Ishizuchiyama Kofun group is located at the end of the hill on the Kamo River in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture. These kofun are the largest in the area along the Ashida River in the prefecture. The two circular-typed kofun remain today. Kofun No.1, 20 m in diameter, has two vertical chambers inside, while Kofun No.2, 16 m in diameter, has two simple burial pits.
From Kofun No.1, the human bones of a male in the middle age together with magatama (curved beads), iron tools and a Chinese mirror were excavated. The mirror is a tilt-rimmed Nishin Niju Shinjūkyō (the mirror with two deities and two beats), which was made in the Three Kingdoms era of China in the 3rd century. The person burried here is supposed to have been a powerful ruler that could obtain a product from China.
From Kofun No.2, Naiko-Kamonkyo (a mirror decorated with petaloid design) of Han Dynasty was excavated. It is thought that Kofun No.2 was built later than Kofun No.1. Part of the excavared items are displayed at the Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of History and the Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore.
Karabitsu Kofun located in Kawanishi-cho, Shobara City, Hiroshima Prefecture is a keyhole kofun (Imperial tomb) with a square front and round back. It was designated as a Historic Site by the prefecture in 1993 because it is a very rare kofun in that it is a relatively large kofun in this area and that it has a stone chamber dug into the side of the wall.
This is the 8th largest kofun in the city. The width of the front part is 14.4 m, the diameter of the back part is 28.8 m and the total length is 41.4 m. The stone chamber, 2.4 m wide, 13.1 m deep and 2.6 m high, is the largest in the northern part of Hiroshima Prefecture.
A lot of historically valuable articles supposedly made in the late Kofun period (the late 6th to the 7th centuries) have been excavated from the chamber including Sueki pottery, earrings and, an iron harness, an elaborately worked gold-coated large copper bell and a silver gardenia-shaped Utsuro-dama (hollow bead), which is the first archeological find of this kind in the areas except the Kinki region.
Fujikawachi Gorge is an 8 km gorge from the Kannon Waterfall located in the upstream of the Kuwabara River, which springs out of Mt. Natsukiyama in both Oita and Miyazaki prefectures, to the village of Fujikawachi. The stream has a lot of hooks and there are many points of torrent, which is typical to an upstream-typed valley. The Kannon Waterfall, from which the stream flows out, is a large waterfall with a height of 77 m and a width of 2 m. Along the stream continue strange-shaped granitic rocks which are eroded by water, a large monolith called Senmai-daira or Senjojiki, Hyotan-buchi pool in the shape of a gourd, and pot holes in various shapes like spiral, cotyloid, or streamline. The gorge is rich in nature with azaleas in spring and red leaves in autumn. Visitors can enjoy landscape that changes from season to season or outdoor activities such as camping at a nearby camping site and fishing in the clear mountain stream.
Sarutobi-Sentsubo Gorge is located in the course of Yamakuni River running through Yamakuni-machi-Kusamoto in Nakatsu City, Oita Pref. The name “sarutobi (flying monkey) comes from wild monkeys once jumping over the valley. Nearly 70% of the whole area of Yamakuni Town lies on the highland with a height of 300-700 m. This town with a population of no more than 3,500 has been known for its beautiful mountains and forests as a part of Oku-Yabakei since the ancient times. At the bottom of the river several pit holes have been made by pebbles rolling among rocks in the riverbed for a long time. The pit holes, the largest of which is 1 m in diameter and 2 m in depth, can be found in the area covering as long as 2 km. The group of pit hole is nationally designated as Natural Treasure. Sarutobi-Sentsubo Gorge in Oku-Yabakei is certainly a scenic beauty composed of strange-shaped rocks and clear stream of water.
“The Saikyo Bridge” is actually a very unique rock located at Yamakuni-machi-Nakama, in Nakatsu City, Oita Pref. A large hole was made in the rock by long-time erosion and it looks like a huge stone bridge or a huge dragon lying across a valley. This unique rock is the product of nature’s everlasting power or quite literally an act of god in nature. The rock is also called “Sennin-hari (Sennin’s beam),” “Sennin-iwa (Sennin Rock),” or “Amenoiwato (the stone door to the heaven).” There is a cave with 1 m mouth at the bottom of the rock. The name “Amenoiwato” may have been derived from this cave. Inside the cave there is an empty space of about 2.5 m in height and depth, where ancient mountain practitioners supposedly trained themselves. Looking up at this natural rock bridge, produced by nature and immemorial time, we can’t help but realize how slowly time passes in the universe compared with the restless time we spend every day.
Koumoriduka archeological site is an officially designated site in Okayama prefecture. It dates back to the late-6th century and is a burial mound that was carved out of the natural hill, having a length of about 100m.
It is named 'koumoriduka' because many bats (koumori) live here. The rock chamber is about 19.4m2 in size and as large as the stone chamber at the Ishibutai burial mound in Nara prefecture.
The mound comprises long dromos and a burial chamber. There is a stone coffin inside that was hollowed from limestone. The mound also has wooden and earthen coffins, and it seems to be a standard ruin of that time. This burial mound suggests great power and wealth.
The Ryusogataki Waterfall in Fukui Pref. was selected as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Waterfalls in 1990. There are various legends about the origin of the name; one legend has it that once upon a time a priest named Ryuso performed the ascetic practices through carving images of deities and Buddha here. Another has it that a dragon (ryu in Japanese) once lived in the basin and it sometimes swam up the waterfall to fly into the sky. Looking up at the waterfall of 60 meters in height, you will be overwhelmed by its dynamism. In early summer, when the mountains are covered by a mantle of fresh green, the waterfall best harmonizes with the surrounding landscape. If you see several pot holes in the downstream of the waterfall, you will be impressed by the power and mystery of the nature.