Saganoseki Cape in Oita Prefecture features a magnificent scenic spot known as Seki-zaki. The southern side of this spot, Kurogazaki, was selected as one of Japan's top 100 beaches.
Adding to the special atmosphere of this beach are the Bishago Sisters Rocks, two rocks linked by a rope. They are a symbol of Kurogazaki as well as famous for a legend about 'ama' (women divers). It is said that when the Kanmu Emperor was traveling east, Izanaginomikoto lost his holy sword in the sea. Isago and Masago, two sisters who were divers, retrieved the sword from a gigantic octopus. The nest day, a thunderstorm broke the rock into two. Ever since, the two sisters have been enshrined in each rock.
Sunrise on New Year's day is a popular time to come to this place, and many neighbors come at this time.
Omatsuzaki is a beach that lies in North Komatsu, Shiga town, Shiga prefecture. It is a crescent shaped sand bar situated on the northern side of the Hira river mouth. It also bulges along the eastern side of Lake Biwa.
Omatsuzaki is chosen as one of the 8 scenic spots of Lake Biwa, and is known as 'Cool Breeze - Omatsuzaki White Beach'. The depth of the water suddenly changes, and the water – so clear it's as if one could catch a fish by hand – stretches far out. The view of white sand and green pines, spreading for 3km with the Hira mountain range as its backdrop, is just magnificent.
Omatsuzaki has been known as a scenic spot since olden times. In summer, it becomes the number-one leisure venue for Lake Biwa. At that time, it is crowded with people enjoying sports such as windsurfing and swimming. Omatsuzaki-no-hakutei is a scenic area that catches the heart of visitors.
Yogoko Lake is located in Yogo, Ika, in Shiga Prefecture. The total area of the lake is approximately 1.8km2. The deepest part of the lake is about 13m.
Yogoko Lake is associated with the history and cultural artifacts of the battle of Shizugatake, which took place here during the Warring States Period, as well as the Hagoromo legend. This legend tells of a celestial maiden who descended from the heavens and hung her robe on a willow that still exists today and is known as the 'koromokake-yanagi (robe-covered willow)'.
Yogoko Lake is designated as the Biwako Quasi-national Park and is also known as the 'mirror lake' because of the way its surface reflects the scenery and ambiance of the four seasons.
The shores of the lake feature various places for recreation, such as smelt-fishing, and outdoor spots like the Shizugatake hiking area and trails.
Yogoko Lake is actually managed and initiated as a dam to prevent flooding of the Yogo River and for irrigation purposes.
Kyoshu-ho Ridge, in Honyabakeimachi, Nakatsu, in Oita Prefecture, is the most famous scenic spot along the Yaba Ravine.
The ridge received its named in the 13th year of the Horeki era (1763), when Konnryu-osho of the Asakusa Temple in Edo visited the ravines. Because the distinct cliffs and ridges appeared to be competing against each other in 'excellence' and height, the whole mountain was named Kyoshu-ho, which translates as 'competing-excellence peak'.
Some 55 years later, Raisanyo would introduce the ridges to the whole country after completing the 'Yaba-kei-Zumaki' a scroll painting depicting the Yaba Ravine in sumi ink on paper. Soon after, the flow of literati and painters would never stop, including a famous writer known as Ozan Ono, who was so impressed by the ridges that he requested to be buried here when he died.
The distinctly formed ridges are covered with a fine brocade of trees, and are a kilometer wide, with numerous peaks starting from the Hida side with Ichinomine, Ninomine, Sannomine, Ebisuiwa, Kimeniwa, Daikokuiwa, Myokeniwa, Shingariiwato, Tsuriganeiwa, Jinnoiwa, Hachiojiwa, and so on. The Kyoshu-ho Ridge is a strangely fantastic scenic spot, not to be missed.
Tachihada is a beauty spot in Kusu, Oita Prefecture, and is also known as Sunset Pass. From the Prefectural Highway Mt Kusu that runs alongside it for about 1km, one can see the rocky hills.
Tachihada is a famous spot within Ura-Yaba Valley. In autumn, the area takes on a red color that makes it even more beautiful. The rocky mountains reach up and appear to touch the skies while the green vines add to the wonderful sight. This view harmonizes with the farmhouses that dot the foothills to make a pastoral landscape that seems straight out of a folk tale.
The area is rich in edible wild plants such as bracken, royal fern and 'udo'. At 'Interactive Teahouse', fresh vegetables and dumpling soup are served and many tourists enjoy the different tastes of the seasons. Persimmon trees and local dwellings further complement the landscape. It is indeed a friendly mountain village.
Tachihada is full of scenes that you will never tire of seeing.
Yufu River Valley is a beauty spot in Higashiyama and lies between Beppu and Hasama in Yufu, Oita Prefecture.
Prefectural Highway 601 runs for 12 kilometers from Beppu to Yufu through the valley, which is lined with 60m cliffs.
More than 40 waterfalls run down the rock in various places, and there are some 100 inlets, big and small, that produce a mysterious beauty, lending this area the nickname Eastern Tirol. Over time, the Yufu River has eroded a path through the Yufu Tsurumi Mountains to form this valley. The gently curving rockface is unique.
Each year, on the second Sunday of July, Yufu City and Hasama Town hold the Yufu River Valley Festival. The festival is held as a prayer for the people's safety and locals enjoy traditional dancing and music as well as a treasure hunt.
Yufu River Valley is a wonderful scenic area with extraordinary cliffs and waterfalls.
Okoge Hometown Village is located at the foot of the Chūgoku Mountains, by the side of the clear waters of the Awa River in Okayama Prefecture. The private houses and the thatched hut housing the water mill create a tranquil atmosphere recalling the old countryside of Japan.
The Okayama Prefecture Hometown Village System was conceived in 1974 to preserve the scenery of the countryside. Seven villages have been designated since then including Okoge Hometown Village.
In early summer, Okoge Hometown Village is a mass of green from the new leaves of the maple, checker and Kobushi Mongolia trees, while in autumn, visitors can admire the fall foliage around the village. In the Ochiai River that flows through the town, there is rainbow trout while fishing may be enjoyed at the Keiryu Fishing Place.
Shishi-Iwa is a lion-like rock, located inside the Yoshino-Kumano National Park near Kumano city in Mie Prefecture.
Shishi-Iwa is a mass of rock, 25m high and 210m round, and is also known as the Japanese Sphinx. It was formed by the upheaval and erosion of the surrounding rock and gets its name from the fact that it looks like a lion roaring at the Pacific Ocean. There seems to be no end to the tourists visiting for the beautiful scenery, which continues from Oniga Castle.
Shishi-Iwa is also highly regarded for its academic value. Along with the Shinsen cave, it is considered as one of the guardian dogs of Oma Shrine, which lies upstream of the nearby Idogawa River.
Shishi-Iwa is illuminated on New Year's Eve and is one of the events relating to the '108 fireworks of the watch-night', creating a fantastic atmosphere. Shishi-Iwa is a national scenic monument made by nature, and stimulates the viewer's imagination.