Nishi-Iya Kazurabashi (Vine Bridge) is located at Zentoku, Nishi-Iya village, Miyoshi, Tokushima Prefecture. It is one of the three major 'strange' bridges in Japan. The bridge is a primitive suspension type using vines like 'shirakuchi' vines.
The origin of this bridge is uncertain: one story has it that the famous priest Kukai (Kobo Taishi) built it to help villagers cross the ravine; another story has it that an easygoing member of the Taira clan constructed the bridge with vines so that they could be cut immediately if an enemy was in pursuit.
The ravine of the Niya river is so deep that it was very difficult to cross between banks. The villagers most likely made this bridge after trying many ideas.
Now, Nishi-Iya Vine Bridge is 45m in length, 2m in width, and suspended 14m above the ravine. It has been designated an National Important Tangible Folkloric Property.
Crossing the bridge is a thrilling experience; even if a single person crosses the bridge, it shakes, while the crossing is simply made of rough logs. The ‘Iya Mill Song’ is a well-known song that describes the bridge.
The ravine of the Nakatsu River is a beauty spot located in Kitashiobara, Yama-gun in Fukushima Prefecture. This ravine widens at the headwaters of the Nakatsu River, which is approximately 10km long and flows through Mt Azuma to Lake Akimoto.
The waterfalls created by the rapid torrents drop more than 1000m creating a grand spectacle, and the cycling road around Lake Akimoto is pleasant and perfect for strolls, too.
Of the four seasons, autumn is the most favorable and beautiful, with the red leaves making a gorgeous contrast. Magnificent natural scenery such as this can be appreciated here. Besides autumn, the area is an escape from summer heat, providing a cool, refreshing atmosphere perfect for swimming.
The bridge that arches over the ravines of the Nakatsu River gives a bird's eye view of the area. It's a perfect spot for cameramen wishing to capture the beauty of the ravine of the Nakatsu River. The ravine of the Nakatsu River is an attractive, beautiful scenic spot nestling in a tranquil and serene environment.
The Kisagi Basin is a bizarrely shaped shoal, located in the Sasano ravine in Kamitsue-machi, Hita, Oita Prefecture. The strangely shaped rocks and the massive rocks of the Hoshihara layer, which completely change the flow of the river, created the ravines near the Kantani Bridge. This bridge spans the middle reaches of the Kawahara River.
The natural landscape of the basin, which is some 20m wide, possesses a mysterious beauty. Its colors change subtly and marvellously with each season. Besides conifers, there are various broadleaf trees, such as chestnut, dogwood, soyogo and azebi, that enclose the Kisagi Basin, giving it the wonderful appearance of a botanical garden. The ambience of the Kisagi Basin becomes more vibrant in the autumn as the red leaves on the riverbank glow elegantly in the sunlight.
The Kisagi Basin is a lovely place, giving visitors a sense of joy, tranquility and harmony with nature.
Rakan-buchi Ravine is located in Amagasemachi, Hita, Oita Prefecture. It is between JR Sugikawachi and Amagase stations, and is on the northern side of the Kusu River with a cliff rising 30m on one bank.
National Route 210 snakes alongside the Kusu River, and on rainy days the water runoff from the rocky cliff forms many miniature waterfalls. Gazing at the surrounding view of nature while relaxing in the Yunozuri Hot Springs nearby is another way of enjoying the ravine.
Also near the ravine is a cave where, according to legend, a defeated Heike soldier fleeing from the enemy took refuge and carved a rakan statue for salvation. The statue can still be seen inside the cave.
The rustic view of rocky cliffs surrounded by nature is a pleasurable sight to the observer. And Rakan-buchi is a place where one can taste the true charm of nature.
Kyusui Ravine is a beauty spot located near the town of Kokonoe in Kusu County, Oita Prefecture.
The ravine is at the junction of the Kusu and Naruko rivers, which run by the head of Ida Plateau. Kyusui Ravine is a V-shaped valley and rises about 200m on either side. The valley is covered with trees such as fir, hemlock fir and maple.
Kyusui Ravine is famous as one of the most beautiful spots in Kyushu for red leaves, and also for its many waterfalls. Shindo Waterfall, in particular, was designated as one of Japan's 100 major waterfalls.
The wider area of the ravine is known as Naruko Valley and Kyusui is sometimes regarded as part of Naruko. Along with Ida Plateau, the area is included in the Aso Kuju National Park, so there are many tourists. Roads in this area tend to wind about in the so-called '13 bends', so there are usually lines of traffic during the popular visiting season.
In addition, Kyusui Ravine has Tengu Waterfall and cliffs, which make for superb views.
Hakusan River includes the Nakatsumure and Okubata rivers. Its water is included among Japan's top 100 waters as well as top 100 village waters.
The ravine formed by these rivers features a rock called Hoge-Iwa, which legend has it was cut from the cliff by an ogre. There is also a limestone cave, something rare in Japan, called Ineseki, which is said to have been formed about 200,000 years ago. The cave took its present shape when the area was submerged following the erupting of Mt Aso 85,000 years ago.
Other natural features in the area are Ayukaeri no Taki, a V-shaped waterfall that descends through a continuous series of seven falls, as well as the 30m-high waterfall called Shikaotoshi no Taki. In summer, the appearance of thousands of fireflies makes a glorious view. The water is suitable for drinking. In the open space beside the ravine is a cenotaph bestowed by an Oita general for the attainment of the water.
Akame 48 (Shijuhachi) Waterfalls are located in Akame Town, Nabari City, Mie prefecture, and are part of a beauty spot where a pure stream runs through deep forest.
The river leading to the waterfalls runs east to west from Mie prefecture to Nara prefecture. There is a 4 kilometer walk along the banks of the river, from where you can observe the beauty of each season: cherry blossom, summer verdure and fall leaves, in addition to the waterfalls.
The name Akame comes from the story that Enno Gyoja, a founder of the Shugen-do sect, saw the Fudo King riding a cow with red eyes (in Japanese, 'akame' means 'red eyes').
Akame's five major waterfalls (Fudo, Sente, Nunobiki, Ninai and Biwa) are included among Akame's 48 waterfalls. Akame 48 Waterfalls have also been selected as among Japan's 100 major waterfalls, 100 best forest-bathing spots and 100 best river walks. You can happily hike or take it easy in the woods.