Mr Fuji extends across parts of both Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures. At 3776m, Mt Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan as everyone knows.
The origin of the mountain dates back to hundreds of thousand of years ago. Even today, it is still an active volcano. Its last eruption was on 16th December, 1707, in the Edo period, and there remains a document saying that volcanic ash traveled as far as Tokyo.
Ancient literature describes Mt. Fuji as Mt. 'No Death' or 'No Two' (both of these words can be pronounced as 'fuji' in Japanese). The name 'No Death' derives from the Taketori Tale, in which an elixir of life was burnt on the mountain. 'No Two' comes from the fact that 'no other mountains compete with Mt. Fuji'. Since the Kamakura period, the characters for Mt. Fuji are written as 'samurai gets rich', which samurais preferred.
The number of people climbing Mt. Fuji is said to be the largest of any mountain in the world. The facts about this mountain could go on forever. You will feel its greatness afresh.
Momiji River runs down through a valley on Mt. Omoshiro, which lies to the northeast of the city of Yamagata.
A hiking course along the valley enables you to enjoy nature throughout the four seasons, and it is very popular with sightseers.
The valley is especially beautiful between late October and mid November when the leaves turn red or yellow; this change is called 'momiji' and is the origin of the name Momiji River.
The 2km hiking course takes about 40 minutes to walk along slowly. Here and there running into the valley are waterfalls such as 'Wisteria Waterfall' and 'Illusional Dragon Waterfall'. Moreover, there are many unique rocks in the valley such as 'Whale Rock' or 'Treasure Rock'. And there are many strange ones, too.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of views of the river; some parts of the river are broad and some run between rocks. The canyon is also very popular among photographers.
Myodo Waterfall is fed by the waters of the Mogami River, and is located in Yonezawa, Yamagata prefecture. More precisely, the upper part of the Mogami River is called the Matsu River, and the waterfall lies along the course of the Matsu River.
The powerful waterfall can be seen from an observation deck on a hiking course on Mt. Nishi-Gosai. The waterfall is on a precipice and you cannot get much closer to it.
The district is in the mountainous area of Yonezawa. To the west are the Asahi Mountains, to the east are the Ouu Mountains, and the Gosai Mountains are to the south. Yonezawa City lies in the basin formed by these mountains. The 100-ha wetland here is a treasury of alpine plants.
There are some hot springs in the area that are visited by many people all year long. Autumn is especially popular when the leaves around the waterfall turn beautifully red. A 'water' line runs through the red leaves. The sight is a symbol of the headstream.
Mitokusan Sanbutsu-ji Temple belongs to the Tendai Buddhist sect and is located in Mitoku, Misasa-cho, Touhaku-gun, Tottori Prefecture. The temple's main deities are the Gautama Siddharta, Amitabha and Vairocana Buddhas. It is also the 31st Fudasho of the Chinese Kannon Sacred Ground, and the 29th Fudasho of the Houki Kannon Sacred Ground.
The temple was founded by En-no-Gyoja (also known as En-no-ozuno) in 706 as a training ground for Shugendo (the study of the relationship between man and nature). In 849, Jikaku Daishi Enin bestowed to the temple its three principle Buddha images.
This mountain temple is located on Mt Mitoku (900m), which lies practically in the center of Tottori Prefecture. A mountain trail continues from the main temple to Nageiredo hall, passing the Monjudo and Jizodo halls. The Shoro hall can be seen, too. Nageiredo is a platform temple built some 470m up in the rock face, and is the only national treasure in Tottori. Mitokusan Sanbutsu-ji Temple is a sacred site, famous both as a scenic spot and an historic relic.
Nakayama-Senkyo is located in a steep mountain area called Ebisuyaba in the Kunisaki Peninsula. It is 317m above sea level and 200m above sea level at the entrance to its hiking course. If you take the course, Mumyo Bridge is a 30-minute walk, Takaki is a one-hour walk and all the other courses take about 2 hours.
Mumyo Bridge lies on the hiking course and is a stone bridge comprising two long flat slabs that connect at the bridge center. The bridge spans between rocks and is 40cm wide and 3m long.
When crossing the bridge, you may be afraid of falling, but the village view is so great you will pause to take a look. From Takaki, the top of the mountain, you can enjoy a panoramic view.
Yogoko Lake is located in Yogo, Ika, in Shiga Prefecture. The total area of the lake is approximately 1.8km2. The deepest part of the lake is about 13m.
Yogoko Lake is associated with the history and cultural artifacts of the battle of Shizugatake, which took place here during the Warring States Period, as well as the Hagoromo legend. This legend tells of a celestial maiden who descended from the heavens and hung her robe on a willow that still exists today and is known as the 'koromokake-yanagi (robe-covered willow)'.
Yogoko Lake is designated as the Biwako Quasi-national Park and is also known as the 'mirror lake' because of the way its surface reflects the scenery and ambiance of the four seasons.
The shores of the lake feature various places for recreation, such as smelt-fishing, and outdoor spots like the Shizugatake hiking area and trails.
Yogoko Lake is actually managed and initiated as a dam to prevent flooding of the Yogo River and for irrigation purposes.
From Mt Ojigadake overlooking Shibukawa Beach, the whole Seto Inland Sea can be seen. The 231m-high peak also has dynamic views of massive rocks and their formations, of islands, and of the Seto Ohashi Bridge, as well as of the mountain ranges of Shikoku on the opposite shore.
The name Ojigadake comes from a story that long ago, the queen of Baekje bore a son (prince) in Karakoto-no-Ura (today's Ushimado town). Ojigadake is part of the Setonaikai National Park and features some peculiar but entertaining rocks such as 'poppa stone', 'smiley stone' and 'sheep stone'; nature's artistry can be enjoyed.
A path up the mountain is just right for hiking. On the western side of the peak is a picnic site with trees including flowering cherry, azalea, as well as bracken, and the beauty of the changing seasons can be appreciated. There is also a launch point for paragliding, and the mountain proves a popular place for sky sports.
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.