Lake Choboshi is a brackish lake located near Otsu fishery harbor in Toyokoro Town in the eastern part of Hokkaido. The lake has a circumference of about 5 km. It is connected to the Pacific Ocean by a narrow sand dune.
The name “Choboshi” derives from an Ainu word “chi-o-pusi-i,” meaning “the place where a river breaks open.” As is shown by its name, the end of the lake actually breaks open and the lake is included in the ocean when water rises.
The area around the lake is surrounded by forests of conifer and broadleaf trees. It is a part of Notsuke-Furen Prefectural Natural Park. The group of plants growing in the sand dune was designated as the prefecture’s Natural Monument in 1963. From spring through early fall, rugosa rose, Yezo daylily and dragon’s head (Dracocephalum argunense) come into bloom.
The walking trail and camping site are provided in the lakeside area. Visitors can enjoy various activities all though the year including lake smelt fishing and yachting on ice. Also, 45 Kannon statues including Ryogoku Holy Place of 33 Kannon are enshrined in the area around the lake.
Lizard Rock clings to the steep cliff to the northwest of Mt. Washigamine (563 m) in the eastern part of Oki-Dogo Island in the offing of Shimane Prefecture. Clearly, the rock looks like a giant lizard climbing the precipice.
You can get a first view of the rock from the point on the Shizenkaiki-no-mori walking trail, 50 m away from the parking lot located at the end of Nakabayashi Forest Road. The best viewing point is the observation deck further 100 m ahead from there, where a bower and the description board are built.
Lizard Rock was formed by the erosion occurred onto the rock surface of different properties. As the result of such erosion, the lizard-shaped part, about 30 m in total length, remained on the cliff. It is a scientifically precious natural phenomenon.
It is said that one of the forepaws dropped off due to an earthquake some years ago. The lizard will continue changing its shape with the course of time from now on.
Momo (Peach) Rock is located in the southern part of longish Rebun Island in the northern part of Hokkaido. The place where the rock is located was on ancient battle field referred to in an Ainu legend.
The rounded huge rock with sharply wringed top really looks like a peach. The green grass that is covering the rock surface looks velvety as if they were real peach skin. The soft feel of peach skin will come to your mind. It stands magnificently against the blue sky.
The area around this huge rock is covered with colonies of alpine plants peculiar to this island such as Rebun-kozakura (Primula modesta var. matsumurae）and Rebun-kinbaiso (Trollius ledebourii var. polysepalus). You can enjoy viewing these cute flowers from the observatory as well as from the promenade. It will be really refreshing to command this exquisite view in the wind from the Sea of Japan.
Goshiki-dai Plateau, located in the border of Takamatsu City and Sakaide City in Kagawa Prefecture, is the lava mass composed of five peaks. The five peaks are slightly different in color; hereby they were named Black Peak, Blue Peak, White Peak, Yellow Peak and Red Peak according to the five colors of Buddhism.
Driving on the road running on the hillside, you can enjoy fine views of the Seto Inland Sea and the mountains in Okayama Prefecture. You can also enjoy the seasonal changes in scenery including wild birds and azalea in spring and crimson foliage and orange picking in fall. The walking trails, the grass land and camping sites are provided on the hillside. You can also visit Kagawa Natural Science Museum and The Seto Inland Sea Folk History Museum (consolidated into Kagawa Prefectural Museum in April, 2008).
White Peak located in the western part of the plateau is presumed to have been where the retired emperor Sutoku, who had been defeated in the Hogen Rebellion and exiled to this province, was cremated. Many historic sites concerning the retired emperor remain in the mountain.
The word “Shiretoko” comes from “Sir-etok,” meaning “the end of the land” in the Ainu language. In primeval forests in this end of the land are the mystic lakes called Shiretoko Five Lakes (Shiretoko Goko). There are no rivers feeding these lakes. They were created by the rain and snow collected between strata as the groundwater and springing out over the years.
You can walk around the five lakes in about an hour by following the natural trail. If “Ikko (the 1st lake)” and “Niko (the 2nd lake)” are enough to see, it takes only about 30 minutes.
With a variety of flora and fauna, the area deserves to be called a primeval paradise. If you are lucky, you will have a chance to see Ezo squirrels or Ezo deer on your way.
You will be deeply impressed by the panoramic view of the Shiretoko mountain range seen from the observatory on a nearby hill as well as by the reflected images of surrounding trees on the calm surface of the lakes.
Lake Chimikeppu is located in Shibetsu-cho in the eastern part of Hokkaido. “Chimikeppu” in the Ainu means “a place where water gushes out of a cliff.” This is a dammed lake produced by the landslide due to the crustal change occurred about 10,000 years ago. As the lake has a complex coastline, which indented into the surrounding valleys, it looks like an artificial lake but actually it is not. It is known as a habitat of Himemasu (sockeye salmon) and Marimo (lake ball). Surrounded with the primary forest of Jezo Spruce and Sakhalin fir, the area around the lake is inhabited by a variety of wildlife including wild birds such as black woodpeckers, which is a natural protected species, and Ezo red foxes. You can walk along the 1.5 km promenade along the lake, enjoying magnificent view of the pristine natural beauty around the lake.
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.
Futo Coast on the west side of Izu Peninsula is a scenic coast with a total length of 900 meters. It is a beautiful coast with shining ocean and indented coastline with bizarre stone formation.
At low tide, pools of seawater are formed in the cove on the other side of the bathing beach, where you can enjoy watching or catching inshore fish and sea shells. With clear sea and good natural environment, it is one of the few distinctive diving spots in Izu Peninsula, a good hidden spot for surf fishing and marine sports. It is also a fine place to view the sunset. The sun setting among small islands is absolutely beautiful.
As the promenade is set out from the northern end of the coast to Tago, you can enjoy 1 hour walking while viewing oddly-shaped stones and the indented coastline with colonies of sea plants on the way. There are other sightseeing spots such as Dogashima and Cape Koibito-misaki in the vicinity.