Japanese Language Blog

Geographic Wonders in Japan Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Japan is one of the most geographically and ecologically diverse nations in the world. Some of these environmentally unique locations will totally stun you and open your eyes to a country that has a whole range of sights to see.

One of these captivating places is the Naruto no Uzushio (鳴門の渦潮) or Whirlpools of the Naruto Strait.  These swirling whirlpools form in the Naruto Kaikyō (鳴門海峡) or Naruto Strait. The Naruto Strait is a water channel between Awaji Island (淡路島) and Tokushima Prefecture (徳島県). The Whirlpools are a natural phenomenon caused by the narrowness of the strait and the rapid speed of the tidewater rushing through the channel.


Sand dunes are not just in Egypt. They exist in Japan as well and are called the Tottori Sakyū (鳥取砂丘) or the Tottori Sand Dunes. These Sand Dunes can be found in Tottori Prefecture (鳥取県) in the city of Tottori (鳥取市). The Dunes are more than a ten thousand years old! They are caused from the sediments of the Chūgoku Mountains (中国山地) that are then deposited into various oceans and seas. The wind and sea currents bring sand from the bottom of the seashore where they settle into sand dunes.

Tōjinbō (東尋坊) is the name for a series of rock cliffs that were formed about fifteen million years ago. The cliffs stretch around a kilometer long. People go to the Tōjinbō to take pictures of the eerie rock cliffs but sometimes people go there to commit suicide by jumping off the rocks. The locals claim that the name Tōjinbō comes from the name of a monk that was pushed off the cliffs. Some people believe that the spirit of Tōjinbō is still roaming around the area.

Takachihokyo (高千穂峡) known in English as Takachiho Gorge; is located in the town of Takachiho (高千穂町) in Miyazaki Prefecture (宮崎県). Tourists go to Takachiho Gorge to see the narrow water passage between the Gorge and the Manai Waterfall (真名井). If you look at the picture on the left you can see the waterfall towards the back. The Gokase River (五ヶ瀬川) is responsible for eroding the Takachiho Gorge into the v-shaped gorge that it is today.

The Akanko no Marimo (阿寒湖のマリモ) or Marimo of Lake Akan is located in the city of Kushiro (釧路市) in Hokkaidō (北海道). The word ‘Marimo’ literally means ‘ball seaweed’. It occurs when algae grows into a densely packed green ball. The bottom of Lake Akan is especially rife with these Marimo. They are beautiful to watch because they look like velvety balls floating in the water. The marimo in Lake Akan can grow relatively large, up to twenty to thirty centimeters.


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