The ”Earth Pillars of Awa”! A Mysterious Phenomena Found in Only 3 Places Worldwide!

The earth pillars of Awa are a geological formation born around 1.2 million years ago, a period of time hard to comprehend! Wind and rain eroded the layers of sand and gravel creating tens of earth pillars. Along the cliff you can see the mysterious sight of several standing close together.

The earth pillars at Awa, one of only three similar sites worldwide, have been designated natural monuments in Japan. The others are to found in the area of Tyrol in Europe and the Rocky Mountains in the USA.

At Awa, a specially constructed platform allows visitors to view the enigmatic sight of these earth pillars shooting out of the ground!

I zoomed-up on them… To think that plants lay roots at such a place that would seem so barren…


Part of the charm of going to the Awa earth pillars is that it doesn’t end here. There is also a trail on the right side (south side) of the cliff allowing visitors to climb above them.

If you look down from the trail, you see that the dynamic earth pillars are rich in variation!
After walking along the trail for around 10 minutes, you will reach the place where you can see the pillars. On the left side you can see the viewing platform where you were a few minutes ago. After reaching this point, you can see the pillars spreading out beneath you.

We continue to climb. Choosing our footing carefully, we look down on the pillars from an opening in the steep cliffs. It’s thoroughly thrilling!


When we reached the furthest point of the hilltop, the view down on the pillars from here had the most impact. Far away, beyond the pillars, you have a view over the plains formed by Yoshino River.

Actually, the earth pillars were eroded from layers of sand and gravel formed by the river. As this mysterious geological formation continues to be eroded, they won’t keep their current form forever…

This miraculous work of art formed over an unfathomable period of time, exceeding 1 million years… There are plenty of small formations like this around the world, but only three places with earth pillars of this scale.

A world-class sight of natural beauty in Tokushima prefecture… If you’re nearby, how about going to have a look?
Location: Sakuranooka, Awa-cho, Awa City, Tokushima Prefecture
Guide Home Page: http://www.city.awa.lg.jp/docs/2011033100078/ (Japanese)

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka




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Hironobu Matsuoka

Hironobu Matsuoka

Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.



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