The Kakita River, a tributary of the Kano River, flows in a southerly direction in the centre of Shimizu Town in Shizuoka Prefecture. This river rises about 40 km away from the southeastern base of Mt. Fuji and fed by springs from the underground water table which is maintained by rain and melting snow that was discharged from Mt. Fuji into Mishima Stream of lava formed about 8,500 years ago.
There are several dozen springs which supply the Kakita River with 1 million tons of water each day. The water temperature in the Kakita River is about 15℃ throughout the year. The quality of the spring water is extremely good and it is called “the Last Clear Stream in Japan” or “the Finest Spring Water in the Orient.” It is counted as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Waters selected by the Ministry of Environment.
In 1986, Shimizu Town built the Kakita River Park, where visitors can see the water springs all through the year from the observatory deck.
Kanro Sensui is a fresh water spring that wells up from Mt. Rijiri (1771m above sea level) in Rijiri Island located north east of Hokkaido.
Because of its beauty, Mt. Rijiri is also called Rijiri Fuji Mountain and was voted one of 100 best mountains in Japan.
Kanro Sensui emerges about a third of the way up at the hill station of Mt. Rijiri which is about 290m above sea level. Its water remains at a near constant temperature of 5.5°C all year round. Kanro Sensui, chosen as one of 100 most remarkable waters of Japan, is located at the northern most point of all these spring waters, and as the name, “Kanro”, implies, the water tastes sweet.
Mt. Rijiri is a scenic mountain and treasure trove of rich plant and animal life including pikhta, jezo spruce, acer mono and erman’s birch. The spring water of Kanro Sensui is rain and snow-melt that has filtered for a hundred years through the rocky underground and emerges with a distinct taste and purity.
Mt. Rijiri is not a high mountain; however, it is dominated by steep paths and caution and appropriate equipment are needed for the ascent. Despite that, the mountain attracts many climbers. Breathtaking views of Sakhalin can be seen from the summit. Resting during the ascent and tasting the spring water on the way to the summit is one of the most pleasurable experiences for the climbers.
Mt. Rausu-dake (1,660 m) is the highest mountain of the Shiretoko volcanic mountain range in Shiretoko Peninsula. It is counted as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Mountains. The view of the mountain covered with pure white snow in winter is magnificent. Many snow patches remain even in summer.
From the top of the mountain, you can command a panoramic view of the ocean including far-off Kunashiri Island. The two starting points of a trail up a mountain are located at Rausu Hot Spring in Rausu-cho and Iwaobetsu Hot Spring in Shari-cho. It takes 4 hours and 30 minutes from Rausu, and 6 hours from Shari.
In Mt. Rausu, you can observe a lot of alpine plants that come into bloom one after another on the slopes where snow thaws. At the peak blooming season in summer, the whole mountain becomes field of flowers. Here you will be moved by the great power of nature that overcome and survive severe winter.
The Shikama Otaki Waterfall is on the Hono River running through Mt. Funagatayama at the center of Funagata Renpo (the Funagata Mountain Range) Prefectural Natural Park in the border of Miyagi and Yamagata Prefectures.
The area is a part of the Ou Mountains. Mt. Funagatayama (Boat-shaped Mountain) was named so, because its summit looks like a boat placed upside down. The mountain is also called Mt. Goshosan in Yamagata Prefecture.
The Shikama Otaki Waterfall is usually a quiet and gentle two-staged waterfall. The water in the upper stage flows down onto the protruding rock, from which it flows down again into the river. When the water volume increases in the snow melting season in spring, it changes into a dynamic straight cataract without forming two stages.
The observatory and the promenade are set out near the waterfall. You can take a close look at the waterfall by going down the promenade. In fall, you can enjoy viewing the wonderful scenery of the white silky flow of the water against red and yellow autumn leaves from the observatory.
Mt. Poroshiri (2,052 m) is in Biratori Town in southern Hokkaido. It is a part of Hidaka-Sanmyaku-Erimo Quasi-National Park and is counted as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Mountains. As is named “Poroshiri,” meaning “a huge mountain” in the Ainu language, it is the highest mountain in the Hidaka Mountain Range, which is called “the spine of Hokkaido.” The mountain was formed by the elevation of the seabed about 1,300 years ago and long-period erosion by rain, snow and wind has created its rugged peaks. The top of the mountain commands a panoramic view of Hidaka mountains, which are overlapping with one another and continue far and wide.
The mountain is the treasure trove of flora and fauna including many species of alpine plants that come into bloom and form a field of flowers in July, Japanese pikas and black woodpeckers.
On the side of the mountain are three cirques named Nanatsunuma Cirque, Kita Cirque and Higashi Cirque, which are amphitheatre-like valleys, or valley heads, formed at the head of a glacier by erosion. The largest Nanatsunuma Cirque has seven ponds, which can be seen only in the snow melting season.
The Hakusen Waterfall is one of the three waterfalls in the Rarumanai River running through Rarumanai Natural Park in Eniwa City in Hokkaido. It was named “Hakusen (white fan)” because the 15-meter-high, 18-meter-wide dynamic stream spreads like a fan on the platy-jointed riverbed, which creates pure white spray and bubbles of water.
It is a famous spot to enjoy fresh verdure and autumn leaves. The waterfall looks more dynamic and fascinating in spring when snowmelt increases the volume of the river. The splashes and cool sound of the flow together with tender green of the surrounding broad-leaved trees create refreshing effects in summer. When autumn begins to enfold, red and yellow maple leaves are woven into the silky flow of the waterfall to produce beautiful brocade of the landscape.
Kyogo Spring is located in Fukidashi Park in Kyogo-cho, Abuta-gun in Hokkaido. Rising nearby is Mt Yotei (1898m), the tallest mountain in southwest Hokkaido. The foot of the mountain is abundant with springs and fountains, with a total of 17 natural spring sites.
The volume of water issuing from the springs each day is an amazing 530,000 tons. Of the 17 springs, Kyogo Spring has the greatest volume of water: some 70,000 tons each day! The springs are fed by rain or melted snow that percolates through Mt Yotei, then combines with the minerals in the ground in a process lasting 50 to 70 years, before finally welling out as natural spring water. The spring water is classified as 'kanro' (sweet) and is known to be very soft and slightly sweet.
Kyogo Spring was also chosen as one of Japan's top 100 sites for renowned water by the Environment Agency in 1985.
As the spring water pushes up between the mossy rocks and green trees, it releases a pleasant murmuring sound and creates a relaxing, healing space. It's not only the local people who love this spring water, but fanatics, too, who come all the way from Sapporo just to drink it.
Kurobe Lake is an artificial lake formed by the completion of Kurobe Dam in 1963. It is located near the town of Tateyama in Toyama Prefecture, at the foot of the Japan North Alps.
Meltwater from the North Alps runs into the lake, which is surrounded by original beech forest. The emerald green water is very beautiful with the Tateyama and Ushiro Tateyama mountain ranges reflected on the lake's quiet surface.
At 1448m, the lake offers the highest point in Japan where you can take a cruise. Comfortable cruises are available from 1 June to 10 November. You will be moved by the beauty of the North Alps and the sight of the majestic trees changing through the four seasons. From late September to early October, the beech trees at the shore turn from green to yellow, adding a vivid touch to the mystery of the scenery.