Coexistence - Exhibits - Mountain and Sea

Sabarujima Island & Togashima Island
These two islands lie at the mouth of Owase Bay. They are designated as special sanctuaries of the Yoshino Kumano National Park and are highly valued for their precious fauna and flora, and unique geological features. Sabarujima Island, especially, has the biggest colony of herons in Japan and is a major breeding ground for other birds as well. The delicate ecology of ancient plants and temperate climate evergreens is being carefully preserved. Togashima Island has many unique species of insects which can be found only on the Kii Peninsula. In the photo you can see Togashima Island on the right and the smaller one, Sabaru Island, on the left.
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Sea Turtle Park
The 'Sea Turtle Park' is built as a park and incubation center for turtles. We can feel and learn about the mystery of the sea and can come to understand a little about nature and the value of life by learning something about the life cycles of the sea turtles. This place is also designated as a 'Michi no eki', the equivalent of a rest area on most North American highways.
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Red Sea Turtles
The Ida Coast in Kiho Town faces the Kumano Sea and is known as an incubation ground for the Red Sea turtles. Seasonally, Red Sea Turtles migrate from the sea, crawl from the shore to the beach, dig the sand, lay eggs, and pour sand over them to bury them. Local elementary school students and adult nature lovers bring these eggs to a special incubation compound in order to save them from dogs or other predators. After about two months the baby turtles are large enough to be able to go back into the sea. At this time children again take them back to the seashore and send them off to their home in the Pacific.
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Morning Mist Over the Sea
This is a photo taken near Tawara, Koza Town. The mystic atmosphere captured in this photo can only be seen on clear and cold days when the thick mist hangs over the early morning sea. Kumano is rich in such ephemeral miracles of nature which can be glimpsed only under the rarest of conditions. This photo shows the morning sun rising up out of the sea mist as viewed from the coast of Tawara and can only be seen a few times a year. This view conjures up the image, in the minds of the locals, of hundreds of the Kumano Navy ships of ancient times appearing out of the mists.
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Senmaida(1000 rice paddies)
This is a photo taken in the district around Kiwa Town. There are thousands of small terraced rice paddies on the sides of steep mountains. There are more than 2200 small rice paddies on these terraces.

To see thousands of terraced rice paddies lining the slopes of steep mountains like this is quite a rare sight in Japan. It is considered to be an unique and precious remnant of the kind of landscape which would have been found in a traditional mountain village, a scene that in modern times can only be found in Kumano. In spite of a modern trend to neglect such small terraced paddies in favour of larger plots or tree plantations, Kiwa Town insists on preserving this landscape and the people there have instituted a local law called the 'Senmaida Act'. Each terraced rice paddy is an average of 33 square metres.
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Hamayu (Crinum)
This is one of the flowers which is representative of the beautiful flora to be found in Kumano. This flower is white with big green leaves, an indication of it being from a warm southerly place. This flower is the flower of Shingu City. You can see these flowers growing in abundance on Kushima Island in Miwasaki, an island which bustles with people enjoying the beach and fishing in early summer.
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Huke ta(Fuketa Bog)
The Fuketa Bog is found in Minachi, Hongu Town. Here avid biologists will find a treasure house of precious and unique aquatic insects and plants. This bog became neglected when the population in this area began to decrease. Recently some research was done by elementary school children which found this place to be a treasure house of insects and water plants. Hongu Town began preserving and taking care of this bog and made it into a nature park where people can observe the interactions of nature without impacting on the ecology there.
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From Mt. Yagi one can enjoy this view of Owase City and the Magose Toge Pass. Travelling on the Kumano Kodo Iseji Road, you can see the hamlet of Kuki quietly nestled in a bay on the Pacific Ocean. You can also take in the view of Hidegatake, the highest peak of Odaigahara.
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