Capes on Okushiri Island had been considered holy places where people offered prayers to gods in the ancient times. Among such capes is Cape Miyatsu Benten. If you go northward on the east side of the island, you will see the cape with a shrine atop of it.
It is Bentengu Shrine, the history of which dates back to 1831, when local fishermen enshrined the statue of Benten at the watch house located here and prayed for a good catch. The shrine building was built in 1927 and since then Benten has been guarding the people of the nearby villages.
The cape commands a magnificent ocean view with the main land of Hokkaido seen in the distance. Surrounding sea is so cleat that you can see the bedrocks. The cape rises in mystic tranquility and only the lapping of the waves can be heard.
Ochiishi-misaki Wetland spreads on the plateau-shaped small cape protruding into the Pacific Ocean at the base of Nemuro Peninsula in the eastern part of Hokkaido. It is designated as the prefecture’s Natural Environment Preservation District. The wetland is known as the southernmost boundary of Lapland rosebay (Rhododendron parvifolium), which produces little flowers in June. Other rare plants such as skunk cabbage, Hakusanchidori (Orchis aristata) and hare’s tail cotton grass can be seen.
Walking through the wetland and the swamp forest of red pine trees along the wooden trail, you will get to a light house, which is located at the easternmost end of Japan. From there, you can command a panoramic view including unending stretch of the green carpet of the wetland, the dynamic coastline of continuing cliffs and the far-off horizon in the Pacific Ocean.
As a part of natural preservation district, there are no man-made structures, so you can enjoy natural landscapes that remain intact here.
Cape Sukai is one of the representative scenic spots of Rebun Island in the northernmost part of Hokkaido. You can get to the cape by sightseeing bus or by taking the 4 hour trekking route from Cape Sukoton via Cape Gorota.
The attraction of Cape Sukai is the beauty of the sheer cliffs and rugged coastline with many oddly-shaped stones and rocks as well as the plentiful alpine plants such as Ezo daylilies and Ezo gentians (Gentiana triflora var. japonica).
Looking down at the ocean below, you will be astounded by crystal clear water. The water is so clear that you will feel you can touch the bottom with your hand. It is one of the most beautiful parts of the sea of Rebun. The color of the sea changes to various colors such as light green and emerald green according to the depth of water and the course of sunlight. You will be so fascinated that you may not be able to turn your eyes away.
Cape Sukoton is located at the northernmost point of Rebun Island in Hokkaido. As it is the 2nd northernmost point in Japan, after Cape Soya, it is one of the popular sightseeing spots in the northern part of Hokkaido. From here, you can see the uninhabited Todo (northern sea lion) Island, where it is said that sea lions indeed come and land on this island in winter.
On a fine day, you can see the Sakhalin islands in the distance. You will feel refreshed to see white caps of waves glinting in the blue ocean. This is the best spot to see the sunset. Standing atop of this cape and viewing the rolling waves in the strong wind, you will feel that you have really come to the farthest land.
Hanasaki Lighthouse Kurumaishi (wheel stone) down the path from Hanasaki Lighthouse at the tip of Cape Hanasaki is one of a few of its kind in the world. This unique stone, 6 m in diameter, is a nationally designated Natural Monument. With radial joints in concentric circle, it really looks like a wheel as its name shows.
Besides this huge stone, there are some other wheel stones, 1 to 3 m in diameter, can be found in this area. The radial joints on a wheel stone were created when hot lava was cooled in the sea water in a short time. Amazingly, wheel stones were created as long as 6,000 years ago, when dinosaurs became extinct. Hanasaki Lighthouse Kurumaishi is the symbol of the cape that tells us the memory of mother earth.
The stone monument inscribed with the words meaning “This is the northernmost point of Honshu” stands on the extensive beach of Omazaki Cape at the tip of Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture. The streets of Hakodate City, about 18 meters away across the Tsugaru Straits, can be viewed on a fine day. The magnificent ocean view from Omazaki Cape will make you realize you are standing at the end of the farthest land. The sun setting in the land of Hokkaido is a superb view.
The town of Oma is famous all over the country as the base port of Ipponzuri (fishing one by one with one pole) of tuna. The monument of huge tuna is erected at the cape and it is a popular photogenic subject. The area around the cape is arranged into a park, which is alive with tourists during summer.
Cape Gorota is a rocky cape located in Funadomari-mura, Rebun-cho on the Northern part of Rebun Island in Hokkaido. In the Ainu language, it is called “Kamui Kotan (the place where the god lives),” which is usually given to dangerous places along rivers and coasts. The cape located at 176 m above sea level consists of the cliff protruding to the westward. You can command a panoramic view of Todo Island, Lake Kushu, Mt. Rebun and Mt. Rishiri (Rishiri-Fuji). The cape looks like a dinosaur lying along the coast. Walking down the promenade to the south, you will get to Gorota Beach and Teppu Beach farther away. Here at Cape Gorota you will encounter the beautiful sky, sea, flowers and winds and fully enjoy the natural beauty.
Jinmen (Human Face) Rock is on the coast of Senboshi in the western part of Rishiri Island. On the western side of the island are a lot of capes and uniquely-shaped rocks, among which the most famous are Sleeping Bear Rock and Jinmen (Human Face) Rock.
White shimenawa (braided rice straw rope) is bounded around the head of Human Face Rock, which makes this rock resemble a man’s side face with a headband.
There is a tragic legend about this rock. Legend has it that a young man came to this island by boat from Akkeshi to see his girl friend but the boat slammed into a rock at this cape and he was dead. The girl kept on calling his name at the top of the cliff every day until at last she became a rock.