Cape Koganezaki is a scenic spot in Ugusu in Nishiizu Town, Shizuoka Prefecture. It features the rugged surface of the cliff, which was formed by the volcanic fluid from Mt. Nekko flowing down into Sagami Bay.
Cape Koganezaki is known for its magnificent view of the ocean and the beautiful sunset. As the name “Koganezaki (the gold cape)” implies, the cliffs shine gold at the sunset. This is because weathered andesite was uniquely altered into yellowish brown propylite, which is prefecturally designated as a natural monument.
Cape Koganezaki is full of charms including flowers that come into bloom from spring through fall, the view of Mt. Fuji on a fine day, the stone monument in memory of Yukio Mishima, the fine promenade and colonies of wild plants.
Tosa Tengujo-shi, the thinnest paper in the world, is hand-made paper produced in Ino Town, Kochi Prefecture. This paper making technique is designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Property by the national government.
Tosa Tengujo-shi was first produced in 1880 under the guidance of Genta Yoshii, the restorer of hand-filtered paper in Ino Town. The hand-made paper of Ino Town was known as “Tosa Stencil Paper” in the U.S., France and England and all the products were exported to these countries during the prewar period.
Tosa-Tengujo-shi is made from excellent quality paper mulberry from Kochi Prefecture. After cooking the material with hydrated lime, the boiled fiber is washed to remove dirt and other unwanted bodies. Then, the fiber is beaten and separated with a stick and given the process called “koburi,” in which beaten fiber is stirred and separated in a basket filled with water. Finally, the pulp is put in a vat, where a well-kneaded formation agent made from tororo-aoi (the beaten root of Hibiscus manihot L.) is added, and then it is filtered using a highly elaborate technique called Nagashi-suki (the tossing method) to distribute long fibers evenly.
The filtered paper is so thin as to be called “Mayfly’s Wing,” in which fibers area evenly entwined with one another to create beautiful and strong surface. Paper coloring techniques have been established recently, which scored a great success.
Chrysanthemum and Maple Leaf Festival is held at Hirosaki Botanical Garden in Hirosaki Park from the middle of October through the early November every year. It is counted as one of the four largest festivals in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture. The festival originates in a chrysanthemum contest held by local chrysanthemum fancier group, who enjoyed appreciating the flowers grown by each member while viewing beautiful autumn leaves.
The highlight of the festival is the display of life-sized chrysanthemum dolls, which represent the famous scenes of the dramas including the NHK’s Taiga Drama of the year. Other objects such as Mt. Iwaki and the five-story pagoda made of chrysanthemum flowers are exhibited. Together with Japanese maple trees ablaze with red and yellow leaves, chrysanthemum flowers raised with loving care add gorgeous colors to the ruins of Hirosaki Castle.
The works of topiary, which is the art of ornamental gardening, are also displayed. The branches and leaves of chrysanthemum are trimmed into fantastic geometric shapes or animals.
Otorikoshi Service and the Plant Fair are the events held at Sanjo Betsuin in Honcho, Sanjo City, Niigata Pref. from November 5-8 every year. Sanjo Betsuin was established as a Betsuin (a branch temple) of Higashi Honganji, the head temple of Jodo Shin-shu Otani School, in 1690 to supervise all the Shin-shu temples located to the north of Yoneyama town (presently Kashiwazaki City, Niigata Pref.). Since then it has been called “Gobo-sama (sacred monk)” and respected by the local people. Otorikoshi Service, or formally called “Ho-on-ko Ohikiage-e” Service is dedicated in memory of Shinran Shonin, the founder of Shin-shu. Otorikoshi service, which is held at every Shin-shu temple all over the country in advance of Shinran Shonin Memorial Day, is the most important service for the believers of Jodo Shin-shu. During this period, the Plant Fair is also held along the main approach and in the area near the temple. A lot of visitors from all over the prefecture come to buy young or potted flowering plants, young fruit trees, or garden plants. Otorikoshi Service and the Plant Fair are the events that are indispensable for the autumnal season in the city of Sanjo.
Bifukawa-Matsuyama Moor is on Mt Matsuyama and overlooks the town of Bifuka (Nakagawa-gun, Hokkaido).
Bifuka-Matsuyama Moor is located 797m above sea level and is also known as the highest moor in northern Japan. The moor is approximately 25ha in area and includes three ponds of varying sizes, into which kokanee salmon are periodically released.
The moor was designated as a Natural Environment Conservation Area of Hokkaido in 1976 (Showa 51), because of its many small alpine trees dwarfed by wind and snow. Trees unique to the mountain include aka-ezo pine (Picea glehnii) and Siberian dwarf pine, which are considered to be of academic importance.
The moor features a 1km-hiking route that runs through real wilderness. Here can be found highland plants flowering in various seasons, including the tachigi-boushis (Hosta rectifolia) and horomuirindous (Gentiana triflora var. japonica subvar. horomuiensis). The hiking route brings visitors to the great outdoors, where they can see dwarf trees such as the ezo pine and Siberian dwarf pines sitting between the blue sky and the green landscape. Indeed, such views could only be created by nature.
Mt. Rishiri (1,721 m) stands at the center of Rishiri Island to the west of Wakkanai City in Hokkaido. Its name “Rishiri” comes from an Ainu word “ri-sir,” meaning “an island with a lofty mountain.” Being called “Rishiri Fuji” from its beautiful conic shape, it is counted as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Mountains.
A large part of Rishiri Island is occupied by Mt. Rishiri with its gentle slopes expanding in both Rishiri Town and Rishirifuji Town. As its base reaches the sea, this mountain is “the tallest” mountain in Japan in that the distance between the base (0 meter above sea level) and the top of a mountain is the greatest. The appearance of “the northernmost Mt. Fuji” is brilliant when viewed from the coast in Wakkanai.
Mt. Rishiri is also famous as a place where alpine plants grow. Many tourists, who long for the sight of alpine flowers, visit this isolated island during the blooming season. The summit commands a 360-degree panoramic view including Rebun Island and even Sakhalin on a fine day. As the climbing trails are relatively gentle, it’s not a very big challenge for beginners.