Showing posts with label landscape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label landscape. Show all posts

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Akiyoshidai: the biggest karst in Japan


Compared to some countries Japan does not have a great diversity of landscapes. The first place  I visited in Japan that struck me as unusual for Japan was Akiyoshidai in central Yamaguchi.


It is a karst, a limestone plateau, and is in fact the largest karst in Japan with an area of about 130 square kilometers.


Some 300 million years ago it was a large coral reef which rose above the sea and became limestone. Being soluble the limestone is easily eroded by water and has created the unusual  landscape of rolling hills with sinkholes and unusual protruding rocks. It also is home to hundreds of caves, including Akiyoshido, the largest in Japan.


Off in the distance the more usual Japanese landscape can be glimpsed.


The early Japanese eventually cut down the forest that stood over the plateau and replaced it with Susuki, Japanese Pampas Grass, which they used as fodder and thatch. To stop the forest from regrowing the plateau is burned every February.


There are numerous trails all over the plateau and it offers an unusual landscape in any season of the year.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sunset over the Yoshino River Valley


The first 10 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage are along the north side of the Yoshino River. Number 11, Fujiidera is at the base of the mountains to the south of the river. On the trail up the mountains to temple number 12 is the Hashiyama Rest Hut, a concrete roof over a concrete picnic table. Here i made camp for the night and settled in to enjoy the views. Down below is part of Kamojima.


Looking upstream to the West.


Far to the East, where the river reached the sea with Awaji Island in the distance.


Down below and a little east, Ishii Town,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Typical Japanese Landscape 31


Japan has about 30,000 kilometers of coastline.


Much of it is covered in concrete, but many sections remain quite beautiful, especially if you get away from the industrialized and urban sections.


All of these photos are from the eastern coast of Shikoku, from Minami Town in Tokushima down to Cape Muroto in Kochi.


Many henro complain about this section of the route as there is a long section of three days walking with little in the way of "civilization", but I thoroughly enjoyed that section


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Typical Japanese Landscape 30


Probably my favorite landscape views of Japan are from on high looking down on mist filled valleys.


All these shots are from dawn a couple of weeks ago up on Mt Hiba and Mt Eboshi, at around 1200 meters in the Chugoku Mountains stradding the border of Hiroshima and Shimane.


Someone wrote me and suggested I give more detailed info on the locations of my posts, so I have started to add google maps at the bottom of the posts. Is this helpful?


In actual fact, as is the case with much of life, the best Japan has to offer is not easily accessible.


View Larger Map

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Typical Japanese Landscape 29


Its been a while since I posted anything in this series so here are some views from near or on Mount Tairyuji in SE Shikoku.

The first shows typical land use..... flat areas along rivers will be settled and planted, while mountains tend to be left forested....


There are thousands of small islands and islets around the coast of Japan.... some inhabited, some not....


River valleys filled with mist.....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Typical Japanese Landscape 28


The industrial "heartland" of Japan extends primarily from North Kyushu along the Pacific Coast up to the Tokyo area. This is where most Japanese now live.


These shots are taken in Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and I have no idea what is produced or manufactured here.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Typical Japanese Landscape 27


At this time of the year, and others too, there is not a lot of color.


Grey greens, grey browns, grey blues, etc


One could think that one was in a 3D ink wash painting.....


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 26


Foothills of Katsuragi Mountain (Nara) at sunset.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 25

The display of Fall colors begins. Today in my village.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 24


The view from the top of Sangaisan (378m) looking SW towards Taimasan.


Looking SE, inland towards Kanagi.


NE along the coast towards Gotsu.


Looking down over the university and port at Hamada.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 24


With a total length of 29,761 Kms, the coastline of Japan is where a large proportion of the population lived historically. The idea, underpinning much Nihonjinron, that the Japanese were primarily rice-growers is, I think, an exaggeration and a fairly modern invention.

This small port is in Asahi Town, in the SW corner of Kochi Prefecture on Shikoku.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 23


This is a view looking up the valley of Ato Town in northern Yamaguchi, not far from Tsuwano.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 22


Most major Japanese cities, like many major cities around the world, are located on the estuaries where large rivers reach the coast. This is the Naka River runing through Fukuoka.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 21


This is in Tenjin, Fukuoka, but it could be any Japanese city.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 20

The last 2 weeks has seen a flurry of activity in the countryside as rice paddies are prepared and flooded and the rice plants transplanted. At night the chorus of thousands of frogs echoes up the valley.


These photos were taken in my village.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 19


Most Japanese have lived along the coasts or on the plains, but there have always been some who lived deep in the mountains. The above shot is near Yasaka in Iwami. Iwami has no plains, so more people have traditionally lived in the mountains, but the number is decreasing.


This shot is from central Shikoku.

The people I have met while walking in the mountains have always been a little friendlier than most Japanese. Maybe I'm projecting, but they also seem to be a little more independant.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 18


Though you will often see images of the Shinkansen hurtling past Mount Fuji, the Shinkansen mostly runs through the heavily populated corridor along the Pacific Coast between Tokyo and Fukuoka.

This was shot in downtown Hiroshima.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 17


Driving around the past couple of days, this has been a typical view. Fields of rape.

It used to be far more typical.

If you want to know about rapeseed in Japan, this article is excellent.

In fact at a cursory glance the website seems to have some excellent articles on the state of Japanese agriculture as well as information on traditional foods and methods.

Down in northern Hiroshima in Oasa Town they have planted all the unused land in rape. It is then sold at a competitive price to local households. The used oil is then collected and used to power the towns buses and taxis.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 16


A view over the rooftops in Hakata, Fukuoka; though it could be any Japanese city.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Typical Japanese Landscape 15

Mount Sanbe

With 10% of all the active volcanoes on the planet located in Japan, a volcano must be a typical Japanese landscape. This one is Mount Sanbe here in Iwami, and at 1126 metres is the highest point in Iwami, but a dwarf compared to Japans most famous volcano, Mt. Fuji.

The last eruption was about 1,400 years ago, but 3,500 years ago there was a major eruption that buried the forest under hundreds of feet of ash.

Actually Sanbe has 7 peaks, with a caldera about 1k across between them.

In the foreground is the Gonokawa River.