2019年03月21日

Being found in the central Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido, the 'Oshin-Koshin Falls' is one of the 100 best falls in Japan.

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Oshin-Koshin means ' The lower part of a river where Yezo spruces grow in profusion' in Ainu, Hokkaido natives. This waterfall is the greatest one, with a 40 meter drop, among many in the Shiretoko Peninsula. Two small falls are combined into one big fall as shown in the picture, so this is called 'Sobi-no-taki', the fall featuring two beauties. If you climb the stairs to the observatory on the top of the falls, the stunning view of the Sea of Okhotsk can be commanded and this sea is occasionally covered with white drift ice in early spring. As this falls is conveniently located right beside Route 344, and a public toilet as well as a souvenir shop stand next to the big roadside parking lot, all the sightseers are easily drop by this beautiful scenery.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:01 | 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20日

'Ainu' are the indigenous people who used to live throughout Japan Before Christ.

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Ainu are hunting people and highly depend on salmon fishery. So, they permanently resided near rivers, lakes and seaside together with 5-7 families, these small villages are called 'kotan' in Ainu. The people from China and Korean Peninsula coming to Japan in 2,500 B.C. brought rice cultivation and established central government based on the emperor system in the 5th century. This new power drove Ainu to north and south after the 8-9th century. The pure Ainu people have disappeared now, and just 23,000-24,000 Ainu-related people with Japanese names are found mainly in Hokkaido. Their cultural aspects and appearance are similar to Okinawan, the people in Okinawa Islands, which implies these two kinds of people are originally the same. The Japanese natives driven to north likely became Ainu, and to south Okinawan. The picture shows the largest Ainu kotan village on Lake Akan, which was intentionally formed by putting many kotans near Lake Akan together in 1954. This big kotan is made up of 36 families. The villagers are running souvenir shops, Ainu cuisine restaurants and the like.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:16 | 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16日

'Marimo' round green alga that lives 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 lives on rocks or pebbles as a form of filament. Marimo in Lake Akan, however, forms a 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 world's 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 is hollow. 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