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Nature Spots in Japan

  • Enoshima
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    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Fujisawashi Enoshima
    Enoshima is a tied island connected to the mainland via a sandbar. Known for its picturesque scenery since ancient times, the island is also home to Enoshima-jinja Shrine and numerous other historic Shinto shrines. Sightseeing spots have continued to accrue on the island over time, including the Samuel Cocking Garden as well as a stone monument dedicated to the 1964 Olympics. The Enoshima Sea Candle lighthouse, which is lit up beautifully at night, is a more recent addition. In times past and today, Enoshima remains a popular tourist destination visited by countless travelers.

    Enoshima Island is a delightful place to visit. On the way across you will be greeted by a large number of hawks or eagles or kites, which circle and swoop over you. This is a rare sight - up close...

  • Tottori Sand Dunes
    Travel / Tourism
    Tottori Pref. Tottorishi Fukubechouyuyama
    Tottori Sand Dunes run along the Sea of Japan coast in Tottori City. They are the largest dunes in Japan and extend 16 kilometers from east to west and 2.4 kilometers from north to south. The landscape formed by the granite sand which is carried from the Chugoku Mountains due to the swift current of the Sendai River and the sea breeze from the Sea of Japan is beautiful. From the viewpoint of these dunes having characteristic topography, there are places with large depressions which are called “suri-bachi” because their shapes resemble that of an earthenware mortar, and it is said that large ones can be as much as 40 meters deep. It is also fun to ride a sightseeing camel through the sand dunes or glide over the sand on a sand board. The sand dunes were designated as a Natural Monument of Japan in 1955, and were selected as one of Japan’s top 100 geological features in 2007.
  • Lake Yamanaka
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamanakako village Minamitsuru gun Yamanashi prefecture
    Located to the northeast of Mt. Fuji at an approximate altitude of 980 meters, Lake Yamanaka is the largest of the Fuji Five Lakes in terms of surface area. With very comfortable temperatures of around 20 degrees in the summer the place is known as a summer resort alongside Karuizawa and Hakone. There are a range of tourist facilities such as guest houses, sports facilities, fishing spots, literature museums, and art galleries, etc.
  • Awaji Island
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Prefecture Awaji City, Kushimoto City, Minamiawaji City
    An island located on the eastern side of the Seto Inland Sea. The island is famous for the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world, and for the Naruto whirlpools, said to be the biggest whirlpools in the world. There's also a hot spring district with numerous bathhouses and inns where visitors can stay or enjoy a day trip at the baths. The island is known as Miketsu-kuni (a food treasure trove) known for having supplied numerous tasty foodstuffs and dishes to the Imperial court since ancient times. The island's Awaji beef, the progenitor breed of famous Matsusaka beef, strikes an exquisite balance between rich fat and meat. Japanese spiny lobster, an exquisite delicacy, is in season on the island from summer through fall.
  • Amanohashidate
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Miyadushi Monju
    Located in Miyazu Bay on the Sea of Japan on the north side of Kyoto, Amanohashidate is considered one of the three most beautiful views in Japan together with the islands of Matsushima and Itsukushima. A 3.6 kilometer long sandbar 20 to 170 meters wide separating Miyazu Bay from the inland Sea named Asokai north to south, Amanohashidate is covered with some 8,000 pine trees. Due to its seeming appearance as a bridge to the heavens, it came to be called Amanohashidate (“Bridge to Heaven.”). Many people come to see the uncanny shape of this popular sight, which was formed naturally over thousands of years.
  • Lake Okutama
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokyo Nishitamagunokutamamachi Hara
    Lake Okutama is an important source of water for Tokyo, providing around 20% of the water used by Tokyo’s inhabitants. The Lake is a man-made reservoir straddling the boundary between Okutama Town, Nishitama District, Tokyo, and Tabayama Village, Kitatsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture; its official name is Ogochi Reservoir. Lake Okutama is surrounded by mountains, and has beautiful scenery in all seasons: cherry blossom in spring, verdant greenery in summer, autumn leaves in fall, and spectacular snowscapes in winter. There are two pedestrian pontoon bridges, colloquially known as “steel drum bridges,” which are one of the most famous tourist sights in the Okutama area. Originally, actual steel drums were used for the bridge construction, but these have since been replaced with plastic pontoons.
