The Shikiro Waterfall is located in the valley behind Eigenji Temple in Higashiomi City, Shiga Prefecture. This 25 m tall waterfall flows down in two stages; the upper stage is 20 m tall and the lower is 5 m tall.
The name “Shikiro” derives from “Shikiro-an,” a hermitage built by Ogura Sanezumi, who was both a good warrior and a good scholar in the late Muromachi period (1336-1573). It is said that he took clear water from this waterfall to offer it to the statue of Buddha every morning. A small statue of Fudo Myoo stands beside the waterfall today.
The waterfall dynamically gushes down the tall cliff. It looks especially beautiful in fall, when it is surrounded with autumn leaves. The water flows at a slant in the upper stage into the first basin, from which it flows down as if it was kinked into the lower basin. The white flow and the emerald green basin make a wonderful contrast. You can enjoy a moment of coolness even in the midst of the hot summer.
Imayama Hachimangu Shrine is located at the top of a hill, which commands a view of Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture. Enshrining 10 deities, the shrine is worshipped by local people as the guardian god of the city. It is the largest shrine in the northern part of the prefecture
Going along the front approach, which is surrounded with densely grown trees, you will see the two-storied vermillion main gate standing atop the steep stone steps. The huge precinct is dotted with several historic shrine buildings including the impressive Honden hall. The stone statues of Chinese lion-dogs on either side of the entrance of the main hall tell of the shrine’s long history.
It is said that Tsuchimochi Naotsuna, the local lord of this area transferred the deity of Usa Hachimangu Shrine (in present-day Oita Prefecture) and founded this shrine in 750 as the god to guard the ominous direction of the Castle. According to the book “Usa Kagami,” this area was a part of the territory possessed by Usa Hachimangu Shrine and annual tribute was collected by the shrine. As Usa was far away from the town and it was very difficult for local people to visit Usa Hachimangu Shrine, the foundation of Imayama Shrine was welcomed by local people. The shrine had been protected by the successive lords of the domain during the Edo period (1603-1868).
Kamikoshi Gorge is a 7 km scenic spot in the eastern part of Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture. Contrary to Korankei Gorge down the river, which is always bustled with tourists, this gorge is a quiet place with few visitors. Only the sounds of wind blowing through the valley and water running in the stream can be heard.
There is a fishing zone built in a part of the river, where various natural land features including huge rocks, deep pools, rapids and gentle pools are utilized to create an ideal fishing zone for fanciers of mountain stream fishing.
Satsuki azaleas bloom along the river from the middle of May to early June. When Sekkoku (Dendrobium moniliforme) takes root on one of the huge rocks on rare occasions, its beautiful flowers attract attention of the visitors.
Clear stream flows between the continuing huge and oddly-shaped rocks with splashes of water. The deep pools are filled with emerald green water. The water of the stream is so cold that you can’t bathe for a long time even in summer.
Koshimizugaike Pond located in Hioki in Shintomi Town, Miyazaki Prefecture, is a pond, which is oblong in north and south and about 1 kilometer in circumference and 7 hectare in area. Having never dried up, the pond is covered with beautiful lotus flowers in summer. From the middle of July to the middle of August every year, white and pink lotus flowers come into bloom and colorfully decorate the surface of the pond.
In winter, lotus roots are harvested in the unique method that has been handed down in this area. It is said that cultivation of lotus roots started by Akizuki Taneshige, the 7th lord of the Takanabe domain, as the measures to save local farmers from food shortage in winter.
Beside the pond is Mizunuma Shrine, which is said to have been founded in the Genroku era (1688-1703). The enshrined deity, Mizuhanome no Kami, is worshipped by the local people as the goddess of agriculture and prevention of bad luck concerning water.
Okhotsk Garden is a part of Monbetsu Park located in the central part of Monbetsu City, Hokkaido. The landmark of the park is an observatory for draft ice, from which you can command a panoramic view of the Sea of Okhotsk. In contrast to Monbetsu Park with open environment, Okhotsk Garden has a taste of a traditional Japanese garden with three artificial waterfalls, which flow down on the rocky cliffs. Walking through the grove of trees, you will loose sense of time in the gentle sounds of tremulous leaves. A lot of visitors come to enjoy natural beauty that changes from season to season; cherry blossom viewing in spring, the cool evening breeze in summer, and the crimson foliage in autumn. The garden is counted as one of 8 Fine Views in Monbetsu.
Kiryu Yagi-bushi Festival held from the 1st Friday to Sunday in August every year in Kiryu City, Gunma Prefecture is the biggest summer event for the people in the city. The festival was first held in 1964 as the integration of various festivals that had been held in the city all through the year including the festival of the city’s commercial and industrial association in spring, Kiryu Gion Festival and Star Festival in summer and the annual festivals at local shrines in fall. It was originally named “Kiryu Festival,” which was assumed the present name in 1988.
The festival is famous as the most gorgeous festival in the Kanto region. It features a lot of events such as the children’s mikoshi parade, the dance contest “Dance Yagi-bushi” and the Jumbo Parade. During the festival, the National Yagi-bushi Song Contest is held in town, in which a lot of Yagi-bushi singers from all over the country participate and show off their vocal skills.
Around the Bon dance yagura (temporary stage) set up throughout the city, people, old and young alike, get together to perform their original-styled dances to the rhythm of Yagi-bushi folk music. The enthusiasm and passion for the festival bring energy and life to the city.
Tarumi Waterfall is a rarely seen kind of waterfall because it runs from a cliff directly into the sea. It is located between the towns of Wajima and Suzu in Ishikawa Prefecture, and is an outstanding feature of the 2km-long Sosogi shoreline.
The head of the waterfall is 35m high. The waterfall usually runs down the cliff into the sea like a white thread and never stops, even in mid-summer.
On windy winter days, however, the view completely changes; spray does not fall into the sea but into the sky! This makes it a so-called 'Upside-down Waterfall'. Flowers of waves splash in the sea and the waterfall goes up to heaven like a dragon; it really is like a scene from fantasy.
There is a walkway near the waterfall that you can enjoy walking along. But, if you see the 'Upside-down Waterfall', it means it's a very windy day, so you should be careful.