2018年08月16日

'Marimo' round green alga that live in Lake Akan in Hokkaido is designated as a special natural treasure of Japan.

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Marimo, a kind of freshwater alga, generally live on rocks or pebbles as a form of filament. Marimo in Lake Akan, however, forms beautiful spherical shape made up of many filaments. Round-shaped marimo also can be found in the several other lakes in Japan as well as some other lakes in the Northern Hemisphere though, Lake Akan's marimo is the largest with a diameter of 30 cm on average. As shown in the picture, the shape of them is very well proportioned, which is unlike any other in the world. This lake is worlds largest growing area of marimo. How the filamentous alga grow into spherical shape is uncertain, but the rough waves caused by strong winds seem to rock the marimo on the lakebed gently to transform them from filament to ball. Big marimo over 35 cm in diameter finally fall apart as it has a hollow in the middle. Then, the small pieces start to grow again into baby marimos.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:29 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年08月06日

'Shiretoko Peninsula', sticking out to south from the eastern tip of 'Hokkaido', is a narrow peninsula 70 kilometers long.

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The name of 'Shiretoko' derives from an 'Ainu' Hokkaido native term 'Shiretuku' meaning 'The place where mountains extend to the sea'. A range of mountains, the tallest peak is 'Rausudake' volcano 1,661 meters high, runs through like a spine. This peninsula, accordingly, scarcely has any flats on the coast. The average width is no more than 15 kilometers though, the high and sharp chain of mountains covering the entire area causes a big difference of the weather between the east coast and west. The difference of temperature, hour of sunshine, amount of snow and the like. The whole area of this peninsula is densely inhabited by brown bears and 'Yezo' deer. As shown in the pictures, a series of steep cliffs keep all people away, and the waterfalls, small and big, are found here and there.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 06:44 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年07月23日

'Kushiro Wetlands' in the east of 'Hokkaido', stretching along the 'Kushiro River', is Japan's largest wetlands.

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Kushiro Wetlands which was registered under the Ramsar Convention in 1980, the earliest in Japan, was designated as a national park in 1987 thereafter. The Kushiro River and its tributaries are largely meandering through this national park holding five major inland sea-lakes. Numberless 'Yachi-Manakos', which are small bottomless swamps formed in the small holes of the peat layers, are found here and there, so the visitors are urged to go on the boardwalks. This wetlands in a treasure-house of really large number of animals and plants, including rare ones. Thus, the nature conservation movement of this wetlands was initiated in 1935 to protect and breed Japanese red-crowned cranes flying in in winter. This sanctuary has been expanded to the area of 27,000 ha, where all the wildlife are strictly protected.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:53 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする