NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/9/12


有峰湖 Arimine-ko Arimine Lake

Jp En

Arimine Lake is an artificial lake created by the construction of the Arimine Dam. The dam took five years to build. Efforts were taken to ensure that the natural surroundings were protected and the Arimine Forest Cultural Village was established. As a result, the area has remained unspoilt and has been designated as the Toyama Natural Park, National Rest Home and one of Japan's top 100 forests and water sources.

The fresh green and red leaves of the beech, oak and maple trees are wonderful. A sight of particular beauty is that of red leaves in autumn with the snow-covered Mt. Yakushi in the background. Wadagawa Valley, which lies between Komi and the dam, is so beautiful it will take your breath away. And it's not just the scenery that's so attractive, but the natural treasury of precious plants and wild birds. 

The camping area at the shoreside is popular for people who like the outdoors.
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2007/5/31


富士山 Fujisan Mt Fuji

Jp En

Mr Fuji extends across parts of both Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures. At 3776m, Mt Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan as everyone knows.

The origin of the mountain dates back to hundreds of thousand of years ago. Even today, it is still an active volcano. Its last eruption was on 16th December, 1707, in the Edo period, and there remains a document saying that volcanic ash traveled as far as Tokyo.

Ancient literature describes Mt. Fuji as Mt. 'No Death' or 'No Two' (both of these words can be pronounced as 'fuji' in Japanese). The name 'No Death' derives from the Taketori Tale, in which an elixir of life was burnt on the mountain. 'No Two' comes from the fact that 'no other mountains compete with Mt. Fuji'. Since the Kamakura period, the characters for Mt. Fuji are written as 'samurai gets rich', which samurais preferred.

The number of people climbing Mt. Fuji is said to be the largest of any mountain in the world. The facts about this mountain could go on forever. You will feel its greatness afresh.
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蔵王 お釜 Zaou Okama Zao Okama

Jp En

Okama is a volcanic lake 1.5km in circumference and 25m deep. It is located in Zao, Katta district, Miyagi prefecture. The lake lies in the middle of the Zao Mountains, which consist of Kumano, Katta and Goshoku mountains.

Okama has become the symbolic sightseeing place in Zao and has the official name of Goshoku Lake. But it is more commonly known as 'Okama' because its round shape resembles a kettle ('kama' in Japanese).

This lake is distinguished by its mysteriously colored water, which turns from emerald green to cobalt or brown depending on the weather or sunshine. The official name Goshoku ('five colors') is said to come from the changing colors of the water.

The water is mildly-acidic and nothing lives in it.  The changing temperatures of the water are very rare and the only place in the world where such a range occurs: until about 10m deep, the temperature falls below 2 degrees centigrade, but below that depth, the temperature rises!

From May to August, many hikers and sightseers visit Zao to see this lake.
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2007/5/10


三徳山三仏寺 Mitokusan-Sanbutsu-Ji Mitokusan Sanbutsu-ji Temple

Jp En

Mitokusan Sanbutsu-ji Temple belongs to the Tendai Buddhist sect and is located in Mitoku, Misasa-cho, Touhaku-gun, Tottori Prefecture. The temple's main deities are the Gautama Siddharta, Amitabha and Vairocana Buddhas. It is also the 31st Fudasho of the Chinese Kannon Sacred Ground, and the 29th Fudasho of the Houki Kannon Sacred Ground.

The temple was founded by En-no-Gyoja (also known as En-no-ozuno) in 706 as a training ground for Shugendo (the study of the relationship between man and nature). In 849, Jikaku Daishi Enin bestowed to the temple its three principle Buddha images.

