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群馬 不動大滝 Gunma Fudou-ootaki The Fudo-Otaki Waterfall in Gunma

Jp En

The Fudo-Otaki Waterfall in Kasukawa-machi, Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture is the most magnificent waterfall in the prefecture. It is counted as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Waterfalls. It is in the upstream of the Kasukawa River, which flows out of Lake Ko-numa near the top of Mt. Akagi-yama. The waterfall has a height of 50 m. The water dynamically falls down with roaring sounds.

With dark green leaves and acacia blossoms in early summer, fantastic mist and rainbows in summer, autumn foliage, and ice pillars in winter, the waterfall shows different scenery from season to season. Surrounded by the steep cliff formed by erosion, it is nothing but an exquisite work of natural art.

There are places of interests around the waterfall such as the rock cave where Kunisada Chuji (the Japanese Robin Hood) hid himself and Takizawa Fudoson Temple, which had been a training ashram for mountain practitioners in Mt. Akagi-yama until the Edo period (1603-1868).
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尻羽岬 Shirepa-misaki Cape Shirepa

Jp En

Cape Shirepa is located at the eastern end of the coastline extending in the further east direction from the town of Kushiro, which is the easternmost town in Hokkaido. The name Shirepa derives from the Ainu word “shir-pa,” meaning “the place where the head of the land projects.”

Its attraction is sheer cliffs eroded by rough waves of the Pacific Ocean. If you see this cape from the sea, you may imagine that desolated land spreads on the cliff. On the contrary, there is a different world on this flat plateau. In the early summer, alpine flowers such as Yukiwarikozakura (Primula modesta var. fauriei) and Hakusanchidori (Orchis aristata) are in full bloom. The view of Daikoku Island, which is a paradise for seafowl, and Akkeshi Bay is superb.

If you have time, why don’t you look down at “the Sail Rock” under the cliff? You may be able to see harbor seals sunbathing around the rock.
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瀬田・石山の清流 Seta Ishiyama no seiryuu Seta, Ishiyama’s Clear Stream

Jp En

   Seta, Ishiyama’s Clear Stream refers to a particular view of the Seta river; Seta river runs through Shiga Prefecture's Otsu city.  This is one of the 8 great views of Biwa Lake.  The flowing Seta River, lit up by the rays of a setting sun, forms a backdrop for the Kara Bridge, one of the three major Japanese bridges.  
   Historically, this so-called ‘Seta’s evening sunlight’ has been an especially popular sight among Shiga's famous views.  It is famed as one of the Omi Hakkei (Eight Views of Omi) of Ando Hiroshige.  Another famous view in the area that appears in many literary works and Ukiyoe paintings is ‘Ishiyama’s Moon in Autumn'.
Even now, an old-fashioned houseboat is popular among sightseers.  You can enjoy the unique beauty of all four seasons at Ishiyama temple or along the Seta river; in the Spring, cherry blossoms, during early Summer, azalea, in peak Summer, cool breezes, in Autumn, fall foliage, and in the Winter, a snowy landscape.
  The many boats and canoes that now congregate near the Kara Bridge creates scenary very different from the Ukiyoe that Hiroshige painted.  However, the scene of boats passing by the bridge in the evening is still quite beautiful, much like a scene straight out of a movie.
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積丹 島武意海岸 Shakotan Shimamui-kaigan Shimamui Coast

Jp En

Shimamui Coast is a 1 km scenic coast at the northern tip of Shakotan Peninsula in Hokkaido. It is selected as one of Japan’s 100 Beautiful Beaches and designated as the only underwater park in Hokkaido.

The entrance to Shimamui Coast is a narrow dark tunnel at the end of the parking lot. Once you pass through the tunnel, the splendid view of blue seawater will appear before your eyes! It is one of the most impressive scenes in Hokkaido.

From the observatory atop the sheer cliff, you can command the dynamic coastline that leads to Cape Kamui in front and Mt. Shakotandake in back. The sea below is so transparent that you can even see the bedrock. The sight of the waves splashing against Byoubu-iwa (Folding Screen Rock) in the cove is a sight you will want to see a number of times.

