Furen-ko Wetland spreads over the downstream area of the Furen River, which flows into Lake Furen, a brackish lake with a circumference of 96 km in the border of Bekkai Town and Nemuro City. Lake Furen was formed when the water flow was dammed by a huge sandbar created by the coastal current in Nemuro Bay. As it is directly connected to Nemuro Bay, a vast wetland was formed at the mouth of the Furen River.
Furen-ko Wetland is a wildfowl paradise, where nearly 300 species of wild birds can be observed. Those include rare species such as White-tailed eagles, Steller's Sea Eagle, Blakiston's Fish Owl, and red-crowned cranes. Also, migratory birds such as Whooper swans, bean goose and snipes come and stay here for a short period or winter here. Lake Furen and Furen-ko Wetland together with Shunkunitai were designated as a Ramsar Site as Furen-ko and Shunkunitai in 2005.
Shunkunitai located in Nemuro Peninsula in the eastern part of Hokkaido is a huge sandbar, 8km long by 1.3km wide, which divides the Sea of Okhotsk and Lake Furen. On the accumulated three lined dunes, there are many kinds of natural surroundings such as seashores, grasslands, marshes, forests and mudflats. Providing fine natural environment for various kinds of wildlife, it looks like a floating forest.
Its academic importance is highly esteemed. In the center of the dune is the greatest Ramanas rose (Rosa rugosa) colonies, which continues 3 km. In the wetland along the sea is the breeding ground of red-crowned cranes. White-tailed eagles inhabit here, for there are abundant fish in the ocean near the sandbar range. Shunkunitai is one of the nation's eminent paradises for wildfowl.
Osezaki in Nishiura Enashi in Numazu City in Shizuoka Prefecture is a 1-kilometer cape protruding into Suruga Bay on the west side of Izu Peninsula. It is traditionally called Biwashima (Biwa Island) because, according to the story handed down in this area, it was originally an island formed by the elevation of the sea bottom due to a big earthquake that occurred in 684. The island was named Biwashima but it was connected to the main land by the sand bar formed in the later times.
Located in the innermost part of Suruga Bay, Osezaki has been a famous scenic spot to view Mt. Fuji across the ocean and has been visited by a lot of tourists all through the year.
With stabilized sea conditions, Osezaki is a treasure trove of nature, providing habitats for abundant variety of wildlife. It is famous as the northernmost wild boundary of Chinese bottle trees. Over 1,000-year-old wild Chinese bottle trees form a colony along the promenade on the open sea side of the cape. It is designated as a National Natural Monument. Osezaki is also an internationally well-known dive site.
Wakka Wild Flower Garden is located in Sakaeura near Tokoro in Kitami, Hokkaido. The garden is part of Abashiri National Park and is situated near the Okhotsk Sea coast and on the shore of Saroma Lake, one of Japan's three biggest lakes. As a natural treasury, it has been designated as a site of Hokkaido Heritage.
'Wakka' in the language of the native Ainu people means 'drinking water' or 'springwater'. On the long sandbar dividing Saroma Lake and the Okhotsk Sea, there is a spring called Wakka Flower Holy Water. The name Wakka here refers to the rich supply of water in the area. The sandbar is 200~700m wide and about 20km long. It is the biggest area of seaside grassland in Japan.
Varying ecosystems have formed within the forest, grassland, dunes and marsh. More than 300 kinds of plants and flowers grow here including species from outside. The area is also a natural habitat for various wild birds.
Wakka Wild Flower Garden is also known as Ryugu Highway and features vivid natural scenery.
Omatsuzaki is a beach that lies in North Komatsu, Shiga town, Shiga prefecture. It is a crescent shaped sand bar situated on the northern side of the Hira river mouth. It also bulges along the eastern side of Lake Biwa.
Omatsuzaki is chosen as one of the 8 scenic spots of Lake Biwa, and is known as 'Cool Breeze - Omatsuzaki White Beach'. The depth of the water suddenly changes, and the water – so clear it's as if one could catch a fish by hand – stretches far out. The view of white sand and green pines, spreading for 3km with the Hira mountain range as its backdrop, is just magnificent.
Omatsuzaki has been known as a scenic spot since olden times. In summer, it becomes the number-one leisure venue for Lake Biwa. At that time, it is crowded with people enjoying sports such as windsurfing and swimming. Omatsuzaki-no-hakutei is a scenic area that catches the heart of visitors.
Shika-no-shima island is located in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture. It is a tombola island in the northern part of Hakata bay, and features two small islands connected by a bar of land. The island is approximately 11km in circumeference, with some 790 households and a population of about 3000. A tombola-form island such as this is very rare in Japan.
In 1784, two farmers harvesting rice on the island came across the golden seal of the Kan-no-wanona-no-Kokuo. It is thought that the seal was the same one referred to in the Chinese book 'Gokanjo' (the 'Book of the Later Han'), which was said to have been handed to the messenger of Nakoku from Kobutei (Emperor Guangwu).
Not only is the 'Gokanjo' a very important historical artifact, it is also a valuable national treasure. This golden seal reveals the early history of Japan, and is currently preserved and exhibited at the Fukuoka Museum. However, it is still unknown why the golden seal was buried on Shika-no-shima. One thing, however, is understood: that Shika-no-shima was the starting point from mainland Japan for overseas trade by the early rulers of the country. It is an ancient place and site of many historic incidents.
Saroma Lake is located in Abashiri National Park in northeast Hokkaido . In area, it is about 152 square meters, making it one of the three biggest lakes in Japan.
It is very close to the Okhotsk Sea, but separated by the Wakka Peninsula, along, thin sand bar, about 20 kilometers long and only 2~700 meters across.
Wakka wild flower garden is located on the eastern side of the peninsula. It is designated as a Hokkaido Treasure and has forests, grassland and more than 300 kinds of flowers including non-native ones. It is a wonderful place forwild birds and, in late November, thousands of swans fly here.
At certain points sea water enters the lake to mix with the water there. In addition to swamp vegetation, variousbenthos organisms live in the lake such as a kind ofkelp called Amamo, as well as scallops, Hokkai shrimps and oysters.
The unique and beautiful blue surface of the lake is called ‘Saroman Blue’. The evening sun seen from the lakeside in Sakaeura is beautiful.