Showing posts with label falls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label falls. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Urauchi River & Mariudo Falls


The Urauchi River is the longest river in Okinawa Prefecture, and it is found on Iriomote Island, the largest of the Yaeyama Islands.

As Okinawa consists of many small islands, its perhaps not surprising that the longest river is only just over 18km in length.

the river source is in the middle of the mostly uninhabited island at 311 meters elevation and reaches the sea at the NW of the island.

Boat trips go upriver about 10 kilometers and from where they stop a trail runs another kilometer or so to Mariudo Falls.

A three stage falls of just 16 meters, Mariudo Falls is not the tallest on Iriomote, but possibly the most visited. It is possible to hike further upstream to another waterfall, and several smaller falls are passed on the way to Mariudo.

Many sources use the word "jungle" to describe Iriomote, but while it is certainly different from mainland Japan, I would use "sub-tropical" forest.

What Iriomote does have is plenty of mangroves, trees that grow in the salty water of intertidal zones in tropical and sub-tropical environments.

The guide on the boat was very excited to point out this bird which, I believe, was a Crested Sea Eagle.

Its also possible to cruise the river in guided kayak tours.

The previous post on Okinawa was on Mount Nosokodake on neighboring Ishigaki Island.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Recent Manhole Art


Japan is quite famous for the variety of brightly colored and diverse designs of its manhole and drain covers. I used to regularly post on the hundreds of designs I have encountered in western Japan, but those posts have never been popular with my readers. However, on my recent post-pandemic excursions I have come across some new ones......this first one depicts Ganryuji Falls, a picturesque waterfall not far from me

Just got back from a trip to Hiroshima, and noticed a new design that commemorats the Saigoku Kaido, the Edo period highway that ran through Hiroshima on its way from Kyoto to Shimonoseki, and that is almost identical to the Sanindo, the ancient imperial highway.

Yoshinogari is a huge archeological site with reconstructed buildings near Saga. Touted as the home of the legendary Himiko, "queen of japan",  in all probability it wasn't.

Also in northern Kyushu is the city of Tagawa, and one of their designs feature the cities official flower, the azalea.

However, while historical and natural features and sites are common, increasingly manhole cover design is shifting to manga, anima, and computer game-derived designs, no doubt with "sponsorship" from said companies.

These two designs are from Saga and feature Zombie Land Saga, an anime about an "idol" group of schoolgirl zombies formed to promote and regenerate Saga. The designs feature zombie schoolgirls with Saga icons, the top one being a statue of Naomasa Nabeshima, Daimyo of Saga, and the lower one featuring the famous Saga International Balloon Festival

Another series of designs in Saga features characters from the computer game Romancing SaGa. As far as I can figure there is no connection with Saga itself, rather than the name.

Yura, a coastal village in Tottori , is the hometown of the author of the Detective Conan  originally a manga character but also now anime. Tottortori airport has been renamed Conan Airport, and some trains have been repainted inside and out featuring Conan characters

However, all over Japan are appearing manhole covers featuring pokemon. There are hundreds of them, each one unique. This one is in Kaike Onsen, a seaside hot spring resort in western Tottori. I must admit I know nothing about pokemon except it is very popular. I believe these manholes are a feature of the pokemon go smartphone game
A few other posts with colorful designs can be found here....

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Fall Colors... Sunset... & Illuminations at Sogi Falls

At Sogi Falls in the mountains of Kagoshima around Isa City the fall colors were in full swing. A big park is there and that was where I was planning to sleep out, but I did not forsee that the place was lit up at night so there werelots of security guards to protect the generators and lights and such.

As the sun went down I headed across the old bridge and found a suitable place to lay out my bag and then headed back to the park to take some more photos.....

There were very few people and with the illuminations of the waterfalls and the river gorge as well as the foliage it was unusual and a nice surprise

Sogi Falls is not so well known but certainly worth a visit if you are in the area

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Nachi Cliche

Ranking up there with a bullet train in front of Mount Fuji, a geisha in Gion, a tunnel of torii at Fushimi Inari, and sunset at the floating torii of Miyajima, the pagoda with Nachi Falls behind it is a full fledged Japan photo cliche.....

So here are a few of mine.....

Taken on the first day of my walk along the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, the first few days of which follow the Kumano Kodo....

Earlier that morning I had visited Fudarakusan Temple where monks would set of on suicide boat journeys,..... earlier today I was reading that monks used to jump off from the top of the falls as another way to quickly reach Kannons paradise...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

2014 Autumn Colors Walk Day 5 Miyano to Ogori


The promised rain arrived during the night and when I set off next morning it was a little showery, but luckily it soon stopped. My first stop was the Sesshu garden at Jyoei-ji. I am a big fan of Sesshus' gardens and I have visited this one before, though a long time ago. It did not disappoint. Maybe my appreciation of gardens has improved, but it seemed better than before. The line of maple along the outer edge on one side certainly helped.