At the beginning of summer, the cliffs are decorated with the local flower, Yezo daylilies.
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谷川岳 Tanigawa-dake Mt. Tanigawadake

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Mt. Tanigawadake (1,977 m) is a part of the Mikuni Mountain Range in the border of Minakami Town in Gunma Prefecture and Yuzawa Town in Niigata Prefecture. It is in the center of the peaks of Tanigawa mountains, which start from Shimizu Pass, Mt. Shigekuradake and Mt. Ichinokuradake to Mt. Mantaro, Mt. Tairappyo and Mikuni Pass. Counted as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Mountains, Mt. Tanigawadake is a beautiful mountain but at the same time it is one of the most difficult mountains in Japan.

Mt. Tanigawadake has two peaks. One is Okinomimi Peak and the other is Tomanomimi Peak. Due to its geographical features, the seasonal wind from the northwest causes heavy snow in winter, while from early through mid summer, the mountain is covered with alpine flowers. In September, when leaves of Japanese rowan trees near the summit turn red, the foliage season approaches the mountain. During the foliage season in October, the mountain is visited much more climbers than in summer.
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群馬 野反湖 Gunma Nozori-ko Lake Nozori

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Lake Nozori in Kuni Village in Gunma Prefecture is a dammed lake with an altitude of 1,550 m and a circumference of 12 km. Selected as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Dammed Lakes, it has a beautiful landscape that is comparable to natural lakes. The area around the lake is designated as a Special Zone of Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park and a Natural Recreation Forest.

The water of this lake empties into the Sea of Japan through the Shinano River. The place where the lake is located used to be a wetland, in which the power dam was constructed by Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc.

From early summer through early fall, over 300 species of alpine plants including Nozori-kisuge (Hemerocallis middendorffi var. esculenta), Japanese azalea and fireweed can be seen around the lake. The best viewing spot of the lake is Nozori Pass. The view of the lake mirroring the images of autumn leaves and the clear blue sky is especially beautiful.

You can enjoy many activities including walking along the promenade around the lake, hiking in the vicinity and fishing. Camping sites and a lodge are provided on the northern side of the lake.
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一の坂川 Ichinosaka-gawa The Ichinosaka River

Jp En

The Ichinosaka River runs through the central part of Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Pref. It is a beautiful river, which the 24th generation of Ouch clan, Hiroyo Ouchi used to resemble the Kamo River in Kyoto. There still remains some old cityscape near the river and the vermillion Torii gate of Yasaka Shrine and the Five-story Pagoda of Rurikoji Temple can be seen beyond the roofs of the old houses. The repair works to prevent natural disasters like flooding had been given to river, but widening or deepening the river turned out impossible due to the preservation of the cityscape and the rows of cherry trees. Instead, Ichinosaka Dam was constructed to adjust the water volume. The tourists as well as the citizens enjoy the successive charms of the year including cherry blossoms blooming all together in spring and gleams of fireflies in summer. In autumn, the event of “artful Yamaguchi” is held, in which private houses are open to public and families exhibit their “treasures” at home. The whole town transforms to the museum during this period.
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樗谿神社 Oochidani-jinja Ochidani Shrine

Jp En

Ochidani Shrine in Uemachi, Tottori City, Tottori Prefecture is a historic shrine. Walking up to the inner end of a narrow path off the main road, you will find a simple but distinguished-looking shrine building among fir and shii trees. The shrine was built in 1650 by the first lord of the Tottori domain, Ikeda Mitsunaka, to worship his grand-grand father, Tokugawa Ieyasu, thus it was called Toshogu or Tosho Daigongen in the Edo period (1603-1868). However, in the Meiji period (1868-1912) it was renamed to Ochidani Shrine according to the government’s policy of the separation of Shinto and Buddhism.

The solemn-looking Honden hall (the main hall) standing on white pebbled ground, the Chu-mon Gate in Hira-Karamon style (with bargeboards at each end), the Haiden hall (oratory), the Heiden hall (where offerings are presented to gods) are all nationally designated as Important Cultural Properties. The wood carvings of a hawk on the door of the Honden hall is said to be made by Hidari Jingoro, the master sculptor in the Edo period.

The Ochidani River flowing through the precinct is famous as the habitat of Japanese fireflies. After the sunset in early summer, the precinct turns into a fantasy.
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