Ozato Pine Groves is the arch-shaped seashore with 50,000 green pine trees and white sand spanning about 4 km in Kainan Town, Tokushima Prefecture.
The pine trees were planted not only for tourism but they protect the land from salty wind and storm surge from adjacent towns. The pine trees were first planted along this coast in the middle of the Edo period (1603-1868). Though generation change has occurred, the groves are conserved by the efforts of local people, exterminating harmful insects three times and mowing grass twice every year.
If you stand on the beach, blown in the sea breeze and devoting yourself to the sounds of waves, you will feel totally refreshed. The beach is famous as a fishing spot and the waves near the estuary of the Kaifu River are suitable for surfing. Sea turtles come to lay their eggs on the full moon night in early summer, when the beach is alive with tourists.
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.
Cape Gorota is a rocky cape located in Funadomari-mura, Rebun-cho on the Northern part of Rebun Island in Hokkaido. In the Ainu language, it is called “Kamui Kotan (the place where the god lives),” which is usually given to dangerous places along rivers and coasts. The cape located at 176 m above sea level consists of the cliff protruding to the westward. You can command a panoramic view of Todo Island, Lake Kushu, Mt. Rebun and Mt. Rishiri (Rishiri-Fuji). The cape looks like a dinosaur lying along the coast. Walking down the promenade to the south, you will get to Gorota Beach and Teppu Beach farther away. Here at Cape Gorota you will encounter the beautiful sky, sea, flowers and winds and fully enjoy the natural beauty.
Kannazuki is a Japanese traditional name for October. Kannazuki (神無月) can be translated literally as “the month when there are no gods.” In Shinto tradition it was said that the eight million gods of Japan left their shrines and congregated annually in October at Izumo Taisha Shrine in Shimane Prefecture. In Izumo, by contraries, it is considered trendy to call October “Kamiarizuki,” which means “the month when the gods are present.”
There are still other theories as to its origin, however. The most strongly supported theory is that the 無 character should be a particle meaning “of” and therefore Kannazuki means the month of gods. Another unique theoru staes that it is a pun for Kaminashizuki (雷無月), which literally means the month without thunderstorms.
The day around October 8th is called Kanro (cold dew) and it is said that the year’s’ first dew condensation can be seen on this day. Leaves turn red in the middle of October and the day around October 23rd is called Soko (frost descent), when the year’s first frost covers the ground in the northern part of the nation. As winter draws near, it is getting colder and colder and biting north winds start to blow in this season.
Soni Highland is located in the northeast of Nara Pref. on the border between Nara and Mie prefectures. This highland with an area of 38 ha is known for pampas grass growing in clumps. The silver spikes of pampas grass blowing in the wind look so dynamic and gentle as well. At the sunset, the spikes glowing with the setting sun create a fantastic scene. A lot of hikers visit to see the pampas grass in the late October. There are tourist facilities such as Soni Highland Farm Garden with a restaurant, where you can enjoy dishes of local foodstuff, and “Okame no Yu” hot spring. Here on Soni Highland, you will fully enjoy the resort life.
Omijima Island located in Kitanagato-Kaigan Quasi-National Park in the northwestern part of Yamaguchi Prefecture is an island with an area of 18.8 sq km and a circumference of 40 km. It was nationally designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty and a Natural Monument in 1926.
The coastline in the northern part of the island is known as “the Alps on the Sea” because there are a diverse variety of bluffs, caves, stone pillars and oddly-shaped rocks. The sightseeing boats from Senzaki Harbor on the mainland provide a close view of the scenery including Bat Caves in a bat-shaped huge rock in the sea and Gold Cave, inside of which is shining gold.
The rock strata creating this eroded land features are composed of solidified lava that flew out at the eruption about 100 million years ago. Then the Sea of Japan emerged about 15 million years ago, and the rock mass was repeatedly eroded by raging waves and gales of the sea to form these natural artworks.
A year was divided into 24 solar terms on the traditional Japanese calendar. Rikka is the 7th solar term. Rikka (立夏) literally means the beginning of summer. It usually begins around May 6th, when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 45°. The terms from this day to the beginning of Risshu are considered as summer in Japan. It is just between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. It is the season of fresh green. It is when wheat come into ear in the Kyushu region, farmers begin seeding of potatoes and peas in Hokkaido, rice planting begin all over the country, frogs start croaking on the paths between rice fields, and Koinobori (carp streamers) are flying in fresh bleeze.
It is also the season when people enjoy aoutdoor activities because there is a long spell of fine weather and gentle winds. The sunlight gets stronger little by little tward the day of Taisho (Large Heat).
Heading west for 24km around the coast from Cape Ashizuri brings you to Tatsukushi Coast, where natural art objects of shales and sandstones protrude into the sea. This alternation of strata, the Tatsukushi Formation (the Miocene Misaki Group), was formed about 20 million years ago and has been eroded by strong winds and waves to create the present rock formations. As the rocks look like bamboo skewers laid side-by-side and stuck into the dragon-shaped hills along the coast, the seascape gets its name Tatsukushi (Dragon’s Skewers). The various formations have been given names like “large and small bamboo trees,” “tie-dyed curtain,” transom stone,” “kabuto stone,” and “carp’s waterfall climbing.” This is quite literally “the museum of strata” created by ocean waves.