Cape Nosappu is at the tip od Nemuro Peninsula in the easternmost end of Hokkaido. It is located at 43°22’ N; 145°49′ E. The cape is very close to the Khabomai Rocks including Signalny (Kaigara-jima) and Tanfilyeva (Suisho-jima) and Kunashir Island (Kunashiri-to).
Known as “the Cape of Drift Ice,” the cape displays the dynamic and fantastic landscape of drift ice in winter. It is also famous as the place where the rising sun can be seen earliest in Japan. On New Year’s Day, a lot of people visit to “worship” the new year’s first sunrise.
The Cape Nosappu Lighthouse at the tip is the oldest in Hokkaido, which opened in 1872. In Bokyo-no-Misaki Park in the vicinity, there are a variety of facilities related to the Northern Territories such as the arch-shaped monument for the restoration activity called “Shima-no-kakehashi (Bridge to the Four Islands),” Bokyo-no-Ie (Northern Territory Folk Museum) and Hoppo-kan (Northern Museum).
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.
Onami-no-ike is the highest crater lake in Japan. It is located to the southwest of Mt. Karakuni-dake in the Kirishima mountain range. Of 10 lakes in the Kirishima mountain range, this is the second largest lake and one of a few lakes where fish inhabit. The lake fills the deep caldera (1412 m above sea level) that was formed by the eruption of Mt. Kirishima about 40,000 years ago.
During the seasons of tender green and crimson foliage, the area around the lake is crowded with tourists. In winter, beautiful hard rime and migrating bird such as mallards and spot-billed ducks can be seen. Seen from the observatory on the lakeside, the reflected image of Mt. Karakuni-dake in the lake is exquisite itself. As it is a part of Kirishima-Yaku National Park, there are a lot of other sightseeing spots around the lake.
A beautiful view of autumn leaves may be seen from late October to early November in Takanose Valley near Naga in Tokushima Prefecture.
This sight became famous in 1980, when it received the most votes in a poll for the 100 (Best) Tourist Spots in Tokushima. The poll was part of the commemoration of the prefecture’s 100th anniversary.
'Kouyou-no-nishiki' (a tapestry of autumn leaves) became the specialty of this region, along with the Kitou cedar and the Kitou yuzu.
The autumn leaves cover the sharply-sloping sides of the valley, which was formed by the headstreams of the Nakagawa River. This magnificent view stuns all those who see it. The turning maple leaves are especially beautiful, making the valley the best-loved scenic spot in Shikoku.
In other seasons, too, Takanose Valley is attractive for the tender green leaves of spring, the deep green leaves of summer, and the snow-covered landscapes of winter. This makes the area appealing to tourists all year round.
Mt. Goshikidake is a volcano composing the Zao Mountain Range in the border of Yamagata Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture. It is 1,674 m above sea level. It is a post-caldera pyricrastic cone in the outer rim of the crator with a diameter of 2 km. At the center of the caldera lies a caldera lake known as Okama, one of the major attractions in Zao area.
The walking trail is set around Okama so that you can go round the lake, which changes colors from cobalt blue or emerald green to brown depending on the weather conditions.
As there is nothing to cut off the view, you can enjoy the scenery of the magnificent Zao Mountain Range covered with crimson foliage in fall. In winter, you can take a close look at snow monsters, which are trees frozen by winds and covered with snow. In any season, you will fully enjoy soaking yourself in the world filled with the wonder of nature.
Lake Shirarutoro is located to the north of Kushiro Shitsugen Wetland, which is the largest wetland in Japan. The whole area covering Kushiro Shitsugen used to be the sea about 10,000 years ago, so Lake Shirarutoro is said to have been formed when the coastline retreated inward and the sea water remained in the depressed part of the land. It is a small lake with a circumference of 7.5 km and a maximum depth of 2.3 m. The lake is a wild bird paradise and a good bird watching spot, where various species of birds come flying from season to season. There are some points that do not freeze even in winter, at which swans, sea eagles, and red-crowned cranes come clustering. You can stay at the camping sites or pensions in the vicinity of the lake and enjoy viewing the natural features or wild bird around the lake to your heart’s content. The lake is also known for “Okami-watari (the sound of footsteps of the god).” If you are lucky enough, you may be able to the sound of the god’s footsteps, which resonant all over the lake. After listening to Okami-watari sounds, you can view the setting sun, bending your ear to the calls of red-crowned cranes. How about spending a winter day like this?
The Funbe Waterfalls in Hiroo-cho, Hokkaido are unique waterfalls that gush out of the rock cliffs. “Funbe” means “a beach where whales can be caught” in the Ainu language. The name comes from the episode that a beached whale was once found in this town. Different from other waterfalls that flow down the cliff in rivers, the Funbe Waterfalls gush out of the rocky cliffs along the road. The groundwater that permeated into the gravel layer in the rock runs down through the sand particles and springs out of the rocks. Several lines of water, which are about 12 m high, fall down the cliff covering about 150 m wide. The continuous flow of water looks very cool. In winter, the water freezes and creates a huge beautiful ice poles. Together with the rude wave sounds of the winter Pacific Ocean beyond the cliff, you will really sense the magnificence of nature here.