NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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サキシマスオウノキ Sakisimasuounoki Sakishimasuo-no-ki

Jp En

Sakishimasuo-no-ki is a kind of tree with buttress roots. The biggest tree of this kind in Japan can be found in Haimi, near the town of Taketomi in Okinawa Prefecture.

Trees of this type (Sterculiaceae mangrove) are native to places such as Amami, Ishigaki and the Iriomote Islands.

Because the ground is usually soft, the buttress roots grow out to support the growing tree because the roots only go 20cm deep into the ground. In former times, people used to cut the roots and use them as helms for boats.

Sakishimasuo-no-ki means 'the suo tree of the Saki Islands'; the Saki Islands is the general name for the islands south of the main island of Okinawa, and 'suo' is a tall leguminous deciduous tree.

The sakishimasuo-no-ki in Taketomi is 18m high and 2.9m round the trunk. There are 15 buttress roots of varying sizes making it a very impressive tree with a dominating presence.
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西表島・浦内川 Iriomotejima Urautikawa Iriomote Island・Urauchi River

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The Urauchikawa (Urauchi River) flows for 39 kilometers through the island of Iriomotejima and is the largest and longest river in Okinawa.

Iriomotejima is called the 'Galapagos islands of the east' because of its diverse subtropical flora and fauna, especially around the Urauchi River. The wide variety of plant life includes mangrove trees, an array of tree ferns such as the 'hikagehego' (Cyathea spinulosa) and 'shida' (Pteridophyta), as well as flowers such as the 'sagari bana' (Sagari flower) and the rare 'seishika'.

The island is ideal for birdwatching, and also features the Maridhu waterfall and the Kanbire waterfall, both of which are included among Japan's top 100 waterfalls.

Other places of interest include the Unan Rock, symbol of a popular belief that a cow was traded long ago for possession of the island and its rich fishing grounds. Another famous spot is the Inunoko-sanbiki (Three Puppies), which is named for a myth about three little puppies that were devoured by a monster.

Iriomote Island’s landscape makes it hard to believe that it is in Japan, due to the rich, exuberant lushness and the range of animal life here.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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