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Discovering the stunning natural beauty of Fukushima

Friday August 6, 2010

Gee its warm here in Fukushima, Japan this year. Everyday is 35 degrees, apart from the odd ‘cool’ day which only hits 31/32. Even overnight temps are only dropping down to the mid 20s. Beer & Air Conditioner sales are up, and people are going missing trying to beat the heat in the mountains of Hokkaido and Saitama.

Up north in Fukushima even the cicadas seem to have had enough. Their cries are constant and sound like an unending plea for relief. Or maybe thats just me, having left frosty Hobart only a couple of weeks ago… On the plus side, Fukushimas peach season is a ripper, the mugginess of the rainy season is gone, and spending some days in the cool river gorges around here is a perfect escape.

Did I mention its hot?

The Beauty of Fukushima

Over the past couple of weeks we havent ventured too far out of Fukushima, but instead found some fantastic spots nearby. Ura-bandai is one area, full of lakes and the dramatic skyline of Mt Bandai, which exploded a couple hundred years ago. There are now hundreds of lakes, rivers and waterfalls in the area, and we stayed with a very enthusiastic photographer at Donguri Pension, who showed us his shots of the region. The most stunning aspect of the Japanese mountains is the contrast of the four sesons, the spring blossoms and new green leaves, the dark green and shade of summer, the reds and yellows of autumn and the deep snows of winter.

This year we found our way to Tatsuzawa Fudou Taki and Endou ga Taki (waterfalls). We also visited a river gorge called Yusenkyo in Yamagata. Photos are below.

Northern Japan (Tohoku) is full of these lush green forest gorges, with fast flowing clear rivers and waterfalls. And bears. We didn’t come across any of the big fellas, just plenty of signs telling us to be careful, and that there had been sightings (and injuries) recently. The green foilage is strikingly different to Tas, a very bright and soft green, and also very soft to touch.

Endougataki Falls, Fukushima

Endougataki Falls, in the foothills of Mt Adatara, Fukushima

Tohoku river gorge, Fukushima

Beautiful greens in the ravine above Endougataki

Japanese river gorge, Fukushima

The Green Ravine – Summer in Japan – the mountains are the only way to escape the heat!

Cascades at Endougataki, Fukushima

Cascades at Endougataki, Fukushima

Waterfall near Endougataki, Fukushima

Waterfall near Endougataki, Fukushima

Tatsuzawa fudou taki, Ura Bandai

Tatsuzawa fudou taki, Ura Bandai

Tatsuzawafudou Falls, Fukushima

Side View of Tatsuzawafudou taki

Tatsuzawa fudou taki, Ura Bandai

Tatsuzawa Falls, Urabandai

Forest cascade, Yuusenkyou, Yamagata

Forest cascade and Summer Green, Yuusenkyou, Yamagata

Yuusenkyo River Gorge, Yamagata

Yuusenkyo River Gorge, Yamagata

Forest at Yuusenkyo

Forest at Yuusenkyo

Moniwa, in Fukushima

Moniwa, in Fukushima. Cascade detail.

Moniwa Cascades in Fukushima, Japan

Moniwa Cascades in Fukushima, Japan

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Luke

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