The rain had stopped and I headed off to walk into Yamaguchi and visit some of the main shrines of this old town. I had to make a detour to get around a big army base. After the shrines I headed for a temple I hadn't been to before, Ryufuku-ji. Within a walled enclosure about one city block in size, this was the headquarters of the Ouchi Clan when they ruled much of this part of the country back in the Muromachi Period.


The main approach to the temple was a 100 meter long tunnel formed by overhanging maples, and at the main hall a huge gingko had left a carpet of yellow over everything. This temple was a delightful surprise. Next to it a reconstructed garden from the Muromachi Period.


From here I headed to the first pilgrimage temple of the day, Toshun-ji, which was a little disappointing. Right next door was Ruriko-ji with its famous pagoda, though in terms of fall colors it was also a bit disappointing.


My next stop was the pilgrimage temple Ryuzo-ji, a mountain temple up a narrow valley. First there was a couple of hours walking along Route 9 which now functions as a Yamguchi Bypass. Not much fun, but once I left the main road and headed up the valley it was much more pleasant. Ryuzo-ji was a stupendous surprise. It is home to what is claimed to be the tallest Gingko in Japan, and the steps up to the temple were covered in its golden leaves mixed with maple. There were many halls and statues around the temple, including a big Fudo Myoo, and best of all a tall waterfall framed in autumn colors.

This was the highlight of my walk so far, and my excitement energized me for the long walk back down the valley to the main road and the trek to my room in Ogori, now more commonly known for the Shinkansenstation there, Shin Yamaguchi.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fall Colors walk: Yaeyama Falls


Down below Yaeyama Shrine the valley leads up to Yaeyama Waterfall, a popular area even though it is remote. There is a big car park and plenty of picnic tables. To get to the waterfall is a 1.5k walk up the valley.


Everywhere I go this woman seems to be following me.....


There are numerous smaller falls along the way including this one in a narrow cleft in the rocks...


Lots of running water....


and some natural fall colors as opposed to the profusion of maple trhat had been planted at the lower end


The trail end at Yaeyama Falls.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

On top of the world


Just got back from a few days up on Hibayama, straddling the border between Shimane and Hiroshima. I started out at about 750 meters from Kumano Shrine, an ancient shrine considered the gateway to the tomb of Izanagi on top of Hibayama. From the main building, constructed in the early eighth Century, the trail heads up past the Iwasaka, the sacred rock that was the original shrine, past numerous smaller shrines surrounded by 1,000 year old cedars.


About halfway up the mountain i paused at Nachi no Taki, a picturesque waterfall. Another hour and I was on top of Mt Ryuuouzan, a tad over 1200 meters. I came upon a derelict campsite and decided to camp there for the night. I was not attacked by the Hibagon!!.... actually the Hibagon has never attacked anyone, and since 1982 there has been no sightings of it or its tracks. If you are interested in this Japanese equivalent of the Sasquatsch or Yeti, this site has the most complete information in English.


A few hours before the sun I was up and on my way and got to the top of Hibayama not long after the sun rose. The entrance to Izanamis tomb is flanked by 2 ancient yew trees. Izanami was the female of the creator-pair that created the Japanese Islands. The Kojiki places her tomb here on Hibayama. The Nihonshoki places it in Wakayama.


From the top of Eboshisan, the neighboring peak, the views down into Hiroshoima and Shimane were stunning......


The slopes of Hibayama are covered in forests of beech, and now leafless, it allowed the sun to penetrate and bath the mountain slopes in glorious golden morning light.....


Descending down towards the park headquarters with its campsites, ski-lift, and onsen, the tree farms of cedar begin, but remnants of the beech forest survive....


Down at the park center the fall colors are in full swing......


Continuing down for a few more hours I reach Yuki where I catch the train down through Okuizumo and home.....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ganryu-ji Falls


Back in December, before winter arrived, there was still some color around so I made one last trip hunting the Fall colors.......

We headed to Ganryu-ji Falls, a place I had only been to once before many years ago.


There are 4 falls in all, descending a total of 120 meters.

The falls are named after a temple that stood near the base, Ganryu-ji.


The temple is gone, though it was still here 8 years ago. The falls will also soon be gone. The valley is going to be flooded behind a new dam. The stated purpose is flood prevention, but the real reason is to get central government funds to pump into the local construction and concrete industry.


As it was there was very little color still around.

This last picture is from 8 years ago when the temple was still here....