Arimine Lake is an artificial lake created by the construction of the Arimine Dam. The dam took five years to build. Efforts were taken to ensure that the natural surroundings were protected and the Arimine Forest Cultural Village was established. As a result, the area has remained unspoilt and has been designated as the Toyama Natural Park, National Rest Home and one of Japan's top 100 forests and water sources.
The fresh green and red leaves of the beech, oak and maple trees are wonderful. A sight of particular beauty is that of red leaves in autumn with the snow-covered Mt. Yakushi in the background. Wadagawa Valley, which lies between Komi and the dam, is so beautiful it will take your breath away. And it's not just the scenery that's so attractive, but the natural treasury of precious plants and wild birds.
The camping area at the shoreside is popular for people who like the outdoors.
Bifukawa-Matsuyama Moor is on Mt Matsuyama and overlooks the town of Bifuka (Nakagawa-gun, Hokkaido).
Bifuka-Matsuyama Moor is located 797m above sea level and is also known as the highest moor in northern Japan. The moor is approximately 25ha in area and includes three ponds of varying sizes, into which kokanee salmon are periodically released.
The moor was designated as a Natural Environment Conservation Area of Hokkaido in 1976 (Showa 51), because of its many small alpine trees dwarfed by wind and snow. Trees unique to the mountain include aka-ezo pine (Picea glehnii) and Siberian dwarf pine, which are considered to be of academic importance.
The moor features a 1km-hiking route that runs through real wilderness. Here can be found highland plants flowering in various seasons, including the tachigi-boushis (Hosta rectifolia) and horomuirindous (Gentiana triflora var. japonica subvar. horomuiensis). The hiking route brings visitors to the great outdoors, where they can see dwarf trees such as the ezo pine and Siberian dwarf pines sitting between the blue sky and the green landscape. Indeed, such views could only be created by nature.
Oze Marsh spreads across the 3 prefectures of Fukushima, Niigata and Gunma in central Japan, and is a high marsh and part of Nikko National Park.
Entry to Oze is strictly limited, making the marsh a symbol of the natural and environmental conservation movement in the country. Oze has been designated a National Park Special Protection Area and is under strict protection by the government.
Additionally, Oze has been designated a Special Natural Monument under the Cultural Treasure Conservation Law, and changes to the current environmental conditions are strictly prohibited. The double and triple protectional laws put on Oze describes the utmost importance of the natural environment there.
Lava from the eruption of Mt Hiuchigadake more than 10,000 years ago dammed up the Tadami River and formed Oze. Because it is a basin completely surrounded by mountains, a greatly diversified ecosystem exists here.
Ozegahara at 1400m is the largest high marsh in the country. Many distinct species of plants have formed here because the marsh's only source of water is rainwater.
Kuragari Valley is in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, and has a forest. There are facilities here, such as a campground. The valley is located 26km east of Okazaki near the Hongusan Prefectural Nature Reserve.
The valley lies between 250m and 600m above sea level. Flowing through the valley is Otokogawa River. In the forest are both evergreen and broad-leaf trees, with streams of many sizes flowing among them.
People enjoy the forest as a place for recreation and relaxation. In spring, birds sing, while summer days are filled with the croaking of 'kajika' frogs. Nature continually delights visitors and refreshes them. From the highest point the Southern Alps can be seen ranging across the horizon.
Baikamo fungus grows in the Jizo River which flows through Samegai, in Maibara district, Shiga Prefecture. The Jizo River is famous for its legendary crystal-clear water, called 'izame no kiyomizu', and for the plant Gasterosteus microcephalus, which only thrives in fresh water.
Moreover, baikamo, which belongs to the Ranunculaceae group, grows only in clean water, too. It is called baikamo because it produces an 'ume'-plum-like flower from July to August. The flower is about 1.5cm in size. By the end of summer, the red and white color palette of baikamo, combined with splashes of color from the Lagerstroemia planted along the river, make for a gracious ambience.
Baikamo is a rare plant that grows only in particular areas, and its presence symbolizes the purity of the water.
In the northeastern part of the Kibi Plateau, at the top end of Koigakubo Pond and at 550m above sea level, is a hidden spot where Japanese nature remains intact: this is Koigakubo Marsh.
Koigakubo Marsh is designated as a National Natural Treasure. The precious hygrophytes (plants that grow in moist habitats) that naturally grow here show that Japan was once linked to the landmass of continental Asia. Among the 380 types of hygrophytes growing here are Ogura-Sennou, Mikoshi-Giku, Bitchu-Fuuro, Ryu-Kinka.
The marsh is 3.6ha in area and a walking trail around it is 2.4km long. Some 20,000 people visit every year and are fascinated by the mysteriousness of the plant community here. Recently, there has been concern that these precious plants are endangered. The city of Niimi is now cooperating with the Agency for Cultural Affairs to research, protect and manage the marsh and its flora.
Ashitsuki Park is located in Takaoka City, Toyama prefecture. It was selected as one of the 100 Homes for Life by the Natural Protection Division of the Environment Agency. This selection is aimed at the protection and recovery of small familiar animals and their living environment.
The protected living things in Ashitsuki Park are the Genji-firefly and the Heike-firefly. Since Showa 46, Nakata Elementary School and the Nakata District Protection Association have carried out protection activities, which have been highly valued.
In olden times, the firefly was loved as a feature of early summer, but as the water quality of the streams that the firefly larvae live in gets dirtier and the waterside environment changes, so the situation gets worse and it becomes more difficult to see fireflies. In this park, however, you can see the fireflies' bright lights in June, which let us know that summer is coming.
Oosugidani valley is located in Oodai-cho, Taki, Mie Prefecture. It lies in the upper reaches of the Miyagawa River, inside Yoshino-Kumano National Park. Being one of Japan's regions most famous for heavy-rainfall, the valley has a wide variety of changing scenery with large boulders and lush mountain river torrents. A hidden scenic spot of the Kansai region, it is even dubbed one of Japan's three best valleys, along with Kurobe Valley and Kiyotsu Valley.
Oosugidani's fame is mostly for its untouched forests, many waterfalls and large boulders. Hiking is the only way to reach the valley, and since the path has many intensive ups and downs and goes along steep cliffs, trekking with an experienced hiker and possessing the necessary equipment is a must. Unfortunately, every year a small number of hikers fall to their deaths.
The path leading 3 kilometers out from the 3rd power station to the Chihiro Waterfall is fairly safe, but it still should not be taken lightly. Oosugidani stands side-by-side with death, and is one of modern Japan's rare, untrodden scenic regions.