NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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石舞台古墳 Ishibutai-kofun Ishibutai Tumulus

Jp En

Ishibutai Tumulus is located in the village of Asuka in Nara Prefecture. The tumulus is made of 30 big stones.

Ishibutai Tumulus was built in the 6th century and is one of the biggest of its kind in Japan. It's about 7.7m long, 3.5m wide and 4.7m tall. The passage inside the tumulus is about 11m long and 2.5m wide. The weight of all the stones is 77 tons!

It is believed that the tumulus was the grave of Soga-no-Umako. According to one theory, the mound was tiered because of people's anger toward the Soga clan.
In 1933 and 1935, Kosaku Hamada (from Kyoto University) and his colleagues carried out excavation and research here. But, most of the mortuary goods had already been stolen and only some pieces of stone coffins were found.

Ishibutai Tumulus has been loved by many people as a sightseeing symbol of the Asuka region. During daytime, the tumulus is open to the public and you are allowed to enter under the stones.
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二見興玉神社 Futami-okitama-Jinjya Futamiokitama Jinja

Jp En

Futamiokitama Jinja is a shrine located in Futami, Watarai-gun, Mie Prefecture. It is famous for the Meoto-iwa (Husband and Wife Rock) that is located in front of it on the seashore. The shrine's deities are Sarutahiko and Ukanomitamanokami (also known as Jingu Geku-toyouke-no-okami).

In 1909, Okitama Shrine and Mimiya Shrine (with the deity Ukanomitamanokami) were joined to become the Futamiokitama Jinja. In the past, it was a custom for people to purify themselves at the Futaminoura before paying homage at the Ise-Jingu. Nowadays, that custom has changed, and people now cleanse themselves with purified salt at the Futamiokitama Jinja. People who wish to participate in the 'okihiki' (carrying of building material) and 'oshiraishimochi' (bringing rocks for building) for the rebuilding and repair of the shrine, must, even today, go through a traditional cleansing and purification ritual known as 'hama-sangu'.

Futamiokitama Jinja is a shrine connected to the Ise-Jingu. Besides its remarkable scenery, it holds an enthralling and important place in the history and myths of Japan.
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久米島海岸の畳石 Kumejimakaiganno-Tatamiisi The Tatami Rocks of Kumejima Island Beach

Jp En

Kumejimakaigan no Tatamiishi (the Tatami Rocks of Kumejima Island Beach) is a coastal area of Oujima Island, Okinawa, that features regular formations of peculiar rocks.

Oujima is a small isolated island lying to the east of Kumejima and has a circumference of only 4km. On its southern end are groups of peculiar pentagon- and hexagon-shaped rocks about 1m to 2m in diameter. These smooth rocks are called tatamiishi (tatami rocks) because the appearance of the rocks is similar to traditional Japanese flooring with tatami mats. At a glance, they also look like the patterns on a tortoise shell.

Ou means the isolated island where 'fusou' (a ritual where the deceased were left on an island to naturally decompose) was practiced. Oujima was once deserted, but today is used for sugarcane-growing.

The only highlight of this island are the tatami rocks. The beach has also become a popular spot for swimming.

There are about 1000 tatami rocks, each approximately 1m in diameter. These rocks were formed when hot magma cooled and cracked perpendicularly to create a pillar-shaped structure. It is very rare, even outside Japan, to see so many of these rocks in one place.
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鬼の舌震 Oninoshitaburui Oni-No-Shitaburi

Jp En

Oni-no-shitaburi is a national monument of scenic beauty located in the Okuizomo prefectural nature park in  Shimane Prefecture.

The name Oni-no-shitaburi derives from the story, Izumo Fudoki. Wani (a shark) loved the goddess of the land Ai, and started to come out of the sea of Japan to see her night after night, so the goddess banked up the river. Despite her spurns, Wani’s feelings  grew stronger, and became known as ‘Wani-no-shitaburu’. The name Oni-no-shitaburi is said to be have evolved from a corruption  in pronunciation.

In the middle reaches of the Omaki River, a tributary of the HiiRiver, there is a 2km-wide valley associated with  the Yamatano-orochi legend. Did the goddess create the rocks? In the valley are  gigantic and bizarre rocks eroded and formed by the rapid stream; you feel the grandeur of nature here.

Alng the limpid river, you can see rare birds, such as the Crested Kingfisher and the Brown Dipper, and fishes, such as the Haya and Ugui, that are only found in these parts.

The giant salamander, a Japanese special national treasure, can be found here, too. You can also see various plants found only in this valley.
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