Continuing our trip around the picturesque Susa Bay [Part 1: http://eng.mg/c2f84 ], we tour the areas fabulous observation decks.
Rising up on the north-east side of Susa Bay to an altitude of 532.8 meters, Mt. Kouyama is an easy to climb as a road leads nearly all the way to the top.
Offering stunning views over the whole Susa Bay area, there is a 2-storey observation deck 5-minutes walk from the mountaintop parking area.
Known as the Matsushima of the west, Susa Bay has a total of 7 inlets with 70 islands of various sizes floating within them. However, places from where you can see the calm bay and all the beautiful islands are rare along the rough shore-lined Sea of Japan.
This is Bentenjima Island.
Susa Bay is a good natural harbor where the fishing industry prospers. There are plenty of cultivation rafts floating around and fishing boats pass by frequently.
Next I visited Kubara Park, which is located at the foot of Mt. Kouyama on the south side. The park has a large grass area and sports grounds, and is also known for its cherry blossoms. A path has been set up along the ridge of the gentle slope, so visitors can enjoy a bit of hiking…
By the way, the mountain in the background is Mt. Kouyama.
At the top of Kubara Park there is a square from which you have a view over Susa Bay, as well as a gazebo resting area.
It’s located around 15-minutes walk from the parking area, but as I got a little bit tired climbing, I took a short rest!
And this is Susa Bay as seen from Kubara Park!
As the mouth of the bay is narrow, the waves within the bay are very gentle.
Bentenjima Island is also visible from the top of Mt. Kouyama.
A torii gate stands on the south side of the island, and half-way up Benten-sha Shrine with its red roof can be seen.
Focused around Benten-sha Shrine, every year on July 27th and 28th the Benten festival is held. It’s a festival that has been passed on by fishermen since olden times. During the festival, a ceremonial boat carries the Benten goddess in a portable shrine from Mihon Shrine on the south shore of Susa Bay to Bentenjima Island. On the following day, the 28th, the boat arrives again to bring the goddess back.
With around 5000 colorful fireworks, the Susa Bay Fireworks Festival is held to celebrate the finale of the Benten ceremony. The area is bustling with people!
Moving on, a route has been set up along the mouth of Susa Bay from where you can see tranquil fishing village scenes dotted with fishing boats at anchor and cultivation rafts.
The Susa Bay ocean is filled with highs and lows and a wide variety of different fish are caught all year around.
This is the view from the bay’s north shore. The round island floating on the right is Bentenjima Island.
In front of the island you can see several cultivation rafts floating in the sea.
Susa Bay also has an established reputation for beautiful sunsets.
This is the evening view from the observation deck on top of Mt. Kouyama.
And this is the setting sun as seen from the peak without an observation deck.
Designated as a natural monument by the Japanese government, the surroundings are dotted with lodestones (strongly magnetic stones).
Apparently the word Susa comes from the Japanese legend, Susanoo no Mikoto. According to the legend, when Susanoo lost his way when sailing, the compass in his boat showed the direction of the loadstones of Mt. Kouyama and he was able to safely enter Susa Bay.
Including the Susa Hornfels introduced Part 1 [ http://eng.mg/c2f84 ], Susa Bay is dotted with scenic beauty spots.
How about visiting the “Matsushima of the West”?
Location: 7691-1 Susa, Hagi city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Guide Homepage: http://susa.in/modules/xpwiki/33.html (Japanese)
Location: 7030 Susa, Hagi city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Guide Homepage: http://kanko.susa.in/modules/gnavi/index.php?lid=24&cid=3 (Japanese)
Location: 486-4 Susa, Hagi city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Guide Homepage: http://kanko.susa.in/modules/gnavi/index.php?lid=102 (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: 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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