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Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park

Land area: 11,345 ha
Designated on 10 Nov, 1972

Photo: Ashizuri-Uwakai

This park, located in the southernmost spot of temperate Shikoku, is rich in nature and faces the sea. The warm Black Stream, which comes from the south, brings warmth to both the land and the sea, and nurtures coral and tropical fish. In this beautiful marine park, visitors can enjoy the sea's natural environment in various ways, including nature walks, diving and fishing.

National Park along the Coast from Kochi to Ehime

Map: Ashizuri-Uwakai

Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park consists of the coast along the southwest area of Shikoku and three inland enclaves. From east to west along the coast, the park stretches from Cape Ashizurimisaki in Kochi Prefecture at the southern tip of Shikoku to the Uwakai Sea via Kashima Island. It contains the coast, islands off the shore, inland passes and valleys.
The beach extending to the west from Cape Ashizurimisaki is a raised beach and there are large coastal terraces. Where they border the Pacific Ocean, sea cliffs are formed. At Cape Ashizurimisaki and Odokaigan Coast, there are continuous steep granite cliffs 100 m or more high which present a bright and magnificent landscape. Tatsukushi is a raised coast with strangely shaped sandstones formed through weathering and erosion by waves. It is a place of scenic wonder. The west coast of Ehime Prefecture north of Sukumowan Bay is a typical rias coast which has many indentations. Off the coast, there are many islands such as Kashima Island, which is famous for its caves and other picturesque places, and Hiburishima Island. The park has varied landscapes and visitors can explore the beautiful scenery by glass-bottom boats and other means. There are a variety of ways to enjoy the park.
Mt. Sasayama (1,065 m) and Hoketsutoge Pass are excellent inland observation spots overlooking these coasts. Nametokokeikoku Valley located inland stretches about 12 km, and has a flat granite riverbed and many scenic waterfalls. It is a valley in a beautiful forest with a pure and clean atmosphere. In particular, at Yukiwanotaki Waterfall, the water cascades down a large slab of rock 80 m high and 20 m wide.

The Black Stream Provides a Good Environment for Coral to Grow

As this area has a mild climate and high precipitation, there are Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii) forests and evergreen broad-leaved forests of tabunoki (Machilus thunbergii), camellias and ubamegashi (Quercus phillyraeoides) along the coast. At Cape Ashizurimisaki and other places, some subtropical plants can be seen. In Mt. Sasayama located inland, lovely flowers like akebonotsutsuji (Rhododendron pentaphyllum. var. shikokianum). Nametokokeikoku Valley is surrounded by temperate forests and decorated beautifully with fresh green in spring and colored leaves in autumn.
The noteworthy animals living in the area include Japanese macaques in Odokaigan Coast and Nametokokeikoku Valley, and Japanese macaques and Japanese shika deer in Kashima Island.
Off the coast of Tatsukushi in Kochi Prefecture and Nishiumi in Ehime Prefecture, colorful coral grows by the action of the Black Stream. With tropical fish swimming among the coral, it presents excellent and fantastic Marine Park scenery. Visitors can see the wonderful landscape from the undersea observatory tower situated in Tatsukushi and by glass-bottom boat. Recently, as deterioration of the coral can be observed, natural recovery projects aimed at the conservation of the coral are being implemented.

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