Translated by Mariko Satoh
The Forest On The Island Of Dogo - Mysterious Views Into A UNESCO Geopark
Written by Maki
The deep forest of Dogo on the Oki Islands in Shimane Prefecture was certified as UNESCO's Geopark in 2015. Let this article introduce you to this beautiful and mysterious piece of nature.
The Oki Islands in Shimane prefecture consist of four inhabited islands and multiple deserted islands. Its geological features show the history and development of the islands of Japan and its unique ecological systems led this place to become a UNESCO’s certified Global Geopark in 2015.
On Dogo, the biggest island, you can enjoy great views and the rich culture developed made by its long history. In this article, we will introduce you to Dogo’s mysterious views in its deep forest.
Enormous Water Curtain of Dangyo Waterfalls
Proceeding through the deep forest spread in the west of the island, you will see two gigantic cedar trees. These are called Dangyo no Meotosugi, meoto meaning husband and wife, and sugi meaning cedar. In between these trees stands the torii (entrance gate) of the Dangyo Shrine.
After walking through the quiet pathways surrounded by a series of cedars, a white wooden shrine will appear before you.
Behind the shrine you will see a waterfall creating a 40m tall curtain of water down a rock wall. These are the Dangyo Waterfalls. The waterfall to the right of the shrine is called Otaki.
Metaki is the waterfall on the left of the shrine. It's calm, with less water flowing. These two waterfalls make up the Dangyo Waterfalls. However, Metaki is a visionary waterfall, which appears only after rain or when the water volume is high.
Iwakura’s Chichisugi in the Deep Forest
Iwakura’s Chichisugi, the "breast cedar", stands in the forest of the highest mountain in Oki, Daimanjisan.
You can find a "torii" on the side of the road and a strange-looking cedar is enshrined in the back of it. The mysterious atmosphere of this space is enhanced by the dewy air after a rainfall.
This cedar is said to be around 800 years old. It is 30m high and the girth of the trunk is 11m. The trunk is separated into 15 branches, and on the surface, there are 24 unique, breast-like roots hanging down.
Kaburasugi and Its Enormous Trunk
An enormous and unusual-shaped cedar appears along the highway that connects two villages, Saigoko and Nakamura, which are the gateways of Dogo.
This huge cedar is called Kaburasugi, the turnip cedar. Six big trunks grow from around the root, which creates its unique look. The tree is 38.5 m high and it is said to be around 600 years old.
When you get close to the cedar and see the skin in close up, you will feel its energy right in front of you.
Tokageiwa Stuck to the Cliff
In the same forest as Iwakura’s Chichisugi and Kaburasugi, you will see a funny-looking rock called Tokageiwa, the lizard rock. A triangle-shaped cliff can be seen in between the trees from the Tokageiwa observation deck.
Take a careful look, and you will recognize that there is a huge rock that looks like a lizard vertically climbing up the cliff. This 26m long rock looks just like a lovely lizard whose front and back feet firmly grips the cliffside. Those with good eyesight can probably even see it from the ferry which leaves Saigoko.
How did you like the numerous mysterious views hidden in the Oki forest? The main attraction of this forest is not only its untouched nature that has developed thanks to its long history, but also the fact that you can get close to all of the spots mentioned here and truly appreciate nature up close.
Why not plan a trip to experience the nature of this beautiful forest in Oki for yourself?