NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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八丁池 Hacchou-ike Lake Hacchoike

Jp En

Hacchoike is the caldera lake located in a height of 1,180 meters on the south ridge of Mt. Amagi. It was named so because the circumference is 8 cho in the Japanese length units, which is about 870 meters. From its mysterious atmosphere, it is called “the Eye of Izu.” As the lake is surrounded with Suzu-take bamboo trees (Sasamorpha borealis), it is also called “Aosuzu-no-ike (Green Bamboo Pond).”

The lake is also known as the habitat of Forest Green Tree Frogs (Rhacophorus arboreus). This frog is designated as a Natural Monument. Although they are rarely seen in recent years, they have been gradually increasing in number as the result of the efforts for environmental conservation.

The nearby observatory, about 10 minutes’ walk from the lake, offers a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji, the South Alps, the Hakone Mountain Range and Izu Peninsula.
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満濃池 Mannou-ike Manno-ike Pond

Jp En

Manno-ike Pond in Manno-cho, Nakatadotsu-gun, Kagawa Prefecture is the largest irrigation pond in Japan. It has the maximum water storage volume of 1,540 tons. It has been called by its nickname “Manno Taro.”

It is said that the pond was constructed in the Daido era (701-704) by the lord of Sanuki province, Michimori Ason. It can be said that the history of Manno-ike Pond is that of its repair works.

In 818, it was destroyed by a flood for the first time and left abandoned until in 821, when Kobo Daishi was sent as the construction supervisor by the emperor of the time. It is well-known that Kobo Daishi repaired and expanded the pond in only 3 months.

However, the pond was repeatedly destroyed by floods in the later periods. In 1625, Nishijima Hachibei, an expert civil engineer and a retainer of the province lord, took up a repair work and completed it in 1631. Still in the later periods, the pond had been destroyed by flood or earthquakes several times and had been repaired by the efforts of many people. It was lastly repaired to the present form in 1942.
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片野の鴨池 Katano-no-kamoike Katano-kamoike

Jp En

Katano-kamoike is a permanent freshwater lake in Katano-cho, Kaga City, Ishikawa Pref. It has an area of 1.54 ha and a depth of 3.6 m. The Lake is designated to a Ramsar Site as well as a Natural Monument of the Prefecture. The Lake is surrounded by rice paddies, the depth of which is designed to be shallow so that they can go under the water when the water is dammed in fall. That is, the rice paddies filled with water are connected to the pond, creating an expanded marshy area. The site is an important stopover point for many species of birds in winter. The number of species and individuals are said to be the largest in Japan. Rice agriculture taking advantage of the geese behaviors has been practiced in this area. As weed is eaten by geese flying over to rice paddies in search of food, farmers don’t have to use chemical herbicides. Their droppings function as organic fertilizer. This harmonious coexistence with geese is ideal, but on the other hand, there are several problems seen in recent yeas including a decrease in the number of rice paddies, increasing use of dry farmland, and a decline in the number of migrating birds.
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大瀬神社 Ose-jinja Ose Shrine

Jp En

Ose Shrine is in Nishiura Enashi in Numazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture. As it enshrines Hikitajikara no Mikoto, it is formally named Hikitajikara no Mikoto Shrine. It is also called Ose Myojin Shrine.

The origin of the shrine is not identified, but, according to one story, the shrine was founded because, when an island called Biwashima emerged by the elevation of the sea bottom due to a big earthquake in 684, the local people believed that the god had pulled land from Tosa province (present-day Kochi Prefecture), where a lot of land sank into the sea by the same earthquake.

The enshrined deity, Hikitajikara no Mikoto, is known as the guardian god of the sea and has been worshipped by fishermen in Suruga Bay. A lot of Ema-plates depicting fishing activities in the old days and model fishing-ships made by ancient fishing people preserved at the shrine. These votive items are considered historically precious and prefecturally designated as a tangible folk cultural property.

Kami-ike Pond in the precinct is counted as one of the Seven Wonders in Izu because it is a fresh-water pond in spite of being located just by the sea.
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指宿の鏡池 Ibusuki-no-Kagami-ike Kagamiike Pond in Ibusuki

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Kagamiike Pond is an 8 ha “maar” located in Kaimon Senta in Ibusuki City, Kagoshima Prefecture. A maar is a volcanic crater that is caused by a phreatomagmatic eruption, an explosion caused by groundwater coming into contact with magma. The maar typically fills with water to form a relatively shallow crater lake.The name comes from a German dialect, which is derived from Latin mare (sea).

Though large trees around the pond were cut down and the water is not very clear at present, Kagamiike Pond used to be a mirror-like clear pond until the early Showa period (1926-1989). It is said that the view of Mt. Kaimon, or popularly called Satsuma Fuji, reflected on the surface of the pond was really beautiful. Even today, when the conditions are met, you may be able to see the reflected image of Mt. Kaimon.

Not so popular as Lake Ikeda or Unagiike (Eel Pond), Kagamiike Pond is a hidden scenic spot in Ibusuki City.
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根池 Ne-ike Neike Pond

Jp En

Neike Pond located in the deep mountain in the eastern end of Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, is a pond with an area of about 0.1 hectare. There are a lot of legends about this pond.

It is said that a big white snake, the guardian god of the pond, lives here. It is also said that the pond never dries up no matter how long a drought lasts, nor does it get muddy no matter how much it rains. You will have rain, if you throw a stone into the pond or pray for rain at the side of the pond. You will meet with a misfortune if you catch a fish in the pond and you will have your prayer answered if you release a carp into the pond.

At the entrance to the pond, a red torii gate is erected beside the signboard. Many flags with the name of the guardian god written on them are flapping around this desolate pond, which create a mysterious atmosphere.
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大井池 Ooi-ike Oi-ike Pond

Jp En

Oi-ike Pond is a 9.2 hectare artificial pond located in Okusa in Koda Town, Aichi Prefecture. The water is fed from the Hirota River, a tributary of the Yahagi River. Constructed in 1943, it is the largest agricultural irrigation pond in the prefecture.

There is a golf driving range on the side of the pond, where golfers can enjoy dynamic shooting toward the water of the pond. The area around the pond is a famous cherry blossom viewing spot. The upstream area of the river is dotted with mudslide control dams.

The pond is not only used for agriculture but also provides disaster control measures, habitat of various wildlife, the communication place for local people and the place to get contact with natural water. It is a precious municipal property that is indispensable for the local communities.
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湖水ケ池 Komizu-ga-ike Koshimizugaike Pond

Jp En

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.
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