Mt. Rebun is a relatively low mountain with an altitude of 490 m located on Rebun Island in Rishiri-Rebub-Sarobetsu National Park in the northwestern end of Hokkaido. Rebun Island is a flat island composed of hills and coastal terraces. A variety of alpine plants grow from above sea level due to its high latitude, the island is called “the Island of Flowers.”
Mt. Rebundake is nearly at the center of this longish island. It is counted as one of the 100 beautiful mountains in Hokkaido. Two hours’ walk through the woods of Erman's Birch Sakhalin fir will lead you to the top of the mountain. As the access to the summit is not very difficult, it is visited by a lot of tourists.
In summer, more than 300 species of plants including bunchberry dogwood (Chamaepericlymenum canadense), Isotsutsuji (Ledum palustre var. diversipilosum) and Ezo-suzuran (Epipactis papillosa) come into bloom. However, as the wind is very cold, you must be attentive to your clothes. The 360-degree view from the summit is just magnificent. The emerald green ocean spreads beyond green hills below. Rishiri Fuji on Rishiri Island ―and Teuri Island together with the tip of Sakhalin on a fine day― can bee viewed in the southeastern direction.
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.
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.
Shokanbetsu-tenuriyagishiri National Park, in Ishikari, the western part of central Hokkaido, was designated a park in 1990. Ruran Shore is located inside the park.
Ruran means 'path that god walks on' in the language of the native Ainu people of Hokkaido. Solid rocks appear to be cut from the shore and the cliffs are so mysterious you cannot help thanking the ancestors who named the shore. Many of the rocks along here have strange rugged shapes and are lined with cracks.
Some of the many beauty spots on Ruran Shore include Yoshitsune's Tears Rock and Amoi Cave, as well as caves along the cliffs. Nature has produced some glorious views.
This shore is also well-known for its beautiful evening sunsets. You will be moved and tremble at the beauty of the sight. Strange rocks become red as they are lit up by the evening sun setting on the far horizon. This is indeed the twilight time of the Ainu god.
Mt Apoi is an 810.6m-high mountain in Samani, Hokkaido. The name 'Apoi' comes from 'ape oi' in the language of the native Ainu people and means 'place where fire is'.
Mt Apoi lies at the southernmost point of Hokkaido's backbone: the Hidaka Range. The climate conditions of Mt Apoi are the same as mountains of 2000m since the temperature drops when heavy fog blocks out the sun.
Horoman peridotite is the predominant rock of Mt Apoi. On the mountain's slopes can be found more than 80 types of alpine plants, including several unique to this area, such as 'hidakasou' (a type of callianthemum) and 'kouzorina' (a type of picris).
The Mt Apoi Alpine Plant Community was designated as a Special National Treasure in 1952 (Showa 27). In 1981 (Showa 56), the area was designated as the Erimo Quasi-National Park Special Protection Area in the Hidaka Range.
Mt Apoi is an important ecological nature area full of valuable plant life.
Mt Gessan is one of the three mountains in the Dewa Sanzan group, and is located in Tagawa, Yamagata prefecture.
Mt Gessan is 1984m high and stands almost in the middle of Yamagata prefecture. It lies in the northern part of Bandai Asahi National Park and is a treasure house of nature that includes animals, plants and primary forest like beech.
The name of Gessan ('moon mountain') derives from the fact that it appears to be as enormous as a half-moon. The mountain has always been linked to religion and there is a shrine at the top dedicated to Tsukuyomi-no-mikoto, a brother of the goddess Amaterasu-omikami.
The mountain has also been a place for ascetic training. Many practitioners have visited here to worship Gessan-okami, but most of them have not felt ready enough and have gone back. Their route back is still known as the 'Return of Practitioners' although hikers take this road today. Mt. Gessan is a spiritual mountain with great views and alpine plants.
The current Ura-Bandai Mountain was formed after the eruption of Aizu-Bandai Mountain in 1888.
Around the mountain, rare plants and animals inhabit the area encircling Lake Hibara, Lake Onogawa, Lake Sohara and Lake Akimoto. The Ura-Bandai Visitor Center offers much advice on trekking, climbing, and nature observation, as well as many exhibits about the area, which allows for visitors to understand and appreciate the natural beauty of Bandai Asahi National Park.
Every season is expressed beautifully, and almost always stuns visitors with spectacular views. The Ura-Bandai Mountain never fails to mesmerize visitors.
Hachimen Mountain, in Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture, is 659m high, and so named because it looks the same from whichever direction you see it. ('Hachime' means 'eight directions'.)
Hachimen Mountain is a table-top plateau formed by volcanic eruptions from Mount Aso, or in other words, it is a humongous rock formation with steep cliffs. In olden times, it was called Yayama, or Ya Mountain.
The mountain occupies the northeastern corner of Yabahitahiko Quasi-National Park. Hachimen Mountain represents the town of Nakatsu, and relay antennas for local TV stations can be seen on its peak. The Konjiki Hot Springs are located at the foot of the mountain, while Yaba Ravine can be found in the surrounding area. The peak boasts a grand panoramic view of Toyomae and Nakatsu towns, along with the Suo Sea, Yamakuni River, and the rice paddies of the Nakatsu Plains.
Locals say that when returning from faraway lands, they do not feel entirely home until they see Hachimen Mountain. Hachimen Mountain has, and always will be, an inextricable part of the landscape of Nakatsu.