Mt. Hinokiboramaru with an altitude of 1601 m is on the border of Tsukui-cho in Sagamihara City and Yamakita-cho in Ashigara-Kami-gun in Kanagawa Prefecture. It is the second highest peak in the Tanzawa Mountains after 1673 m Mt. Hirugatake. Though located in the center of the deepest mountains in the western part of the Tanzawa Mountains, a finely arranged mountain trail is provided and there are no such places as you might loose your way or get into trouble.
The name “Hinokiboramaru” comes from the stream named “Hinokibora,” a feeder stream of the Kurokura River, which flows out of this mountain down to the south.
The area near the top of the mountain is the virgin forest of beech trees. The contrast between greenish yellow young leaves and the trunks with white spots is very beautiful. The beech forest is selected as one of Kanagawa’s 50 Excellent Forests. On the south side of the mountain is the colony of Shiroyashio-tsutsuji (Rhododendron quinquefolium). At the end of May every year, the mountain is jammed with people who come to enjoy viewing these cute flowers. Mt. Hinokiboramaru is one of the most popular mountains in the Tanzawa Mountains.
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.
As there is a waterfall with the same name in Sounkyo Gorge, this waterfall is called Shinjo Meoto-daki. The water flows down the height of 10 meters in three stages, first in one flow, then in two lines, which are combined again into one flow at the lowest stage. It is called “Meoto (husband and wife)” because the two waterfalls flowing in harmony with each other in the second stage, where a huge rock divides the flow of water. Seeing that the once-separated two flows are “mated” again, you might feel as if you are looking at joys and sorrows of a human couple.
Because of its complex flowing configuration, the waterfall gives a different impression at each season. It flows most vigorously in the snow melting season, while it looks calm in summer when the water volume decreases. The surrounding area is covered with beech forests and is an ideal summer resort.
Kurokuma Falls are 15m wide and 85m high, and are located in Ajigasawa, Nishitsugaru-gun, Aomori Prefecture. They have been selected as among Japan's top 100 waterfalls.
The waterfall is at the branch of the Akaishi River, which flows down from the Shirakami Mountains, and are classed as a World Heritage site. These are the largest waterfalls in the prefecture.
It is said that the waterfalls were named for a figure that looks like a standing bear. 'Kurokuma' means 'black bear'.
A virgin beech forest surrounds the waterfall and refreshes those who visit it. It is possible to access the waterfall by car as there is parking nearby.
The view of the abundant falling water is dynamic, and becomes a masterpiece when seen in the seasons of spring-green and fall-red leaves. It is a recommended site for those who want to get close to Mother Nature herself.
The waterfall passes through Takinozawa and flows into the Akaishi River, where rare fish like the Golden Ayu and the Ito swim.
Kurokuma Falls make a magnificent, dynamic and powerful display of nature
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 Amedaki Waterfall in Kokufu-cho, Tottori Prefecture is in the upstream of the Fukuro River, which runs out of Mt. Oginosen. The waterfall is 40 m high and 4 m wide and is the biggest waterfall in the prefecture. It is also selected as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Waterfalls. The rushing flow of water on the surface of the whinstone cliff has a tremendous impact.
The waterfall is surrounded by the virgin forest of chestnut, zelkova, and beech, which entertains the visitors with different landscapes from season to season; the brightness of fresh green leaves in spring, the mysterious harmony between the whinstone rocks and crimson foliage in fall and the solemn atmosphere of the waterfall in the snow in winter.
The waterfall has been regarded as the holy place for the ascetic training since the ancient times. In the old days, the waterfall was visited by a lot of worshippers on August 1st on the old calendar, when “Otaki Mairi Festival” was held. At the present, the waterfall opening ceremony is held on the first Saturday through Sunday in June every year, where the Shinto rituals and Kasa-odori (umbrella dance) are performed.
Bunaco is a technique where rolls of thinly sliced wood from a Japanese beech (‘buna’) are coiled, and then pushed by hand little by little to create solid geometric shapes. The buna tree, which made up much of the original forests of Japan, was used to create boxes for exporting apples before the development of the ‘bunaco technique’. However, as the bunaco technique developed, the buna began to be used in many other ways, such as for dishes and lighting instruments. The lamp above is actually two bunaco lights shaped like trumpets, attached together by a roll of buna tape. This lighting instrument is completely symmetrical at the point where the red beam of light is seen. What is unique about this bunaco lamp is the red light that delicately shines out from the middle part. This is because the central part of this lamp has fewer layers, making it thinner than the other portions of the lamp, and thus allowing the light to break through. The lamp was designed for a club called Lounge O. Perfect for interiors with dim lighting, this lamp releases magical and enchanting beams of light that give a room a unique feel. There are holes on the top and bottom of this lamp to release heat, and the bunaco can be detached from the metal base when changing the light bulb.
Size W×D×H (mm)400×400×1800
Produced by: Ubushina,Yudai Tachikawa
Ashizu Gorge extending from Ashizu to Mitaki Dam is a part of the gorge located in the upstream of the Kitamata River in Tottori Prefecture. It is also a part of Hyonosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan Quasi-National Park. The granite ground was eroded to form a V-shaped gorge surrounded with vertical cliffs. The river bed is dotted with huge rocks that tumbled off the cliff. Composed of various features like torrents, rapids and waterfalls, the gorge is said to be one of the most exquisite views in the country. Among them, the most magnificent is the Mitaki Waterfalls.
The area around the gorge is famous for the primary forest of cedar, beech and oak trees. Tender green, crimson foliage and white snow create different landscapes from season to season. The promenade along the gorge is arranged as a part of Chugoku Natural Trail project. It will be nice to walk through the natural forest and breathe the clear air, listening to babbling streams and birds’ singings.