Piyashiri Marsh is Japan’s northernmost high moor, 4 km to the direction of Oumu-cho from the summit of Mt. Piyashiri, one of Japan’s 100 Fine Mountains. This marsh land with an area of 38,000 square meters is located at an altitude of 920 m above sea level. Here, a variety of wildlife add mystique to the landscape. On the forest floor of Yezo spruce, the community of alpine plants such as sundew, hare's tail cotton grass, and moorwort looks like a carpet of flowers. In this truly unexplored land, there are three large and small ponds, where Ezo brown frogs and Ezo blue dragonflies are resting in a leisurely way. As the area is also a habitat of brown bears and other wild animals, you can’t go into this marsh land with an easy going thought, which might have enabled beautiful nature to remain intact.
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.
Kinamoto Jizōin Temple lies within huge grounds in the center of Kinamoto town, in Ika, Shiga prefecture. It is famous as a temple where people can pray for long-life and cures for eye diseases.
The temple was founded by the priest Soren who, legend has it, found a statue of Jizō in Osaka Bay and venerated it under a willow tree. In fact, the name 'Kinomoto' derives from the story that the Jizō was worshiped under such a tree.
The wooden Jizō statue is 162 cm high with an ulna between its eyebrows. There are two statues beside it: Enma (Lord of Death) and Gushoujin (Enma's Aide). The statues were all designated as important cultural assets in 1899.
There are other important treasures in the temple, including an astonishing 6m-high statue of Jizō, one of the largest in Japan. From ancient times, it is believed that there lives at the temple a frog that answers certain human wishes. For this reason, many artificial frogs have been laid by supplicants beneath the Jizō sculpture.
Okutsu Gorge is the great scenic spot located near the town of Kagamino, in Okayama Prefecture. The gorge lies on the course of the Okutsu River, which is a tributary of the Yoshii River and, in 1932, it was designated as a National Place of Scenery.
The base rock of this area is granite, much of which has been eroded over many years. The gorge changes and there are many holes. These cylindrical holes dot the wave-cut terraces; small stones falling into craters of the river whirl about with the power of running water and form large holes in the rock.
The holes of Okutsu Gorge are said to be ‘the best holes in the East’. You can see more than 10 holes near the Kasaga-waterfall, by way of Hannyaji-temple, to Usubuchi.
The water through the gorge is famously limpid and river frogs can be found.
The changes of the four seasons are beautiful; in spring, there are rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias; in summer, fresh green; in autumn, red leaves; in winter, ice freezes around the trees; you can admire the vast natural beauty here.