ultramarinus – beyond the sea

Posts tagged “Falls

FUREPE FALLS (フレペの滝), Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島), Hokkaido (北海道), Japan, 2019.06.16

Day 2 (3/3).

The weather fluctuated throughout the afternoon.  After lunch, we headed back up to Shiretoko National Park from Utoro to check out Shiretoko Nature Centre, the visitor centre near the park entrance.  The centre houses a large screen theatre showing films of the park, service counters for hikers to obtain trail information, a cafe serving excellent coffee and ice-cream, and a shop selling all kinds of outdoor outfits and souvenir.  After watching a film about a family of Ezo Red Fox at the theatre, we decided to do a short hike.

IMG_6477Only 20 minute of easy walk would bring us to coast of Sea of Okhotsk, where the The Virgin’s Tears or the Furepe Waterfall awaited us.

DSC_4374In the past few decades, efforts had been made to reforest the area after years of pioneer development.

DSC_4382Weather was changing quickly.  At one moment, clouds and mist were moving away from the Shiretoko Mountain Range.

DSC_4383At Furepe Falls, we could only admire the cliff of the waterfall from the opposite side.

DSC_4385A small group of seabirds gathered at the tip of the rock cliff.

DSC_4389From the opposite side, we could see the top part of the Furepe Falls.  The waterfall originates from ground water surfaced near the top.

DSC_4393A wooden pavilion was built across the cove from Furepe Falls as a lookout.

IMG_8828Despite the sun was out at Furepe Falls, clouds and mist continued to cover most of Shiretoko Mountain Range.

IMG_8831We slowly walked back to Shiretoko Nature Centre.

IMG_8850Back at Shiretoko Village Guesthouse, we had another tasty dinner after a pleasant bath at the inhouse onsen.  That evening, we were served with local salmon ruibe.  It had a delicate texture and would melt in the mouth.

IMG_6480Each of us was served with lamb nabe, herring with sea urchin miso, dried flounder, butter scallops, steamed razor clams, etc.

IMG_6487(Foreground) Ruibe, translates as “melted food”, is half-frozen sashimi. It is an Ainu culinary specialty from Hokkaido.  Fresh fish was traditionally stored under snow during winter and eaten without defrost.   (Background) Kichiji is a local fish with red skin and big eyes.  We tasted the deep dried kichiji which was crispy and delicious.

IMG_6488Steamed razor clams were full of aroma of local sake.


DAY 5 – PEARL SHOAL FALLS (珍珠灘瀑布), MIRROR LAKE (鏡海) & NUORILANG FALLS (諾日朗瀑布), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China

Just a short walk from the incredible Five Flower Lake came the next highlight of Jiuzhaigou, the Pearl Shoals Waterfall (珍珠灘瀑布).  We approached the falls from its upper level, where shallow water flowed on a vast area of rocky shoals.  We followed the path to a 40m cliff where the Pearl Shoals Waterfall finally revealed its side to us.  A large group of spectators concentrated on the stair adjacent to the fall.  We slowly walked down to the bottom of the fall to admire its 160m length.  The water flow wasn’t thundering, but the sheer scale of the waterfall was impressive and could be enjoy from a number of viewpoints.  Matched perfectly with the surrounding landscape, Pearl Shoals Waterfall looked surprisingly peaceful despite its scale.

We followed the stream water of Pearl Shoals Waterfall eastwards to another tranquil water body, Mirror Lake (鏡海).  The turquoise water and autumn foliage at Mirror Lake provided a peaceful break from the excitement of Pearl Shoals Waterfall.  A brief sun break gave us a moment of warmth as we leisurely stroll along the lake.  The distant snow-capped mountain finally revealed itself behind the clouds.  Under the sun, the colours of the autumn foliage appeared more vividly, casting colourful reflections on the lake surface.  We walked the full length of Mirror Lake from west to east, crossed the road where shuttle buses ran, and walked down a stair to another prominent waterfall, the Nuorilang Waterfall (諾日朗瀑布).  Roughly 32m in length, “Nuorilang” in Tibetan means “grand and magnificent”.   It was already 1:30pm when we reached Nuorilanf Waterfall.  We didn’t stay for long at Nuorilang and decided to embark on the journey up the other section of the Park, Zechawa Valley at the left branch of the “Y”.

dsc_9253Shallow water ran over the rocky shoals, like a plain of flowing water.

dsc_9268Shrubs and rocks dotted over Pearl Shoals.

dsc_9266The water gradually ran down the shoal to the cliff edge and eventually became the Pearl Shoals Waterfall.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPearl Shoals Waterfall as seen from the stair adjacent to the falls.

dsc_9321The sky was clearing up and we could see the snow mountains beyond the waterfall.

dsc_9342At the base of Pearl Shoal Waterfall, water streamed down the rocky landscape into a series of small waterfalls.

dsc_9350Watching hundreds of small streams running down the cliff of Pearl Shoals was a pleasant experience despite the crowds around us.

dsc_9352Looking back to the Pearl Shoals Waterfall as we slowly walked across the shore.

dsc_9387All streams of the waterfall running down the cliff converged into a small river flowing away.

dsc_9415As we walked away from the main Pearl Shoals Waterfall, series of small waterfalls continued to run down the cliff.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASilence returned as we left Pearl Shoals Waterfall behind and reached the Mirror Lake.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sun finally came out and we could enjoy some moments of warmth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADespite the autumn foliage hadn’t reach its peak, we still enjoyed taking photos of the occasional red and yellow leaves.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJiuzhaigou National Park is actually surrounded by snow-capped mountains.  Brief moments of sun breaks allowed us to have a few glimpses of the magnificent peaks.

dsc_9481It was a delightful walk along Mirror Lake under the sun.

dsc_9491It wasn’t long until we reached the end of the boardwalk along Mirror Lake.

dsc_9553Not far from Mirror Lake, we arrived at another feature waterfall in Jiuzhaigou, Nuorilang Waterfall.

dsc_9557The myriad small streams down the cliff of Nuorilang formed a perfect setting for a atmospheric landscape painting.


Our posts on 2016 Xian and Jiuzhaigou:

DAY 1 – NIGHT ARRIVAL, Xian, China
DAY 2 – BIG WILD GOOSE PAGODA (大雁塔), Xian, China
DAY 3 – MING CITY WALL, Xian, China
DAY 4 -FIRST GLIMPSE OF JIUZHAIGOU (九寨溝), Sichuan (四川), China
DAY 5 – ARROW BAMBOO LAKE (箭竹海), PANDA LAKE (熊貓海) & FIVE FLOWER LAKE (五花海), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 5 – PEARL SHOAL FALLS (珍珠灘瀑布), MIRROR LAKE (鏡海) & NUORILANG FALLS (諾日朗瀑布), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 5 – LONG LAKE (長海) & FIVE COLOURS LAKE (五彩池), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 5 – RHINOCEROS LAKE (犀牛海), TIGER LAKE (老虎海) & SHUZHENG VILLAGE (樹正寨), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 6 – ASCEND TO FIVE COLOUR POND (五彩池), Huanglong (黃龍), Sichuan (四川), China