This strange rock located in Kozagawa-cho is a nationally designated Natural Treasure. In the midstream of the Koza River with a total length of 56 km, which runs into the Kumanonada Sea and is known for its clear water, there are beautiful gorges formed by natural processes, which can be called the “figurative art created by nature.” One of them is the Kozagawa Gorge, located between Shichikawa Dam and the downstream. Along the gorge continuously stand strange rocks, each of which has a name according to its shape such as Ichimaiiwa (a monolith), Shojo-mine (a girl’s peak), and Mushikuiiwa Rock (worm-eaten rock). Mushikuiiwa Rock has numerous holes created by natural erosion, looking like a beehive. It is a worth-seeing art work made by nature. Kozagawa Gorge is one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in the prefecture. In spring, a lot of people come to enjoy cherry blossoms while looking around the strange rocks.
The Sakura Water fall located in Kiyosato-cho, Shari-gun, Hokkaido is famous for cherry salmon swimming upstream. The waterfall is on the upstream of the Shari River, which is about 14 km away from the central part of Kiyosato-cho (town) toward Lake Mashu. The name “the Sakura Waterfall” was decided by the general open call for participants presented by Kiyosato-cho Tourist Association in 2002. From May through August every year, you can see jumping cherry salmon that head for the upstream for spawning. You may have a chance to see cherry salmon spawning in the flat pool with a depth of 50 cm, which is located in the downstream of the waterfall basin. On the body of mature salmon, there can be seen a line that changed in color from crimson to its spawning color of light red against the black background. Fishing is prohibited at the Sakura Waterfall for nature conservation. This waterfall is a sanctuary, where wildlife is carefully natured.
Three-Storied Waterfall (Sandan-no-Taki) is located in Rarumanai Nature Park in Eniwa, Hokkaido, and is the lowest of three waterfalls in the park.
The waterfall is fed by a mountain stream that comes down from Mt Shimamatsu. From the Rarumanai River the water drops 20m down a cliff, whose three steps give the waterfall its name. While not so big, the waterfall carries a high volume of water and appears powerful. This area was originally a valley, so the sound of the waterfall is amplified to give it a greater roar.
You can see the whole waterfall from a nearby bridge but if you want to enjoy a panorama, you should go down to the lowest dry riverbed. At the riverbed, it is true that you cannot see the first step of the falls, but the overwhelming sight is very refreshing. In autumn, the maple leaves redden and you can appreciate a spectacular and gorgeous view.
The Kamuiwakka Waterfall located in Shari-cho, Hokkaido is famous for the natural open-air hot spring pool at the top of the waterfall. “Kamuiwakka” means “the spring of the god” in the Ainu language. The Kamuiwakka River, which springs out of Mt. Io, an active volcano in the central part of Shiretoko Peninsula, is a hot water river with succession of waterfalls. Hikers can enjoy hot spring bathing everywhere on their way. If you climb up along the river for about 20 minutes, there is a relatively large waterfall basin. This is the natural open-air hot spring bath called “Kamuiwakka Yu-no-taki,” where you can enjoy bathing in the deep mountain. Shiretoko is called “the last land of seclusion,” and Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall is a secluded hot spring spot known all over the nation.
The Pyotan Waterfall is a unique waterfall on the Nakasatsunai River in Nakasatsunai Village, Kasai-gun, Tokachi, Hokkaido. In 1954, a dam was constructed for a small hydroelectric power station to supply electricity to nearby villages. It was a gravity type power station, which used the water flowing down from the dam. The production of electricity was about 120 kw, which was enough for the whole village area. The local people thanked the dam and called it “Nokyo Dam (the dam of the local agricultural cooperative).” However in the next year an unprecedented flood attacked the area and the dam was submerged by the upstream earth and sand, which formed the Pyotan Waterfall. “Pyotan” means “a place with a lot of pebbles” in Ainu. Natural power may have brought too many pebbles to the village, but at the same time it also brought what man cannot produce.
Asahifudo-no-taki is the waterfall in the Asahi River, which flows in Asahi-cho, Iwamizawa City in Hokkaido. With a height of about 5 m, it is not a very tall waterfall but flows beautifully in two-staged sensitive lines. The upper stage flows down 3 m into a 50 cm deep basin, which has been created by unimaginably long lapse of time. The lower stage flows out of this basin and runs down an almost flat slope. The water has polished the jagged rock surface into a smooth slope, on which water slides down gently into the stream below. Its quiet flow is so beautiful that you may feel as if you are looking at an ink painting. The surrounding katsura trees (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) turn yellow in fall. Some of the leaves fall on the rock slope to add colors to the waterfall and some float down the stream. When all the leaves have fallen, the waterfall will be surrounded with tranquility of winter.
The Kushiro River is a Class-A river, which flows out of Lake Kussharo in Akan National Park in the eastern part of Hokkaido. Among the numerous rivers in Japan, most of which have rapid streams, the flow of this river is gentle and sublime, running down the shallowly sloping ground, whose vertical interval of the contour between the headstream and the river mouth is only 120 meters.
The Kushiro River boasts unparalleled affluence of nature. Running through the upstream areas covered with deep snow in winter and fresh green in summer, it feeds the famous lakes of Akan and Mashu, while in the downstream area it provides water for Japan’s largest wetland, Kushiro Shitsugen. Though taking different forms according to where it runs, the flow of the river is always gentle and magnificent.
This river is also a popular water sport ground. As there is no dam constructed from its headstream to the river mouth, which is rare for Class-A rivers in Japan, people come to enjoy canoeing from all over the country. Also, as the habitat of the Sakhalin taimen known as “the visionary fish,” the main stream and its tributaries are the longed-for place for anglers.
Goshiki Gorge is a scenic spot located in the upstream of the Niobetsu River, a tributary of the Hidaka-Horobetsu River running along the Tenma Kaido Road, which connects the Hidaka area and the Tokachi area in Hokkaido. This 10-kilometer beautiful gorge is counted as one of the 10 fine scenic spots in Urakawa Town. Located almost in the middle of the route crossing the Hidaka Mountain Range, which is called “the spine of Hokkaido,” visitors can enjoy bountiful nature of the Hidaka area all through the year.
The gorge is surrounded with the forest of white birch, Japanese maple tree, Painted maple, Japanese Judas tree and Japanese Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya japonica). As is called “Goshiki (Five Colors),” the surrounding mountains are covered with colorful leaves in fall. The best time to view autumn leaves is from late September to the middle of October. Going down to the river bank, you can enjoy seeing the reflected images of red leaves on the surface of the clear stream. However, the most magnificent is the sights of the gorge seen from Suimeibashi Park and the Goshiki-bashi Bridge.