Arimine Lake is an artificial lake created by the construction of the Arimine Dam. The dam took five years to build. Efforts were taken to ensure that the natural surroundings were protected and the Arimine Forest Cultural Village was established. As a result, the area has remained unspoilt and has been designated as the Toyama Natural Park, National Rest Home and one of Japan's top 100 forests and water sources.
The fresh green and red leaves of the beech, oak and maple trees are wonderful. A sight of particular beauty is that of red leaves in autumn with the snow-covered Mt. Yakushi in the background. Wadagawa Valley, which lies between Komi and the dam, is so beautiful it will take your breath away. And it's not just the scenery that's so attractive, but the natural treasury of precious plants and wild birds.
The camping area at the shoreside is popular for people who like the outdoors.
Mt Apoi is an 810.6m-high mountain in Samani, Hokkaido. The name 'Apoi' comes from 'ape oi' in the language of the native Ainu people and means 'place where fire is'.
Mt Apoi lies at the southernmost point of Hokkaido's backbone: the Hidaka Range. The climate conditions of Mt Apoi are the same as mountains of 2000m since the temperature drops when heavy fog blocks out the sun.
Horoman peridotite is the predominant rock of Mt Apoi. On the mountain's slopes can be found more than 80 types of alpine plants, including several unique to this area, such as 'hidakasou' (a type of callianthemum) and 'kouzorina' (a type of picris).
The Mt Apoi Alpine Plant Community was designated as a Special National Treasure in 1952 (Showa 27). In 1981 (Showa 56), the area was designated as the Erimo Quasi-National Park Special Protection Area in the Hidaka Range.
Mt Apoi is an important ecological nature area full of valuable plant life.
Kurokuma Falls are 15m wide and 85m high, and are located in Ajigasawa, Nishitsugaru-gun, Aomori Prefecture. They have been selected as among Japan's top 100 waterfalls.
The waterfall is at the branch of the Akaishi River, which flows down from the Shirakami Mountains, and are classed as a World Heritage site. These are the largest waterfalls in the prefecture.
It is said that the waterfalls were named for a figure that looks like a standing bear. 'Kurokuma' means 'black bear'.
A virgin beech forest surrounds the waterfall and refreshes those who visit it. It is possible to access the waterfall by car as there is parking nearby.
The view of the abundant falling water is dynamic, and becomes a masterpiece when seen in the seasons of spring-green and fall-red leaves. It is a recommended site for those who want to get close to Mother Nature herself.
The waterfall passes through Takinozawa and flows into the Akaishi River, where rare fish like the Golden Ayu and the Ito swim.
Kurokuma Falls make a magnificent, dynamic and powerful display of nature
Wakka Wild Flower Garden is located in Sakaeura near Tokoro in Kitami, Hokkaido. The garden is part of Abashiri National Park and is situated near the Okhotsk Sea coast and on the shore of Saroma Lake, one of Japan's three biggest lakes. As a natural treasury, it has been designated as a site of Hokkaido Heritage.
'Wakka' in the language of the native Ainu people means 'drinking water' or 'springwater'. On the long sandbar dividing Saroma Lake and the Okhotsk Sea, there is a spring called Wakka Flower Holy Water. The name Wakka here refers to the rich supply of water in the area. The sandbar is 200~700m wide and about 20km long. It is the biggest area of seaside grassland in Japan.
Varying ecosystems have formed within the forest, grassland, dunes and marsh. More than 300 kinds of plants and flowers grow here including species from outside. The area is also a natural habitat for various wild birds.
Wakka Wild Flower Garden is also known as Ryugu Highway and features vivid natural scenery.
Mt Gessan is one of the three mountains in the Dewa Sanzan group, and is located in Tagawa, Yamagata prefecture.
Mt Gessan is 1984m high and stands almost in the middle of Yamagata prefecture. It lies in the northern part of Bandai Asahi National Park and is a treasure house of nature that includes animals, plants and primary forest like beech.
The name of Gessan ('moon mountain') derives from the fact that it appears to be as enormous as a half-moon. The mountain has always been linked to religion and there is a shrine at the top dedicated to Tsukuyomi-no-mikoto, a brother of the goddess Amaterasu-omikami.
The mountain has also been a place for ascetic training. Many practitioners have visited here to worship Gessan-okami, but most of them have not felt ready enough and have gone back. Their route back is still known as the 'Return of Practitioners' although hikers take this road today. Mt. Gessan is a spiritual mountain with great views and alpine plants.
Oze Marsh spreads across the 3 prefectures of Fukushima, Niigata and Gunma in central Japan, and is a high marsh and part of Nikko National Park.
Entry to Oze is strictly limited, making the marsh a symbol of the natural and environmental conservation movement in the country. Oze has been designated a National Park Special Protection Area and is under strict protection by the government.
Additionally, Oze has been designated a Special Natural Monument under the Cultural Treasure Conservation Law, and changes to the current environmental conditions are strictly prohibited. The double and triple protectional laws put on Oze describes the utmost importance of the natural environment there.
Lava from the eruption of Mt Hiuchigadake more than 10,000 years ago dammed up the Tadami River and formed Oze. Because it is a basin completely surrounded by mountains, a greatly diversified ecosystem exists here.
Ozegahara at 1400m is the largest high marsh in the country. Many distinct species of plants have formed here because the marsh's only source of water is rainwater.
Kuragari Valley is in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, and has a forest. There are facilities here, such as a campground. The valley is located 26km east of Okazaki near the Hongusan Prefectural Nature Reserve.
The valley lies between 250m and 600m above sea level. Flowing through the valley is Otokogawa River. In the forest are both evergreen and broad-leaf trees, with streams of many sizes flowing among them.
People enjoy the forest as a place for recreation and relaxation. In spring, birds sing, while summer days are filled with the croaking of 'kajika' frogs. Nature continually delights visitors and refreshes them. From the highest point the Southern Alps can be seen ranging across the horizon.
Jogashima is a small island located near Misaki port, in Miura, Kanagawa Prefecture, at the southern edge of the Miura Peninsula.
Jogashima features rock strata that is ten million years old. The island is long and narrow from east to west (1.8km), 4 km around and covers a total area of 0.99m2. It is the biggest natural island in Kanagawa Prefecture and faces the Pacific to the south and Misaki fishing port to the north.
The island is just like a natural stratum museum; many changes in the earth's crust have led to curved, sharp and shifted strata that are exposed in different areas around the island.
There are many sightseeing spots on Jogashima, such as a tablet incised with the poetry of Kitahara Hakushu, Jogashima Park (one of the 50 major parks), narcissi (one of Japan's top 100 sites for flowers), Umiu Observation Deck, the cave entrance of Umanose, Jogashima lighthouse, Aburatsubo Gulf (one of 50 scenes), Awazaki lighthouse and Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park.
Jogashima is small but full of sightseeing places and with a long history, too.