  • Mt. Tsukuba
    Travel / Tourism
    Ibaraki Pref. Tsukubashi Tsukuba
    An 877 meter tall mountain located in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture which has two peaks—Nantai-san and Nyotai-san (“men's body” and “female body,” respectively). Due to the color the mountain takes on in the morning and at dusk, it is also known as “Violet Peak,” and has been popularly worshipped as a sacred mountain since ancient times. Over 1,000 varieties of plants grow on the mountain, and visitors can enjoy the sight of various plant lives here throughout the year. A cable car and ropeway provide convenient access to the top of the mountain, making it easy even for children and senior citizens to enjoy the beautiful view. On Saturday, Sunday, and holiday evenings from October to the end of February (excluding during bad weather, the New Year's holidays, and safety inspections), visitors can ride the ropeway as part of a special “Stardust Cruising” event and take in the beautiful nightscape of the surrounding area.
  • Fukuroda Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Ibaraki Pref. Kujigundaigomachi Fukuroda 3-19
    One of Japan’s Top Three Waterfalls, the Fukuroda Falls in Kuji County, Ibaraki Prefecture, are 73 meters wide with a 120-meter drop over the tributaries and rapids of Kuji River. Also called “Shido-no-taki” because the falls break over four levels of rocks or because Saigyo Hoshi suggested visiting in each of the four seasons. Its icy visage in winter and the leaves of fall make for particularly inspiring views. The old lookout deck and the new one built in 2008 offer you different views to enjoy.
  • Mt. Daikanbo
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Asoshi Yamada
    A 936 meter high mountain located on the highest peak of the outer rim of the north crater of Mt. Aso. In ancient times, it was called Tomigahana (the nose looking into the distance), but the great author Tokutomi Soho dubbed it Daikanbo (great overviewing mountain) after being moved by the magnificent view. The mountain offers a sweeping view of the five peaks of Mt. Aso, the Kuju Mountain Range, and the Aso Caldera. The controlled burns conducted in spring are held on an impressive scale.
  • Oshino Hakkai Springs
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamanashi Pref. Minamitsurugunoshinomura Shibokusa
    Oshino Hakkai Springs is a collection of eight spring water ponds created from water from Mt. Fuji. The springs are revered as a place of pilgrimage for many people. The place was also registered as a World Heritage site as an integral part of Mt. Fuji due to being an historical sacred place of Sengen Shrine, and an historical place for people on the road to Mt. Fuji to perform a purification ceremony, as well as because of its mysterious beauty.
  • Tojinbo
    Travel / Tourism
    Fukui Pref. Sakaishi Mikunichouantou
    Tojinbo, the beauty spot is a stretch of steep cliffs with a rock face which has been eroded by the waves. The rock cliffs which have a height of about 25 meters continue along the Mikuni coastline for about one kilometer. “Columnar jointing of pyroxene andesite” of this scale can only be seen in three places around the world, and in 1935, it was designated as a Natural Monument and a Place of Scenic Beauty of Japan. You can enjoy a powerful landscape from the pleasure boats which go around the strangely shaped rocks such as the “Beehive rock” and the “Lion rock”.
  • Takachiho Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Miyazaki Pref. Nishiusukiguntakachihochou Mitai Please Shioi
    This gorge owes its roots to pyroclastic flow that was discharged from the Aso caldera due to volcanic activity and flowed down along the Gokasegawa River. These pyroclastic deposits rapidly cooled and formed cliffs of columnar joints, which then experienced years of erosion from the Gokasegawa River, resulting in a V-shaped gorge. The approximately 100-meter high cliffs extend for seven kilometers, and the sunlight that filters through the tall cliffs and various trees above pours down into the clear streams of the river to create a mysterious atmosphere. One of the sights in the area is Manai Falls, a magnificent waterfall with a 17-meter cascade of water which has been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls. Visitors can rent a rowboat and look up at the beautiful gradation of light.
  • Lake Ashi
    Travel / Tourism
    Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture Hakone-machi
    This is a dammed lake of Mt. Hakone, and the largest lake in Kanagawa Prefecture, which has a view of Mt. Fuji. It is a mysteriously beautiful lake which has blue water to the extent that Ryotaro Shiba extolled it by writing “The colour of the clothing of the God that created Hakone”. Again, it is also famous as a fishing spot where you can enjoy rainbow trout and bass fishing such as black bass fishing and Japanese pond smelt fishing.
