Showing posts with label global geopark. Show all posts
Showing posts with label global geopark. Show all posts

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Nishinoshima Seashore Snapshots


Nishinoshima is one of the three inhabited islands that make up Dozen, part of the Oki islands that lie in the Sea of Japan about 50 kilometers off the coast of Shimane in Western Japan.

With a population of around 3,000, spread over 22 square miles, the economy and culture of the island has always centred on the surrounding sea.

Formed by volcanic activity about 5 million years ago, the island's highest point, 452m high Mount Takuhi, is the central pyroclastic cone of the Dozen Caldera.

Since 1961 the islands have been part of the Daisen Oki National park, and since 2013 have been registered as a UNESCO Global Geopark.

While not having any fine, sandy beaches like Okinawa or even mainland Shimane, the waters around Nishinoshima are exceptionally clear and attractive for many marine activities like kayaking, diving, and snorkeling. The Oki Islands are one of my three favorite destinations in Japan.

The previous ost on Nishinoshima was on Matengai Cliff which also includes some dramatic seaviews.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Matengai Cliff


Rising 257 meters out of the Sea of Japan, Matengai Cliff is one of the highest sea cliffs in all of Japan, and are part of a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Located on Nishinoshima in the Oki Islands, part of Shimane prefecture, from on top of the cliff there are fantastic views of the surrounding islands but the best views are down onto the Kuniga Coast.

The Kuniga Coast is a scenic coastline of rock formations and sea caves and a footpath connects the area with the clifftop.

Usually grazing on the clifftop are horses, itself an unusual sight in Japan. The cliff can also be seen from the tour boats that view the coastline.

There is no public transport so you will need to use a car or motorbike or possibly a bicycle.

The previous post in this series on the Oki Islands was the Kuniga Coast.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Exploring the Kuniga Coast

The Kuniga Coast is one of the prime attractions of Nishinoshima Island in the Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan off the coast of Shimane.

The Oki Islands have been a part of the Daisen-Oki National Park since 1936, but their popularity as a tourist destination increased when they became a UNESCO Global Geopark.

This section of the coast has the nickname Tenjokai, the "heavenly world" and many of the rock formations have evocative names like Kannon Rock, Elephant Nose Rock, Frog Rock etc.

At the far end of the coast is a natural arch named Tsutenkyo, the "Bridge to Heaven".

Beyond Tsutenkyo Arch are the Matengai Cliffs, rising 257 meters out of the sea they are among the tallest cliffs in all of Japan.

It is possible to view the coastline from the sea aboard a tour boat.

Better though is on foot especially at low tide when you cannot wander over the rocks and among the tidepools.

A footpath runs 2.3 kilometers along the coast and all the way up to the high point on top of the cliffs.

The schedule for boats trips...  available from April through to October.

Another unique sight on Nishinoshima is a "squid" shrine. An unusual sight on many of the Oki Islands are free-grazing horses and cattle. The previous post looked at the Kuniga Coast from a distance.

The other islands that make up the Oki Islands also have some impressive coastlines and perhaps the most famous is what is known as Candle Rock off the coast of Dogo.

I am putting up new posts covering all parts of Western Japan on an almost daily basis so if you would like to be sure of not missing anything please subscribe by leaving your email address in the comments below. It will not be made public.

I will be posting much more from the Oki Islands in the future...

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Kuniga Coast


The Kuniga Coast is a picturesque piece of coastline on Nishinoshima Island in the Oki Island group in the Sea of Japan off of Shimane.

The Oki Islands were made a Unesco Global Geopark and are one of my favorite places to visit in Japan.

The Kuniga coast includes cliffs, rock spires and formations, and the Tsutenkyo Arch.

These shots were taken from a distance as we headed to the north coast of the island. later I will post more photos when we went back and explored the area on foot.

The previous post in this series on the Oki Islands was on the horses and cattle roaming free across the island.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Red Cliff Sekiheki

Red Cliff Sekiheki

Red Cliff Sekiheki.

Sekiheki is a large, colourful cliff almost 1k long on the south coast of Chiburi Island, Chiburijima.

Red Cliff Sekiheki.

Chiburijima is the southernmost, smallest, and least-popu lated of the 4 inhabited islands of the group of islands known as Oki off the coast of Shomane.

Japan image.

The Oki Islands are part of the Daisen-Oki National Park, and since 2013 have also been a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Jake Davies photo.

Geoparks tend to focus on the geology of a place and also tend to have a lot of signage and information boards explaining what you can see.

Jake Davies photo.

Sekiheki is a great spot to see the result of various volcanic activities 6 million years ago. The Oki islands themselves are a sunken caldera.

Jake Davies photo.

The sections of cliff that are red were formed from magma with a high concentration of iron-oxide.

Jake Davies photo.

The Oki Islands are one of my favorite three places in Japan and other posts from them can be found by clicking this link.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Historic streets of Kiragawa


Kiragawa is a small port on the west side of the Muroto Peninsula in Kochi on Shikoku. If you are following the Shikoku pilgrimage in the standard clockwise direction you reach Kiragawa after visiting Kongochoji Temple.

Kiragawa is one of the featured sites of the UNESCO Geopark of Cape Muroto, but before that it was registered as  a historic preservation district.

One of the notable features of the architecture is the lines of rooftiles embedded in the plaster walls to help shed water on this storm-lashed coastline.

The port gre to prominence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by exporting lumber and a particular type of charcoal called Tosa Binchotan. Still made today, it is made from a type of oak and has a metallic ring when struck. Its main feature is that it is odorless and so great for barbecuing.

There are about 120 of these preservation districts throughout Japan, and while some are very touristy and disneyfied, i find the less visited sites like Kiragawa more appealing. A longer guide to Kiragawa I wrote can be found here.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Hiyoriyama Seacoast

The Hiyoriyama Seacoast is a stretch of scenic coastline in Toyooka in northern Hyogo around the mouth of the Maruyama River.

It is part of the UNESCO Global Geopark of San'n Kaigan that stretches from Tottori to Kyoto.

There are numerous sites in the Toyooka area included in the Geopark including the town and coastal area of Takeno.

It's a fairly scenic and dramatic stretch of coast, though to my mind we have better further west.....

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Palace of the Dragon King

Nochigashima is a tiny, rocky islet just off the Hiyoriyama Coast in northern Hyogo. It is home to a collection of structures with a distinct Chinese style. They were built in the 1950's to memorialize an ancient local fairy tale/legend.

The story dates back to the earliest writings in Japan, the Manyoshu, Nihon Shoki, and the Fudoki. Like all such stories it exists in many forms and has been embellished over the centuries but its basic story contains elements familiar to many similar stories around the world.

Urashima Taro was a local fisherman who saved a turtle. He was rewarded by being taken down under the sea to the palace of the Dragon King and was entertained by one of his daughters, a beautiful princess. After a few days he decided to return home. Before keaving the princess gave hima jewelled box but told him never to open it.

Whenhe returned to the surface he discovered that in the few days he had spent in the undersea world  a hundred years had passed up on the surface. He opened the box and suddenly transformed into a very old man. Another version has him transforming into a crane. Both the turtle and crane are Daoist symbols of longevity very prevalent in Japanese culture and art.