Furen-ko Wetland spreads over the downstream area of the Furen River, which flows into Lake Furen, a brackish lake with a circumference of 96 km in the border of Bekkai Town and Nemuro City. Lake Furen was formed when the water flow was dammed by a huge sandbar created by the coastal current in Nemuro Bay. As it is directly connected to Nemuro Bay, a vast wetland was formed at the mouth of the Furen River.
Furen-ko Wetland is a wildfowl paradise, where nearly 300 species of wild birds can be observed. Those include rare species such as White-tailed eagles, Steller's Sea Eagle, Blakiston's Fish Owl, and red-crowned cranes. Also, migratory birds such as Whooper swans, bean goose and snipes come and stay here for a short period or winter here. Lake Furen and Furen-ko Wetland together with Shunkunitai were designated as a Ramsar Site as Furen-ko and Shunkunitai in 2005.
Lake Chimikeppu is located in Shibetsu-cho in the eastern part of Hokkaido. “Chimikeppu” in the Ainu means “a place where water gushes out of a cliff.” This is a dammed lake produced by the landslide due to the crustal change occurred about 10,000 years ago. As the lake has a complex coastline, which indented into the surrounding valleys, it looks like an artificial lake but actually it is not. It is known as a habitat of Himemasu (sockeye salmon) and Marimo (lake ball). Surrounded with the primary forest of Jezo Spruce and Sakhalin fir, the area around the lake is inhabited by a variety of wildlife including wild birds such as black woodpeckers, which is a natural protected species, and Ezo red foxes. You can walk along the 1.5 km promenade along the lake, enjoying magnificent view of the pristine natural beauty around the lake.
Arimine Lake is an artificial lake created by the construction of the Arimine Dam. The dam took five years to build. Efforts were taken to ensure that the natural surroundings were protected and the Arimine Forest Cultural Village was established. As a result, the area has remained unspoilt and has been designated as the Toyama Natural Park, National Rest Home and one of Japan's top 100 forests and water sources.
The fresh green and red leaves of the beech, oak and maple trees are wonderful. A sight of particular beauty is that of red leaves in autumn with the snow-covered Mt. Yakushi in the background. Wadagawa Valley, which lies between Komi and the dam, is so beautiful it will take your breath away. And it's not just the scenery that's so attractive, but the natural treasury of precious plants and wild birds.
The camping area at the shoreside is popular for people who like the outdoors.
The townscape of classic Japan can be seen in the old Shiroi-juku post town in Shiroi, Shibukawa City, Gunma Prefecture. Shiroi-juku was a prosperous post town located at the point where the Agatsuma River pours into the Tone River.
Old residences with earth store houses continue along the Shirai-zeki water channel. Many stone structures including 8 draw wells and the bell tower remind us of the town’s prosperity in the old days.
Being slightly away from National Route 17 and its bypass, the town has a little car traffic and is a good place for walking. The townscape of the good old days will make you feel at peace.
On the 4th Sunday in April every year, a lot of tourists visit this town to enjoy Shiroi-juku Yaezakura (double-blossomed cherry) Festival, in which the warrior parade goes through the town and the local products fair is held.
Lake Okotanpe is a small lake with circumference of 5 km, located in the west of Chitose City, Hokkaido. It is a dammed lake created by lava that blocked the Okotanpe River, which flows out of this lake into Lake Shikotsu. The lake is located in a relatively high land with an altitude of the lake surface of 574 m. The lake is surrounded by the primary forest of Jezo spruce and Sakhalin fir, which create serene hush. Lake Okotanpe, together with Lake Shinonome and Lake Onneto, is counted as one of the 3 mysterious lakes in Hokkaido. The hue of the lake surface varies delicately with seasons or weather. As the lake itself and the surrounding area are designated as a special protection area, visitors cannot go down to the lakeside. However, the lake seen from the nearby observation tower is an exquisite view. If you look down at the mysterious change in color from cobalt blue to emerald green on the surface of the lake, which is surrounded by the huge primary forest spreading at the foot of grand Mt. Eniwa, you will be convinced it’s a really mysterious lake. You can enjoy marvelous changes in nature.
Lake Onneto is located near Lake Akan at the foot of Mt. Akan Fuji. The word “onne” means “old and “to” means “a lake or a pond” in the Ainu language. Lake Onneto lies in the deep forest in Akan National Park. It is a dammed lake due to the eruption of Mt. Meakandake. Lake Onneto is counted as one of the 3 mysterious lakes in Hokkaido; others are Lake Okotanpe and Lake Shinonome. This mysterious lake is called “Goshiki-numa (five-colored-lake)” because the hue of the lake surface varies delicately with seasons or weather, or even with the time of the day. At one time, it looks bright emerald green, and at another, deep cobalt blue. As it looks different in color according to the viewing point, it will be pleasant to walk along the promenade seeking for your favorite color. Walk leisurely to enjoy the changes in color while viewing Mt. Akan reflected on the water surface. What a gorgeous day it will be!
Obata in Kanra-machi, Kanra-gun, Gunma Prefecture used to be a castle town constructed around Obata Castle, which was built by the Obata clan enfeoffed with 20,000 koku of rice in the late Muromachi period (1336-1573). The town was flourished under the rule of the Warring-States-period powerful warriors including the Obata clan, the Oda clan and the Matsudaira clan. In 1615, Oda Nobukatsu, the second son of Oda Nobunaga, was enfeoffed with this area and became the founder of the Obata domain. The area had been ruled by the eight generations of the Obata clan for 152 years since then.
The reminiscence of the Edo period can be found in this small castle town. The Ogawazeki, a water channel built about 400 years ago, runs through the center of the town and cherry trees border the channel. On the left side of the street along the channel continue the residences with warehouses. The residences of the Edo-period warriors stand on both sides of the Nakakoji Street, which is as wide as 14 m. Their white clay walls are shining brilliantly.
Obata Cherry Festival is held on the 3rd Sunday in April every year. The magnificent parade of warriors wearing the armor and helmet and riding on horses, the gun troop and women warriors goes through the town. The demonstration of firing a harquebus and the performance of Shimonita Arafune Drums can be seen in the festival field.
Tanegaike Pond, 3.37 km in circumference and 17.3 m in maximum depth, is a dammed pond located in the southern end of Tottori Sand Dune. It was formed by the sedimentation of sand from the dune and the nearby river.
This mysterious pond is famous for a legend about a beautiful woman named Otane, who was a personified snake. Once upon a time, Otane, who was working for a wealthy man in the town of Kofu, changed herself into a snake every night, stole persimmons from the persimmon tree beside the pond, and gave them to her co-workers. One day, when she was penetrated her disguise, she ran away from the town and became the spirit of the pond. In June, lotus flowers cover the surface of the pond as if they were the reincarnation of Otane.
The pond is also famous as a fishing spot for black bass and visited by a lot of anglers all through the year.