  • Lake Suwa
    Travel / Tourism
    Suwa City, Nagano Prefecture
    Lake Suwa, the largest lake in Shinshu, has a circumference of about 16 kilometers. Here you can enjoy lengthy walks and jogging as well as pleasure cruises and boat trips on the lake. From autumn through to winter keen anglers can fish for wakasagi (a variety of smelt). The Lake Suwa Fireworks Festival, one of Japan’s largest firework displays, is held at the lake in summer with an incredible 40,000 fireworks lighting up the night sky. The huge fireworks display unsurprisingly attracts huge numbers of people each year.
  • Jogashima Island
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Miurashi Misakimachi Jougashima
    Jogashima Island is located at the southern tip of the Miura Peninsula. It's the largest natural island in Kanagawa Prefecture. A habitat for Japanese cormorants, pelagic cormorants, and eastern reef herons, it's been designated a prefectural Natural Monument. Jogashima Prefectural Park occupies the eastern half of the island and is known for its daffodils. Many people visit in January when the island holds its Daffodil Festival. Yae daffodils are at their peak during this time, and there are also performances of kaibo jinya drumming and soran-bushi. They sell special items like jinyajiru soup too.
  • Lake Hamana
    Travel / Tourism
    Shizuoka Prefecture Hamamatsu City
    This lake sitting between the cities of Hamamatsu and Kosai in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan's longest brackish lake, is famous for its eel farming industry. The lake's many tourist attractions, which include pleasure boat cruises and nearby Hamamatsu Castle, make it a popular destination for sightseers.
  • Lake Kawaguchi
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamanashi Prefecture Minamitsuru-gun Fuji Kawaguchiko Town
    Lake Kawaguchi is located at the lowest elevation of the Fuji Five Lakes. It also has the longest shoreline, about 20 kilometers, of any of the lakes and affords spectacular views of the magnificent Mt. Fuji. The area is a popular resort attracting many visitors with so many things to do such as the Music Forest Museum, pleasure cruises, campsites and hotels. The lake is registered as a World Heritage site as part of the Fujisan cultural site, ‘Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration’.
  • Miho no Matsubara Pine Grove
    Travel / Tourism
    Shizuoka Pref. Shizuokashi Shimizu-ku Miho
    "Miho no Matsubara is a scenic area located on the Miho Peninsula in Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka City. It is famous for a roughly 7km long stretch of beach that is lined with around 30,000 pine trees, and because of its association with the famous Legend of Hagoromono (""Feathered Robe""); there is one particular pine tree, called the ""Hagoromo no Pine Tree,"" on which, according to the legend, a celestial being who had been flying over the beach hung her feathered garment so that she could bathe in the sea. Miho no Matsubara's beautiful scenery has made it the subject matter of countless paintings and poems over the centuries, including Utagawa Hiroshige's ""Famous Views of the Sixty Noted Provinces"" and ""Pine Groves of Miho in Suruga Province."" In 2013, the Miho no Matsubara pine groves were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the ""Fujisan, Sacred Place and Source of Artistic Inspiration"" World Heritage site."
  • Nachi Waterfall (Hiro Jinja Shrine)
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunnachikatsurachou Nachisan
    This betsugu (associated shrine) of Kumano Nachi Taisha honors the deity of the Nachi-no-Taki waterfall. Boasting Japan’s largest uninterrupted drop of 133 meters, the waterfall is 13 meters wide and has a plunge basin with a depth of 10 meters. It is lit up a night during New Year’s Eve and is one of Japan’s top three waterfalls. Close to the waterfall is a viewing area where visitors can drink water from the plunge basin which is said to be water for longevity.
  • Cape Shionomisaki
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunkushimotochou Shionomisaki
    At latitude 33° 25′ 59″ North and longitude 135° 45′ 45″ East, this cape is on the southern most tip of Honshu island. The vast expanse of the sea making an arc at the horizon is a site to see, especially at sunset when the whole sky is painted in coral colors. From the nearby observatory, Mt. Nachi can be seen.

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