Lake Jusan is a brackish lake on the Sea of Japan in Goshogawara City in Aomori Prefecture. It is also called Jusan-gata. With a circumference of 30 km, an area of 2,060 ha and a depth of 3 m, it is the 3rd largest lake in the prefecture. It is known for a collecting ground for common clams (Corbiculidae).
The excavation research carried out in the 1990s revealed that Tosaminato, a legendary port city, which existed from the late 12th to the 15th centuries, was located on the sand bar between this lake and the Sea of Japan. As the home ground of the Abe and Ando clans, the powerful warrior families in the Tsugaru region, the city was prosperous as a port city, where international trade was actively carried on. It declined in the late 15th century with the ruin of the Ando clan.
A lot of historic sites, which prove the prosperity enjoyed by the Ando clan, remain in the area around Lake Jusan. Those include Sannobo Hie Shrine with the double Torii gate in Kyoto-style and the thirteen attached temples and Fukushima Castle ruins, where the Ando clan had resided.
Hososhima Harbor Festival is an annual summer festival of Hososhima Hachimangu Shrine held from Friday to Sunday in late August in the area around Hososhima Harbor in Hyuga City, Miyazaki Prefecture. It is famous for violent bumping of Taiko-dai (the float with a Japanese drum on it) and known as a kind of Kenka-matsuri (fight festival), which is similar to the famous Danjiri Festival.
The festival began in 1889 in cerebration of the municipalization of villages and towns in the old system, by which Hososhima became a municipality together with other towns of Miyazaki, Miyakonojo, Nobeoka and Aburatsu. It is said that the style of the festival was borrowed from the one practiced in a town in the Kansai district, with which Hososhima had a close connection in the old days.
The festival reaches its climax when the fierce bumping of the two Taiko-dai floats starts at night, while the boat carrying mikoshi (portable shrine in which the deity resides) sails through the sea in the harbor, guarded by a lot of fishing boats decorated with bumper catch flags. Praying for navigation safety and a bumper catch, the whole town is bustled with people during the festival period.
A lock is a device for raising and lowering boats between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. It has a fixed chamber whose water level can be varied.
Ishii Locks are located at the junction of Kitakami Canal and the Kitakami River in Mizuoshi, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. It was constructed to adjust the water level of the canal. These brick-made classic locks were designed by Cornelis Johannes van Doorn, one of foreign advisors hired by the Japanese government for their specialized knowledge, by the order of Home Minister, Okubo Toshimichi, and was completed in 1880.
It is a representative remaining structure of Nobiru Port, which was planned and constructed by the Meiji government as the transportation base to develop the Tohoku region. It is also an earliest example of modern locks that were constructed all over the country from the Meiji to Taisho periods. Its historical value in civil engineering technology was highly esteemed and it was nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property.
Sakata Matsuri is an annual festival that takes place at both Kamihie and Shimohie shrines in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, from May 19 to 21.
The festival has taken place every year for close to 400 years, since the 14th year of the Keicho era. Formerly, the festival was called Sanno Matsuri, but in Showa 54 it was renamed Sakata Matsuri as a festival for all citizens.
On the night before the festival, a traditional dance called Shikidai-no-Gi is performed. The symbol of Sakata, shishito (lion heads), appears in both male and female form during this festival. In addition, local citizens carry floats around the city. Many stalls line the roads and the city takes on a festive mood that recalls its former glory as a port city. Sakata Matsuri is an event brimming with local color.
The Mangokuura Sea is an immense inland sea with an area of 7.2 ha located behind Watanoha Port and surrounded by mountains on Oga Peninsula. The name “Mangoku (10,000 koku of rice) Ura (Sea)” comes from an old story that when Date Tadamune, the 2nd generation lord of the Sendai domain, visited this place, he said “If land reclamation is given to this land, it will produce 10,000 kuku of rice.” In the Edo period, coastal salt production was done in this inland sea under the promotion of the Sendai domain. Since the Taisho period, cultivation of oysters and laver has been active in this area. Here. Ishinomaki is said to be the birthplace of oyster cultivation. So the high-quality breeding oyster of this nutritious sea is especially famous not only in Japan but also all over the world. The Mangokuura Sea is also a popular place for gathering of clams and fishing of flounder and rock trout. The Mangokuura Sea is the “Mother Sea” that produces fresh seafood.
Izumozaki Town in Niigata Prefecture was under direct Tokugawa supervision as “tenryo (Tokugawa Shogunate landholdings)” during the Edo period (1603-1868). It was a prosperous town as the landing port of gold that was mined from Sado Island as well as the traffic center of the Hokkoku Kaido Road that connected Edo and Sado Island.
Tenryo Festival held in October every year in Izumozaki is a gorgeous festival redolent of the prosperity of the town in the old times. A variety of events including the stall food court are held in the area of streets temporarily closed to vehicular traffic. The old houses in tsumairi-style (with an entrance in a gable end) typical to the Edo-period townscape in this area are preserved in a good state in this area.
The main event of the festival is a reenactment of a procession of “Junkenshi (representatives of the Shogun).” On the way of the procession, Junkenshi inspect the disembarkation of gold and silver that was brought from Sado Island and bringing the load into the storehouse and they set off for Edo via Hokkoku Kaido Road on the next day to bring it back to the Shogun.
In the midst of the virgin forest of Ezo spruce and Sakhalin fir lies Hime-numa Pond with an area of 4 ha and a circumference of about 1 km. Surrounded by a mysterious atmosphere, it is one of the representative sightseeing spots of Rishiri Island in the northern part of Hokkaido. From here Mt. Rishiri can be viewed in the right south direction. The reflected image of the mountain on the surface of water is magnificent.
Walking along the promenade around the pond, you can enjoy viewing alpine plants and listening to twittering birds. On the road along the coast near the pond stands Himenuma Observatory, which commands a wonderful view of Oshidomari Harbor and Cape Peshi. You can see Rebun Island beyond the sea on a fine day.
The Otaru Ushio Festival was inititated in 1967 (Showa 42) in the hope of preserving the history, culture and further development of Otaru, Hokkaido.
The festival is held aroud Otaru Bay for three days on the last weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun) of July. More than a million people from Hokkaido and from outside visit the festival at this time. Ushio chochin lanterns featuring wave patterns are displayed throughout Otaru and the city fills with excitement as the festival begins.
On the second day of the festival, 5,000 dancers from Hokkaido and outside Hokkaido participate in the Ushio-nerikomi parade. The dancers move in time with the rhythm of the Ushio-Ondo, and the parade stirs up more festival excitement.
Meanwhile, various events are held elsewhere in the city, such as the local Ushio taiko drums perfomance. The drums create a rich and enjoyable rhythm. The final day of the festival features a display of 2,500 fireworks set off into the beautiful night sky of the Otaru Bay, marking a spectacular culmination to the festival.
This festival shows a local appreciation of the sea and Otaru's hope for the city's continued development. The afterglow of festival excitement does not disappear for a long time