Around 1km upstream along the Toyohira River from the Jozankei Onsen district there is a series of reddish rocks. This place is known as “Akaiwa no Kan” and is said to have been named by Miizumi Jozan, the founder of Jozankei Onsen. The rust color of these rocks comes from the exposed iron contained inside them.
The Toyohira River flows into the Akaiwa rocks at speed and turns at a right angle towards the hot spring town. Yezo sika deer sleep in these cliffs during the winter and the surrounding area is perfect for scenic wildflower walks, snowshoe treks, or bird watching, depending on the season. There are so many wild birds and waterfowl to see, including natural monuments, such as black woodpeckers, eagles and hawks, or migratory birds, such as blue-and-white flycatchers and narcissus flycatchers, and resident birds, such as brown dippers and brown dippers. You might also encounter wildlife, such as the Ezo red fox, Hokkaido squirrel, least weasel, dwarf flying squirrel, and Ezo salamander. People who visit Akaiwa no Kan say this is truly a place where you can feel nature’s energy. In midwinter, the spring water freezes as it comes out of the rocks, forming huge icicles – this icy vista is typical of the kind of rare phenomena seen here!
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