Kashuni Waterfall is located at the mouth of the Charasenai River where it plunges into the Okhotsk Sea near the town of Shari in Hokkaido.
'Kashuni' means 'place where there is a cabin for hunting' in the language of the native Ainu people of Hokkaido.
The waterfall drops directly into the sea, so it cannot be seen from the land. The best way to see it is to take a pleasure cruise past. The waterfall is fed by abundant water from the Shiretoko mountains, and falls into the sea through a cave.
The view is very dramatic. Behind the waterfall is a backdrop formed by the Shiretoko mountains, wild rocky cliffs, and a white stream running through the green trees, together producing a spectacular view.
The Big Cedars of Omiwa are located in Tamozawa, Kanayama Town, Mogami County, Yamagata prefecture. They were originally planted for lumber.
The cedars, up to 128, are some of the biggest cultivated trees of their kind in Japan. They were first planted as saplings back in the Edo period, probably in 1764, making them about 230 years old.
Mogami district has much snow in winter. In May 2006, there was such a heavy snowfall that six trees were bent by the weight of snow. As a result, these six trees, all of them over 250 years old, were cut down.
To see such enormous trees felled was overwhelming, particularly because two of the trees were 50m tall with trunks 80cm in circumference. Their immensity was a living demonstration of history.
The site of the Uheyama rice terraces, located in Mikata, Hyogo Prefecture, was chosen as one of Japan's 100 Top Rice Terrace Sites in 1999 (Heisei 11). A rice terrace is a rice field made in a stair-like pattern on the slope of a hill.
As you come along Route 482, Uheyama rice terraces are on the right, beyond the sign to Yoshitaki Campsite, with the mountain range rising up behind them.
Uheyama rice terraces are most beautiful in autumn, when the golden ears of the ripening rice blow in the wind. In early summer, the water channeled into the rice fields reflects the mountains beautifully, while in high summer, the growing rice creates a green carpet. In this way, you can enjoy scenes of the rice terraces changing from season to season.
Such sights as these represent an original landscape of Japan that helps make people feel in tune with nature.
In spring, visitors are able to enjoy walking through a pink corridor formed by a total of 165 cherry blossom trees blooming on both banks of the Kannonji River.
Most of the trees are 40 to 90 years old while some exceed this. The contrast between the snowy Bandai Mountains is beautiful, and the Inawashiro cherry trees blossom later than usual for cherry blossom trees.
The blossom petal blizzards of May are splendid, and one may feel the presence of spring after walking through the corridor of blossoms while viewing the grand landscape of the Bandai Mountains and Lake Inawashiro.
A highly recommended spot for viewing the cherry blossom is from Yanagibashi Bridge near Ooyamazumi Shrine. Additionally, visitors can enjoy the blossoms of a 130 year old weeping cherry tree with a trunk circumference of 2.8m at Kannonji Temple. A Cherry Blossom Festival is also held during mid- through late April.
Ashitsuki Park is located in Takaoka City, Toyama prefecture. It was selected as one of the 100 Homes for Life by the Natural Protection Division of the Environment Agency. This selection is aimed at the protection and recovery of small familiar animals and their living environment.
The protected living things in Ashitsuki Park are the Genji-firefly and the Heike-firefly. Since Showa 46, Nakata Elementary School and the Nakata District Protection Association have carried out protection activities, which have been highly valued.
In olden times, the firefly was loved as a feature of early summer, but as the water quality of the streams that the firefly larvae live in gets dirtier and the waterside environment changes, so the situation gets worse and it becomes more difficult to see fireflies. In this park, however, you can see the fireflies' bright lights in June, which let us know that summer is coming.
Near the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route, on Beech Plain (Bundadaira), there is a giant tree known as the Tateyama Cedar. This tree has been designated by the Forestry Agency as one of Japan's 100 giant trees.
Though it is not so tall at 21m, it has a trunk with a girth of 9.4m. Tateyama cedars are so-called 'stand cedars': low in height but with thick trunks. Whether the Tateyama Cedar on Beech Plain is one tree or two grown into one is uncertain. The presence of this tree, however, is overwhelming, and there is an eerie atmosphere around it, as if a spirit lived within it.
The best way to approach the Tateyama Cedar is from the natural observation pass from Bijo Plain at the entrance of Midagahara Plateau to Bunazaka. You will see other cedars as well as the Tateyama Cedar. So many wonderful cedars together with beeches give a marvellous sense of the natural richness of this forest.
The Sosogi Coast is designated as a National Place of Scenic and Natural Treasure. The top end of the coast is marked by 357m-high Mt Sakura, the western edge by the mouth of the Machino River and the eastern edge, with Tarumi Waterfall, borders the town of Suzu. The coastline includes an area extending back 100m from the shore.
The sheer cliffs of Mt Sakura face the sea and are so dangerous in places as to earn the mountain the nickname 'unfilial child' in Noto. Green rhyolite rock, eroded by the sea, produces grand and beautiful views. In severe winter gales, the crashing waves that dance on the rocks are known as 'wave flowers'.
Window Rock (Madoiwa) is one of the most popular spots along the 2km-long Sosogi Coast. Legend has it that the hole in the large triangular rock was made by an arrow shot from the bow of Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
Also along the shoreline are places of great academic interest to geologists and other scientists.