Shodoshima Peacock Garden is a bird garden located near Ikeda Harbor on Shodoshima Island in Kagawa Prefecture. As many as about 1,000 peacocks stroll on the ground of the garden. Peacocks, or to say correctly “peafowl,” are the birds in the pheasant family, mainly inhabiting in China and the southeastern Asia. Peafowl are most notable for the male's extravagant display feathers, which are flared out to get the female’s attention.
We rarely see peafowl flying, but in this peacock garden, visitors used to enjoy the Peacock Flying Show, in which a unit of peafowl few away and back in time to the music. It was said that there was no place in the world that could rival in training such a large number of peafowl. However, the show has been discontinued since 2003.
You can also see flamingoes and many other rare birds collected from all over the world. There is also an aquarium offering a panoramic view of fish next to the bird garden. This is a suitable place for a family vacation.
Choshikei Gorge extends along the upstream of the Denpo River running through Shodoshima Island. Shodoshima Skyline (Prefectural Road 27) connects it with Kankakei Gorge, which is counted as one of Japan’s Three Fine Gorges. Shodoshima Island is famous for wild monkeys, and Choshikei Gorge is also a home to hundreds of monkeys. You could visit Choshikei Monkey Park at the foot of Mt. Sentakubo, where the mode of life of wild monkeys can be observed nearby. Some of them are friendly to human beings because of the food handouts.
Following the trail up the mountain, you will pass by Onote-hime Shrine, a tiny shrine, which enshrines Princess Onote, the founder of Shodoshima Island. At the top of the mountain is the observatory, where you can have a calm and peaceful moment, viewing the panoramic landscape of the Seto Inland Sea.
In fall, trees with crimson foliage beautifully add colors to the clear stream of the gorge.
Fireflies used to be seen everywhere in the country, but now we only have few opportunities to see this delightful insect due to the drastic changes in our environment. Fireflies, which fly around emitting pale light, are beetles of the family Lampyridae in the order Coleoptera. Although the larva may overwinter for two or three seasons before metamorphosing into adults, it lives for only ten days after reaching adulthood.
The activities to protect and preserve firefly habitats have been done in many areas in Kagawa Prefecture. The water ways dedicated to the protection of fireflies are constructed in some area. Therefore, you can see Genji-botaru (Luciola cruciata) and Heike-botaru (Luciola lateralis) in many places. Some of the famous firefly viewing places include Kandani Shrine in Sakaide City and the area around the Koto River in Takamatsu City. Some towns hold Firefly Festival in June.
The Tando River is a clear mountain stream in Morioka City, Iwate Pref. As the habitat of Ayu, Yamame and Iwana, the river is a treasure trove for anglers. Landscape changes from season to season, while the gentle stream consoles visitors all through the year. As there are so few people seen around, you may feel scared with its tranquility. Besides, there are several dangerous places along the promenade, you’d better not walk into the valley alone.
Lake Chimikeppu is located in Shibetsu-cho in the eastern part of Hokkaido. “Chimikeppu” in the Ainu means “a place where water gushes out of a cliff.” This is a dammed lake produced by the landslide due to the crustal change occurred about 10,000 years ago. As the lake has a complex coastline, which indented into the surrounding valleys, it looks like an artificial lake but actually it is not. It is known as a habitat of Himemasu (sockeye salmon) and Marimo (lake ball). Surrounded with the primary forest of Jezo Spruce and Sakhalin fir, the area around the lake is inhabited by a variety of wildlife including wild birds such as black woodpeckers, which is a natural protected species, and Ezo red foxes. You can walk along the 1.5 km promenade along the lake, enjoying magnificent view of the pristine natural beauty around the lake.
The Yoshinodaki Waterfall is located in Heda Shinden in Numazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, along the prefectural road connecting Heda and Shuzenji. It is a 6 meter tall and 2 meter wide waterfall. Not being visited by many tourists, this small waterfall is wrapped with a very quiet atmosphere.
As the walking trail is set out to the basin of the waterfall, you can get close to the waterfall. It gently flows down on the terraced rocky riverbed. Seen from the front, the view of the lower part of the waterfall is now blocked by a large fallen rock. However, its cold and clear water will relieve your fatigue of a long drive. The whole figure of the waterfall can be view from the hanging bridge on the way.
To the south of this waterfall is another waterfall, the Hakamadaki Waterfall, around which an auto camping site and the observatory deck are built. These clear streams flows into the clear flow of the Heda-Okawa River, where Amago and Japanese mitten crabs (Eriocheir japonicus) inhabit.
The Manose River is a Class B river flowing out in the western end of Kagoshima City and pouring into East China Sea via Kawanabe Town in Minamikyushu City and Kaseda and Kinpo Towns in Minamisatsuma City. It is 30 km in total length and is the longest river in Satsuma Peninsula.
The upstream area has several places of scenic interest such as the Kawazoe Waterfall and a group of riverbed pit holes. Kinpo Dam is built in the Hase River, a tributary of the Manose River. The area along the river has been known for traditional mechanical dolls operated by the power of water mill, which are called “Suisha-Karakuri.”
The estuary was displaced to the present place by a big flood in the Edo period (1603-1868). The area including the estuary and its adjacent beach, Fukiagehama Beach, which was formed by accumulation of sand brought by the river, is designated as one of 500 Important Wetlands in Japan. Fresh water and sea water flow together in this huge wetland and provide habitat for various species of coastal plants such as Hibiscus hamabo, tidal shore animals such as Uca lactea lactea and wild bird such as Black-faced Spoonbills.
As it was proved by a geological survey that Mt. Gionyama (1,307 m) located in the central part of Kyushu was formed about 430 million years ago, it is called the birthplace of Kyushu Island.
The name “Gion” derives from the oratory to worship the mountain built at the foot in the ancient times by a mountain practitioner, who trained himself at Gion Kannoin Temple, a temple housed in the precinct of Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto before Shinto and Buddhism were separated. People called the oratory Gion Shrine and the mountain Mt. Gion.
The mountain is one of the few places in Japan where a lot of fossils from the Silurian period of the Paleozoic Era. The fossils of marine life such as chain corals and trilobites have been excavated from the limestone layer near the summit. The mountain is also known as the treasure trove of alpine plants. The summit commands a wonderful view including Mt. Hayabinomine (Futagoyama) and Mt. Aso.