The Kanba Falls Nature Park is located near Maniwa, in the northwest of Okayama Prefecture. Inside the park, the main waterfall is 110m high and 20m wide, and has such an abundant volume of water that the sound of it falling can be heard from the trail far from the waterfall itself. Kanba Falls is known as one of the greatest waterfalls in western Japan and is one of Japan's top 100 waterfalls.
The nature park is also the habitat of some 200 wild monkeys that can sometimes be seen by visitors. The valley near the waterfall is a beautiful wooded area, with deciduous trees such as katsura, zelkova, itaya-maple and inu-shide, as well as rarer trees such as the ke-guwa and iwa-shide. The park is beautiful in any season, but especially in the fresh-green season of spring and the red-foliage season of autumn. Every year, hundreds of tourist come to visit the waterfall.
Komaka Island is an uninhabited island about 800 meters in circumference and surrounded by white sandy beaches. It lies off Chinen-son in Okinawa.
This area is a must for all marine sports, including snorkeling, diving, swimming and observing the many different colorful tropical fish near the beach. During the summer, many people camp on the island, from where at night they can see the skies full of beautiful stars. From late May to fall, the heartwarming sight of migratory ajisashi (common terns) nesting on the island, laying eggs and raising chicks can be seen.
By walking around the island, nearby islands such as Kudakajima and Tsukenjima can be seen. The island is small enough to walk around in about 15 minutes, and the shallow sea stretches out far and wide.
It seems as if this island came straight out of a fairy tale, like a petite, lovely island floating on the vast open sea.
The Urauchikawa (Urauchi River) flows for 39 kilometers through the island of Iriomotejima and is the largest and longest river in Okinawa.
Iriomotejima is called the 'Galapagos islands of the east' because of its diverse subtropical flora and fauna, especially around the Urauchi River. The wide variety of plant life includes mangrove trees, an array of tree ferns such as the 'hikagehego' (Cyathea spinulosa) and 'shida' (Pteridophyta), as well as flowers such as the 'sagari bana' (Sagari flower) and the rare 'seishika'.
The island is ideal for birdwatching, and also features the Maridhu waterfall and the Kanbire waterfall, both of which are included among Japan's top 100 waterfalls.
Other places of interest include the Unan Rock, symbol of a popular belief that a cow was traded long ago for possession of the island and its rich fishing grounds. Another famous spot is the Inunoko-sanbiki (Three Puppies), which is named for a myth about three little puppies that were devoured by a monster.
Iriomote Island’s landscape makes it hard to believe that it is in Japan, due to the rich, exuberant lushness and the range of animal life here.
Shinji Lake is located between Matsue and Izumo districts in Shimane Prefecture. The lake is a known a‘brackish-water lake’, because it has a mixture of both fresh and seawater. Also, it is said that it was formed 10,000 years ago. The word Shinji evolved from the word ‘Swine’s pathway’. It is the 7th largest lake in Japan. Moreover, the lake is a habitat of viand fishes, both fresh water and seawater varieties. In this sense, it is also known as the number-one fare spot for Corbicula japonica. The corbiculidae shellfish plays an important role in the loch. It clarifies the water by swallowing plankton and expelling clean water. It is possible, with the present quantity of shellfish, to purify 5 times the amount of water in Shinji Lake. In winter, over 20,000 birds, including swan, goose and duck, come to the lake. The abundant fish and shellfish that depend upon the lake’s eutrophication (natural enriching with nutrient), a feature of brackish-water, become the prey of the birds. Photographers also gather around the lake to catch the mystery of nature on film.