This mountain temple is located on Mt Mitoku (900m), which lies practically in the center of Tottori Prefecture. A mountain trail continues from the main temple to Nageiredo hall, passing the Monjudo and Jizodo halls. The Shoro hall can be seen, too. Nageiredo is a platform temple built some 470m up in the rock face, and is the only national treasure in Tottori. Mitokusan Sanbutsu-ji Temple is a sacred site, famous both as a scenic spot and an historic relic.
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2007/2/22


うへ山の棚田 Uheyama-no-tanada Uheyama Rice Terraces

Jp En

The site of the Uheyama rice terraces, located in Mikata, Hyogo Prefecture, was chosen as one of Japan's 100 Top Rice Terrace Sites in 1999 (Heisei 11). A rice terrace is a rice field made in a stair-like pattern on the slope of a hill.

As you come along Route 482, Uheyama rice terraces are on the right, beyond the sign to Yoshitaki Campsite, with the mountain range rising up behind them.

Uheyama rice terraces are most beautiful in autumn, when the golden ears of the ripening rice blow in the wind. In early summer, the water channeled into the rice fields reflects the mountains beautifully, while in high summer, the growing rice creates a green carpet. In this way, you can enjoy scenes of the rice terraces changing from season to season.

Such sights as these represent an original landscape of Japan that helps make people feel in tune with nature.
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2007/2/15


転法輪寺 Tenpourin-ji Tenporin Temple

Jp En

Tenporin Temple belongs to the Shingonshu Daigo Buddhist sect, and is located on the summit of Mt Kongo, the tallest mountain in the Kongo-Ikoma range in Nara Prefecture. The index of the temple's name is Mt Kongo. It was also once called the Ichijo Tenporin Temple.

This temple is a holy place for the mountain religion, and is also a training ground of Shugen for both the Tendai and Shingon sects.

Tenporin Temple was built in 666 by Enno-Gyoja (a Japanese ascetic and mystic) in order to deify Hoki Bosatsu. The Katsuragi Shrine was built to deify Hitokotonushinogami, which resulted in a sacred mountain where Shintoism and Buddhism mixed.

The mountain, which was once called Mt Katsuragi or Mt Takama in ancient times, changed its name to Mt Kongo by taking the index name of the Tenporin Temple.

Among the hills around the temple are many megaliths and ancient trees, such as fukuishi, kongogo and the meoto-sugi cedar. At the summit of Mt Kongo is an observatory, which faces Sennan. On clear days, there is a distant view of Kansai International Airport and Awaji Island.
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2007/2/14


九品寺 Kuhon-ji Kuhon-ji Temple

Jp En

Kuhon-ji Temple belongs to the Jodo-chionin sect and is located on the east side of Mt Katsuragi in Nara Prefecture. As a mountain temple it is known as Kaina-yama, and is also called Temple of Stone Buddhas.

Gyogi-osho founded the temple following a proclamation by the Shomu Emperor in the Nara period. It flourished again as a Kaina-senbo temple when Kukai (Kobo Daishi) came here.

The main statue of the temple is a wooden Amida-nyorai seated figure made in the late Heian period and has been designated as an Important National Cultural Asset.

The temple is also famous for its many stone Buddha statues. 1800 stone Buddha statues called the '1000 Stone Buddhas' line the way up the mountain to the temple. They are said to have been dedicated to console soldiers of the Narahara Clan who died in the battle against the North Imperial Court.

You can see the Three Yamato Mountains from high points on the mountain, and Kuhon-ji Temple is also popular as a great scenic spot.
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2007/2/5


中山仙境 無明橋 Nakayama-senkyo Mumyo-hashi Nakayama-Senkyo Mumyo Bridge

Jp En

Nakayama-Senkyo is located in a steep mountain area called Ebisuyaba in the Kunisaki Peninsula. It is 317m above sea level and 200m above sea level at the entrance to its hiking course. If you take the course, Mumyo Bridge is a 30-minute walk, Takaki is a one-hour walk and all the other courses take about 2 hours.

Mumyo Bridge lies on the hiking course and is a stone bridge comprising two long flat slabs that connect at the bridge center. The bridge spans between rocks and is 40cm wide and 3m long.

When crossing the bridge, you may be afraid of falling, but the village view is so great you will pause to take a look. From Takaki, the top of the mountain, you can enjoy a panoramic view.
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