Dogashima is a scenic spot in the western Isu Peninsula. Facing Suruga Bay, its beautiful coastline is compared to Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture, one of Japan’s Three Finest Views, and it is called “Matsushima in Izu.” Visitors can fully enjoy its dramatic stone formations created by forces of nature.
The highlight of the sightseeing in Dogashima is Tensodo (Skylight Cave) on Kameshima Island in the close offing of the boat pier. The erosion of waves made a tunnel in the rock. The ceiling of the tunnel is open, and it is just like a skylight. The cave is nationally designated as a Natural Monument.
The three islands (Zojima, Nakanoshima and Takashima) in the offing of the coast are generically called “Sanshiro Island.” At low tide, a 30 meter wide natural stone bridge emerges and connects the islands with the mainland shore so that people can walk to the islands. This stone bar is called a “tombolo” and is prefecturally designated as a Natural Monument.
On the hill near the coast is Orchid Resort Dogashima with an area of 9 hectare. Visitors can enjoy various species of orchids of the season both in the greenhouses and in the open air garden.
Cape Shirepa is located at the eastern end of the coastline extending in the further east direction from the town of Kushiro, which is the easternmost town in Hokkaido. The name Shirepa derives from the Ainu word “shir-pa,” meaning “the place where the head of the land projects.”
Its attraction is sheer cliffs eroded by rough waves of the Pacific Ocean. If you see this cape from the sea, you may imagine that desolated land spreads on the cliff. On the contrary, there is a different world on this flat plateau. In the early summer, alpine flowers such as Yukiwarikozakura (Primula modesta var. fauriei) and Hakusanchidori (Orchis aristata) are in full bloom. The view of Daikoku Island, which is a paradise for seafowl, and Akkeshi Bay is superb.
If you have time, why don’t you look down at “the Sail Rock” under the cliff? You may be able to see harbor seals sunbathing around the rock.
Rebunge Coast is an about 20 km-long scenic coast extending from Toyoura Town to the direction of Oshamanbe Town in Hokkaido. Several dozen meter high cliffs stretch along the coastline and the sea is dotted with uniquely shaped rocks and stones. “Rebunge” derives from an Ainu word “repun-ke-p,” meaning “a collapsed cape.”
The view of Mt. Usu and its surrounding area seen from the beach in adjacent Literature Monument Park is most splendid. Camping sites are open from the middle of July to the end of August. Swimming is not allowed but the sea is abundant in marine resources, which attract many anglers.
Kamiwari Point in Shizugawa-cho, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture is one of the most famous scenic spots along the southern part of the Sanriku Kaigan coastline. There is a huge black sandstone rock that was eroded by the ocean and split in two. The wild waves rushing through the slap between the two rocks look tremendously dynamic.
This scenic site is associated with a legend called Kamiwari, which means “broken by the god.” Legend has it that, once upon a time, a huge whale was washed ashore on the beach. The villagers of both Tokura Village and Jusanhama Village, who had been in conflict with each other over the village border, claimed the possession of the whale. Not being able to arrive at a conclusion, they decided to carry over the discussion to the next morning and went home. At night, however, ear-shuttering sounds were heard from the cape. When the surprised villagers rushed to the cape, they found a huge rock split in two there. People accepted this mysterious incident as the god’s judgment and stopped the conflict since then.
Waking through the pine grove and enjoying a fine view of this beautiful coast, you can’t help feeling that it is not altogether a fanciful tale.
360-21 旧有壁宿本陣 Kyu-arikabesyuku-honjin
Hakusan Domon Rock Cave located in a little westward from the tip of Ashizuri Cape is a typical rock cave created by sea water erosion. This 16-meter high and 17-meter wide rock cave is one of the largest granite stone caves in Japan. The base of the rock is being eroded by the raging waves of the Pacific Ocean.
As the promenade leads you very close to the cave, it is suitable for geological study as well as sightseeing. On top of the Rock cave is a tiny shrine, where the deity of Hakusan Shrine is enshrined as the guardian god. Listening to the sound of the waves washing the shore of the Pacific Ocean, you will experience the crossing moment when the time flowing over the mother earth and the time spent by us, human beings cross each other.
The Sosogi Coast is designated as a National Place of Scenic and Natural Treasure. The top end of the coast is marked by 357m-high Mt Sakura, the western edge by the mouth of the Machino River and the eastern edge, with Tarumi Waterfall, borders the town of Suzu. The coastline includes an area extending back 100m from the shore.
The sheer cliffs of Mt Sakura face the sea and are so dangerous in places as to earn the mountain the nickname 'unfilial child' in Noto. Green rhyolite rock, eroded by the sea, produces grand and beautiful views. In severe winter gales, the crashing waves that dance on the rocks are known as 'wave flowers'.
Window Rock (Madoiwa) is one of the most popular spots along the 2km-long Sosogi Coast. Legend has it that the hole in the large triangular rock was made by an arrow shot from the bow of Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
Also along the shoreline are places of great academic interest to geologists and other scientists.
Yonaguni Island is the westernmost island of the Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa. It is located to the northeast of Taiwan and at the western edge of Japan.
The island was generated following a volcanic eruption. Even though it is a small island, it undulates. The south coast has been eroded into cliffs by waves.
The main island industries are fishing, sugar-cane production, dairy farming and tourism. The 'Dr. Koto Clinic' used for filming a popular TV program still remains. Moverover, the island is famous for diving.
It is thought that when Okinawa developed as a sea-trading kingdom in the 14th century, the island developed as an important center for trade. It had been an independent country until the Ryukyu Kingdom gained suzerainty over it.
In 1986, underwater remains were found which attracted tremendous interest. There are many theories as to where the remains came from, but it is likely that they sank into the sea following erosion.
Yonaguni has a different culture from Japan or Okinawa; you could say Yonaguni is 'one country'.
Iwami-tatamigaura is a section of raised coastline located near Hamada City, Shimane Prefecture.
This platform is situated at Kane beach near the town of Kokubun. It is about 25 meters high and formed by wave erosion and by the upheaval of the area by an earthquake over a hundred years ago. There are three layers: the top layer and the lower layer are similar, and are composed of magma and sandstone.
The top layer was once the sea floor, and is now a platform. This vast eroded platform has cracks regularly crisscrossing so that it looks as if many Japanese tatami mats were laid out on the beach. This is why it is called ‘Tatamigaura’ or ‘Senjoshiki’.
Shell fossils from 15 million years ago as well as fossilised driftwood, whale bones, and other traces of ancient animals are some of the things that can be found at Tatamigaura.
You can also see special landforms such as rifts, sea caves and a chair-like round rock caused by wave erosion. There are many eroded nodules where you can observe the remains of ancient sea creatures.
There is a sea cave called Hole-Kannon and out in the sea is the famous view of the Dog and Cat Islands, which is very popular with tourists.