Mt. Hiei in Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture, is a mountain with an altitude of 918 meters. It is nationally designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty. The huge and wide rock cliffs on the western side of the mountain steeply drop into the river below, forming a deep V-shaped valley. The continued granite monolith cliffs create a subtle and profound landscape like a Chinese monochrome landscape painting.
The top of the mountain is composed of three peaks. The climbing route starts from the huge flat rock called “Senjojiki.” The mountain is a popular spot for rock-climbing and visited by a lot of climbers from all over the country. The area around mountain is blessed with bountiful nature including Akebono-tsutsuji (Rhododendron pentaphyllum) and Mitsuba-tsutsuji (Rhododendron dilatatum), which bloom along the trail in early May, and wonderful autumn leaves in fall.
Flower Bird Painting is a general term for East Asian paintings featuring flowers, birds and insects. this category forms one of three major painting subjects, the others being figures and landscape ('mountain-water').
Flower Bird Painting became an established genre in the Tang Dynasty in China, and reached heights of excellence in the Northern Song Dynasty.
In the Heian period, ink painting was introduced to Japan and by the Edo period the art of Flower Bird Painting had spread among samurai as pictures painted on folding screens and sliding paper fusuma doors at temples, shrines and castles. After that, because of the principles of civilian government, they also became popular among commoners.
In China, realistic painting was popular but in Japan, flowers and birds of the four seasons were painted more abstractly, more like painted haiku poems.
Flower Bird Painting is very popular not only in Japan but in China, Korea and elsewhere in the world!
Chinda Waterfall, located in Oita Prefecture, is made up of a male waterfall which diverges from the main streams of the Ono River, and a female waterfall which branches off the Hirai River tributary.
The male waterfall measures 17m in height and 93m in width, and the female waterfall measures 18m in height and 4m in width. Due to the steepness of the drop and its great width, Chinda Waterfall is called 'the Niagara Falls of Bungo'.
During the Muromachi period, Sesshu, one of the most prominent masters of suiboku (ink painting), stayed in Bungo, Oita, on his return from Ming China. He painted a picture called 'Chinda-bakuzu', which took Chinda Waterfall as motif and inspiration. 'Chinda-bakuzu' is one of the most famous and renowned landscape paintings of Japan, with its strong, yet magnificently beautiful brushstrokes.
Chindai Waterfall Fellowship Park, located alongside Chindai Waterfall, was created by local citizens themselves: the cutting and planting took about 3 years to complete. The view of the waterfall from the observatory tower is simply astounding.
Kyoshu-ho Ridge, in Honyabakeimachi, Nakatsu, in Oita Prefecture, is the most famous scenic spot along the Yaba Ravine.
The ridge received its named in the 13th year of the Horeki era (1763), when Konnryu-osho of the Asakusa Temple in Edo visited the ravines. Because the distinct cliffs and ridges appeared to be competing against each other in 'excellence' and height, the whole mountain was named Kyoshu-ho, which translates as 'competing-excellence peak'.
Some 55 years later, Raisanyo would introduce the ridges to the whole country after completing the 'Yaba-kei-Zumaki' a scroll painting depicting the Yaba Ravine in sumi ink on paper. Soon after, the flow of literati and painters would never stop, including a famous writer known as Ozan Ono, who was so impressed by the ridges that he requested to be buried here when he died.
The distinctly formed ridges are covered with a fine brocade of trees, and are a kilometer wide, with numerous peaks starting from the Hida side with Ichinomine, Ninomine, Sannomine, Ebisuiwa, Kimeniwa, Daikokuiwa, Myokeniwa, Shingariiwato, Tsuriganeiwa, Jinnoiwa, Hachiojiwa, and so on. The Kyoshu-ho Ridge is a strangely fantastic scenic spot, not to be missed.
Sen-no-Iwa Rock and Kyushuhou, or 'the Blue Tunnel', are a representative group of Yamataikoku rock scenery. Kengadake Rock is especially famous for its massive and imposing size. The soaring rock appears like mountain scenery in a traditional ink painting.
This area is also where mountain religion is practiced and there are holy rocks and temples on the sheer 100m-high cliffs. At first, the area was known as Sen-no-iwa ('mountain hermit rock') because in ancient times, a mountain hermit from India dwelled here.
Sen-no-iwa rock looks impossible to climb; yet people ascend to the peak from where there are views of Mt Yufu and Tsurumi. Also, in spring, the scene of cherry blossoms in the small park is unforgettable.
The Kurokami Mountain Range consists of Mt. Kurokamiyama, Mt. Seirazan, Mt. Makinoyama and other mountains, which lie to the east of the famous pottery town of Arita, Saga Pref. The mountains are full of hikers and tourists all through the year. Mt. Kurokamiyama with an altitude of 516 meters is designated as a natural park by the prefecture. It is also given maintenance according to the prefecture’s forestry management plan for human life environment conservation. In this mountain grow very rare species of plants including national protected species of Gleichenia laevissima Christ and Poneorchis graminifolia var. kurokamiana, which you can’t find anywhere else. There are a lot of oddly shaped rocks all around the mountain and many legends have been handed down in this area. One of them goes that Minamoto no Tametomo saved a princess who was about to be attacked by a giant snake, which had behaved unruly in this area. At the start of a trail up the mountain stands a 7-meter stone statue of Taikoiwa Fudoson (the Buddhist divinity of fire). On the way to the mountain top, you can see a pair of Meoto-iwa rocks (husband and wife rocks), which look like rocks drawn in a Sansui landscape painting, and Ryumon Cave. At the top of the mountain you will see Tendo-iwa Rock, beside which is Kurokami Shrine Kamigu (upper shrine). The most marvelous is the landscapes that change according to the seasons; from cherry blossoms in full bloom in April to snow-covered mountainside in winter. From there you can go farther to Mt. Seirazan. You can command a panoramic view from the top of this mountain.