NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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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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臼碆 Uusbae Usubae Rock

Jp En

Beyond the cliff of strange rocks at Usubae Point to the west of Ashizuri Cape, there is a huge rock named Usubae in the ocean. The word “usu-bae” is the combination of “usu (a millstone)” and “hae,” which is voiced into the sound “bae” when combined. A huge rock in the ocean is called “hae” in the areas along the south coast of Shikoku. The kanji for stone (石) placed under the kanji for wave (波) comprises the kanji representing “hae (碆).”

Usubae Rock is 2 m tall above the sea level and 10 m in circumference. As the scene of the rock in the midst of the whirlpool created by the collision of the cold Oyashio Current and the Japan Current from the south looks like a millstone, it is called “Usubae (Millstone Rock).” “Usubae” is originally the name of the rock itself, but the headland facing the rock also came to be called Usubae in the later times.

The collision of the two currents creates a fine fishing grounds. In the old days, the wives of fishermen in this area used to visit Ryuogu (Dragon King Palace) Shrine at the tip of the Usubae Point. They brought Japanese sake and some accompaniment to drink and prayed to the god for their husbands’ safe navigation and bumper catch.

Seen from the observatory at the top of the cliff, from adjacent Unomisaki Point, or from wherever else, Usubae Rock gives you an illusion that Dragon King will rise up from under the vortex of the sea at any moment.
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襟裳岬 Erimo-misaki Erimo Cape

Jp En

Right before your eyes is the Pacific. On either side, runs the continuous line of the horizon.This is the view from the cliff of Erimo Cape, located to the south of the Hidaka Mountains in Hokkaido. Rock reefs spread for 2km off the coast.Erimo cape is said to be where the wind is strongest in Japan.  Cold and hot currents in the sea converge at this point, and the  temperature difference often causes fog. In winter, it is extremely cold.Here, 400 Zanigata seals have adaptedto the harsh natural environment, making this one of the most famous breeding places for the seals. The seals are called Zenigata seals, because of the patterns on their fur that look like zeni (coins with a hole). Hakusan-chidori, a plant which is tough enough to survive the extreme  cold, blossoms during the short spring and heals us.In the sea, kelp grows abundantly, offering fish a  place to lay their eggs .Such an environment as this, in fact, is a harbor for life forms that have adjusted to the harsh natural conditions.  This area is known as the Hidaka Mountains Erimo National Park
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波戸岬 Hadomisaki Cape Hado

Jp En

Cape Hado is located in the northwestern end of Higashi-Matsuura Peninsula, Saga Pref. It is a part of Genkai Quasi National Park and the undersea space around this cape is designated as Genkai Marine Park. The beach of this cape is selected as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Beaches. It is a popular sightseeing spot where visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities including swimming, fishing and hiking all through the year. On the eastern side of the cape, there is the only underwater observatory on the coast along the Sea of Japan. From here you can command a view of the bountiful ocean where the cold current of the Sea of Japan and the warm current of the East China Sea flow together. Cape Hado is also known for the sunset. You may loose sense of time to see the big sun setting in the Genkai Sea. It’s really magnificent. The turban shell cooked in the shell is popular among tourists.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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