Lizard Rock clings to the steep cliff to the northwest of Mt. Washigamine (563 m) in the eastern part of Oki-Dogo Island in the offing of Shimane Prefecture. Clearly, the rock looks like a giant lizard climbing the precipice.
You can get a first view of the rock from the point on the Shizenkaiki-no-mori walking trail, 50 m away from the parking lot located at the end of Nakabayashi Forest Road. The best viewing point is the observation deck further 100 m ahead from there, where a bower and the description board are built.
Lizard Rock was formed by the erosion occurred onto the rock surface of different properties. As the result of such erosion, the lizard-shaped part, about 30 m in total length, remained on the cliff. It is a scientifically precious natural phenomenon.
It is said that one of the forepaws dropped off due to an earthquake some years ago. The lizard will continue changing its shape with the course of time from now on.
Manno-ike Pond in Manno-cho, Nakatadotsu-gun, Kagawa Prefecture is the largest irrigation pond in Japan. It has the maximum water storage volume of 1,540 tons. It has been called by its nickname “Manno Taro.”
It is said that the pond was constructed in the Daido era (701-704) by the lord of Sanuki province, Michimori Ason. It can be said that the history of Manno-ike Pond is that of its repair works.
In 818, it was destroyed by a flood for the first time and left abandoned until in 821, when Kobo Daishi was sent as the construction supervisor by the emperor of the time. It is well-known that Kobo Daishi repaired and expanded the pond in only 3 months.
However, the pond was repeatedly destroyed by floods in the later periods. In 1625, Nishijima Hachibei, an expert civil engineer and a retainer of the province lord, took up a repair work and completed it in 1631. Still in the later periods, the pond had been destroyed by flood or earthquakes several times and had been repaired by the efforts of many people. It was lastly repaired to the present form in 1942.
Ose Shrine is in Nishiura Enashi in Numazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture. As it enshrines Hikitajikara no Mikoto, it is formally named Hikitajikara no Mikoto Shrine. It is also called Ose Myojin Shrine.
The origin of the shrine is not identified, but, according to one story, the shrine was founded because, when an island called Biwashima emerged by the elevation of the sea bottom due to a big earthquake in 684, the local people believed that the god had pulled land from Tosa province (present-day Kochi Prefecture), where a lot of land sank into the sea by the same earthquake.
The enshrined deity, Hikitajikara no Mikoto, is known as the guardian god of the sea and has been worshipped by fishermen in Suruga Bay. A lot of Ema-plates depicting fishing activities in the old days and model fishing-ships made by ancient fishing people preserved at the shrine. These votive items are considered historically precious and prefecturally designated as a tangible folk cultural property.
Kami-ike Pond in the precinct is counted as one of the Seven Wonders in Izu because it is a fresh-water pond in spite of being located just by the sea.
Osezaki in Nishiura Enashi in Numazu City in Shizuoka Prefecture is a 1-kilometer cape protruding into Suruga Bay on the west side of Izu Peninsula. It is traditionally called Biwashima (Biwa Island) because, according to the story handed down in this area, it was originally an island formed by the elevation of the sea bottom due to a big earthquake that occurred in 684. The island was named Biwashima but it was connected to the main land by the sand bar formed in the later times.
Located in the innermost part of Suruga Bay, Osezaki has been a famous scenic spot to view Mt. Fuji across the ocean and has been visited by a lot of tourists all through the year.
With stabilized sea conditions, Osezaki is a treasure trove of nature, providing habitats for abundant variety of wildlife. It is famous as the northernmost wild boundary of Chinese bottle trees. Over 1,000-year-old wild Chinese bottle trees form a colony along the promenade on the open sea side of the cape. It is designated as a National Natural Monument. Osezaki is also an internationally well-known dive site.
Oarai Isozaki Shrine located in Oarai-machi, Ibaraki Pref. is said to have been founded in 856, when political turmoil and frequent earthquakes confused people, Okuninushi no Kami descended to this place to cease the turbulence and build a peaceful nation. During the Eiroku era (1558-1569) all the buildings were destroyed by a war fire. Later in 1690, the reconstruction works stared under the order of Tokugawa Mitsukuni, and during the rule of his son, Tsunaeda, all the structures including the Main Hall, Haiden Hall (oratory) and Shin-mon Gate were completed. The present halls and the gate have existed since this reconstruction, which are considered to be the precious cultural properties to represent the early Edo-styled architecture. Enshrined Okuninushi no Kami is worshipped as the deity of business success, family safety, traffic safety, evil avoidance and bringing happiness, attainment of desires, and the deity of sake brewing and healing illness.
Okushiri Island is Japan’s westernmost island and the second largest island in Hokkaido. The name “Okushiri” comes from an Ainu word “iku-shir,” which means “the island beyond.” The whole island is formed of the terraced granite hills, in which rivers flow down to create a lot of waterfalls. According to Tsushima Current, there is not very large temperature variation all through the year.
The island is blessed with bountiful nature including fine beaches and oddly-shaped rocks. Tourists can enjoy the beautiful sunset from anywhere on the island. As there used to be a sulfur mine on the island, a lot of hot springs gush out on the island. Mt. Kamui, the highest mountain on the island, is 584 m above sea level.
Okushiri Island is known as the treasure trove of sea resources. Many kinds of fish and shellfish including sea urchin, abalone and cuttlefish are caught in the ocean around the island.
Although the island was seriously damaged by the Hokkaido-Nanseioki Earthquake in 1993, it was completely reconstructed.
Shoshinji Temple in Urakawa Town on the south coast of Hokkaido is a temple of the Otani school of the Jodoshinshu sect. The principal object of worship is Amida Nyorai. It is the oldest temple in Urakawa Town and has been worshipped by local people since it was founded in the Meiji period.
It was originally founded in 1858 in Hakodate as the resident priests’ quarters of a larger temple. In 1878, the priest, Kodo Shimizu, asked the school headquarters for the relocation of the temple to Urakawa Village. As it was accepted, he built a temple building in Urakawa Village and moved the statue of Amida Nyorai to the new temple, which became a sub-branch temple of Honganji Temple.
After the temple building was damaged by Tokachioki Earthquake, the new building was constructed in the present place in 1959.
Koshoji Temple in Urakawa Town in southern Hokkaido is a temple of the Soto sect. The principal object of worship is Shakamuni Nyorai. It was founded in 1882 on the advice of the priest Kai Yuzen, who was on a missionary tour in this area.
In 1908, when a fire broke out and about 80% of the town was destroyed, Koshoji Temple acted as one of the town’s evacuation centers. The fire, starting from a carpenter’s workshop, expanded into the biggest fire that the town has ever experienced.
After the temple building was damaged by Tokachioki Earthquake in 1952, the repair work was given to the building. As the statue of the Saigoku 33rd Kannon, which had been placed in the grove in the precinct, was also damaged, it was relocated neat the main hall.
Visitors can enjoy the wonderful landscape of the historic garden with an old wisteria tree as well as Sargent cherry (Prunus sargentii) blossoms, which are in full bloom in May.