Sometimes the beautiful formative art created by nature far surpasses human imagination. In winter, when severe cold arrives, spectacular landscapes appear that cannot be seen in any other season.
A wild and exquisite icefall
Ibaraki Prefecture has dazzling scenery that can only be encountered during the winter. At Daigo Town in the northern part of the prefecture, Fukuroda Falls, counted as one of the three most famous waterfalls of Japan, has fascinated people for over 800 years. The size of the falls is 120m (394ft) high and 73m (240ft) wide. The flowing water, which drops over massive rock walls in four stages, looks as smooth as threads of silk from spring to autumn, but is completely transformed during the winter. Severe cold freezes the entire waterfall, forming an icy cascade of wild shapes that make a deep impression on visitors.
An infinite vista of hills and valleys
Chiba Prefecture, located just east of Tokyo and easily accessible from there, has a large population, yet there are also areas of rich natural beauty. One such area in the southern part of the prefecture is Kujukutani, a breathtaking landscape that unfolds from the southern face of Mount Kano in Kimitsu City. The name, which means “Ninety-nine Valleys,” refers to the complex landforms shaped by erosion, forming a repeating pattern that extends into the distance. During winter, seas of clouds form in the early morning, creating profoundly mysterious landscapes that, when viewed from above, resemble sumie (Japanese ink paintings).