all over the country as the base port of Ipponzuri (fishing one by one with one pole) of tuna. The monument of huge tuna is erected at the cape and it is a popular photogenic subject. The area around the cape is arranged into a park, which is alive with tourists during summer.
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薬研渓流 Yagen-keiryuu The Yagen Mountain Stream

Jp En

The Yagen Mountain Stream is the 4 km clear stream in an upstream part of the Ohata River, which flows into the Tsugatu Straights. It is at the northern foot of Mt. Asahina and a part of Shimokita Peninsula Quasi-National Park, which includes famous Mount Osore.

It is famous for its beautiful scenery comparable to the scenic beauty of more famous sightseeing spots in the prefecture such as Lake Towada and Oirase Gorge. From tender green in early summer to beautiful autumn colors, visitors can enjoy seasonal changes in scenery.

You can also enjoy forest bathing while walking along the 4 km path beside the stream. It takes about 1 hour from Yagen Hot Springs to Okuyagen Hot Springs. The stream is known as a good fishing spot for sweetfish and Japanese local trout such as Yamame and Iwana.

Near the stream is National Yagen Camping Site, where a lot of people enjoy camping in summer. About 2 km up the stream from the camping site is “Kappanoyu (Kappa’s Hot Spring),” an open-air bath with the legend of Kappa, and Mutsu City Okuyagen Shukei Park, where there is another open-air bath “Meoto-Kappanoyu.”

The hot spring area is called “Yagen” because the shape of the hot spring vent looked like Yagen, a tool used in the making of traditional herbal medicine.
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