The Riasu (or Saw-tooth) Sanriku Coastline is a raised coastline of 600km in total that spreads out from southeast of the Aomori Prefecture through the coast of the Iwate Prefecture to Ojika Peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture. Sanriku (or three riku) is a generic term referring to Mutsu in Aomori, Rikuchuu in Aomori and Rikuzen in Miyagi. The Riasu coast is a jagged stretch of coastline that consists of many long, narrow coastal inlets which uniformly cut into the coastal lands creating the appearance of saw teeth.
Offshore at the Sanriku coast is where the Okhotsk current (Oyashio) , a cold current, and the Japan Current (Kuroshio), a warm current, meet, creating a rich fishing spot that is considered to be one of the Four Great Fishing Grounds in the world.
The precipitous cliffs of the Sanriku coast are also an ideal breeding ground for wild birds such as osprey, Japanese cormorant and black-tailed gull.
Along the Riasu Sanriku Coastline there are many spectacular vistas created by the raging waves and rain storms of the Pacific Ocean.
Izunuma and Uchinuma are lakes in Senhoku Plain in Miyagi Prefecture. Covering a total area of 4 square meters, the majority of the surfaces of these shallow lakes is covered with water plants such as lotuses and reeds and provides precious habitat for insects and fish. They were designated as a registered wetland under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as a Waterfowl Habitat, known as the Ramsar Site in 1985.
Located in the northernmost area of the warm-temperate zone, the surfaces of Izunuma and Uchinuma rarely freeze, even during the coldest seasons. This makes them a popular wintering area for such waterfowl as whooper swans, white-fronted geese and Aleutian Canada goose. At the sunrise, you can see 30,000 goose and ducks flapping their wings all at once. This sound was designated as one of Japan’s 100 Landscapes with Sounds by the Ministry of Environment.
Visitors can enjoy viewing wild birds all through the year from observation deck at Izunuma Uchinuma Visitors Center.
Goshiki-dai Plateau, located in the border of Takamatsu City and Sakaide City in Kagawa Prefecture, is the lava mass composed of five peaks. The five peaks are slightly different in color; hereby they were named Black Peak, Blue Peak, White Peak, Yellow Peak and Red Peak according to the five colors of Buddhism.
Driving on the road running on the hillside, you can enjoy fine views of the Seto Inland Sea and the mountains in Okayama Prefecture. You can also enjoy the seasonal changes in scenery including wild birds and azalea in spring and crimson foliage and orange picking in fall. The walking trails, the grass land and camping sites are provided on the hillside. You can also visit Kagawa Natural Science Museum and The Seto Inland Sea Folk History Museum (consolidated into Kagawa Prefectural Museum in April, 2008).
White Peak located in the western part of the plateau is presumed to have been where the retired emperor Sutoku, who had been defeated in the Hogen Rebellion and exiled to this province, was cremated. Many historic sites concerning the retired emperor remain in the mountain.
Lake Furen is a brackish lake located between Nemuro City and Betsukai-cho in Hokkaido. It is the 3rd largest lake in Hokkaido. Being a part of Notsuke-Furen Prefectural Natural Park, the area around the lake has wide variety of land features such as sandbanks, meadows, swamps and virgin forests, where various species of flora and fauna inhabit.
From June to August, rugosa roses, Ezosukashiyuri (Lilium maculatum ssp. dauricum) and Sendaihagi (Thermopsis lupinoides) produce red, yellow and purple pretty flowers one after another to create a large flower garden all around the area.
Known as the water bird’s paradise, it is visited by the nation’s largest species of swan. Swans come flying from the early September to the end of December, and winter here till the middle of March or early May. About 240 species of other wild birds including red-crowned cranes, black woodpeckers and yellow-breasted buntings can be spotted in the area, which has become a popular spot for bird watching.
The Sarobetsu-genya in the watershed area of the Sarobetsu River is one of the largest wetlands in Japan. It is a part of Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park.
In the central part of this 23,000 ha moor lies Genseikaen Park, where as many as 100 species of swamp plants can be seen from early summer to fall. Those include very rare northern cranberry and bog rosemary, gentians (Gentiana triflora var. japonica) that produce cute purple flowers, and Yezo daylilies with bright yellow flowers. Being called “the symbol of the moor,” Yezo daylily is an extremely rare plant because it blooms for only two days during the summer. Chance it! You might be able to see it.
The Sarobetsu-genya Moor is the treasure trove of wild birds. East Siberian taigas and othe birds migrating for the south and red-crowned cranes can be seen in the late fall. In winter, white-tailed eagles come flying from Russia. It is a precious land which fosters flora and fauna as well as provides us, human beings, with relief and refreshment.
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.
Odaigahara Plateau is located in Kamikitayama Village, Nara Pref. The annual precipitation of this area is 5000 mm, which ranks the heaviest in the world. The wet climate has created a primitive forest that is comparable to the one in Yakushima Island. The forest with its floor covered with green moss as well as magnificent and powerful waterfalls is the figurative art that nature has created. The primitive forest is also the home to wild life such as antelope, Japanese deer and rare plants of the season. If you are lucky, you might come across a group of lovely deer on your way. For walking, “Higashi Odai” walking trail extending about 9 km is recommendable. At the top of Daijyagura Cliff with a height of 1,000 m, you can command a 360-degree panoramic view including Ominesan mountains. Pure forest of Tohi (medicine plant) in Masakigahara is known as the south bounds in Japan. While walking along the trail, you will enjoy the twittering of Japanese robins and other wild birds.
The Manose River is a Class B river flowing out in the western end of Kagoshima City and pouring into East China Sea via Kawanabe Town in Minamikyushu City and Kaseda and Kinpo Towns in Minamisatsuma City. It is 30 km in total length and is the longest river in Satsuma Peninsula.
The upstream area has several places of scenic interest such as the Kawazoe Waterfall and a group of riverbed pit holes. Kinpo Dam is built in the Hase River, a tributary of the Manose River. The area along the river has been known for traditional mechanical dolls operated by the power of water mill, which are called “Suisha-Karakuri.”
The estuary was displaced to the present place by a big flood in the Edo period (1603-1868). The area including the estuary and its adjacent beach, Fukiagehama Beach, which was formed by accumulation of sand brought by the river, is designated as one of 500 Important Wetlands in Japan. Fresh water and sea water flow together in this huge wetland and provide habitat for various species of coastal plants such as Hibiscus hamabo, tidal shore animals such as Uca lactea lactea and wild bird such as Black-faced Spoonbills.