Shin-Etsu Group Original Calendar 2013
Colors of the Seasons: Japan’s Natural Splendor
Japan’s natural scenery reveals different aspects of its beauty as the seasons change throughout the year. At the height of their glory in spring, rows of cherry trees along riverbanks enrapture the spirit, and the clear waters of Japan’s beaches under a bright summer sun are refreshing and cool. Ponds reflecting the dazzling foliage in autumn are peaceful and serene, and the scenes created by the icy rivers and snow-covered ravines of winter are like those found in a picture scroll. For the third year running, Shin-Etsu has chosen photographs depicting the natural beauty of Japan for its calendar. The photographs in this 2013 calendar depict the four seasons only in Fukui Prefecture, which is home to plants producing Shin-Etsu Group products, including electronic materials. At Shin-Etsu, we consider safety and the environment to be of the utmost importance, and we strive to do our part to preserve the earth’s environment and protect the earth’s natural wonders so that they may be passed on to future generations. It is our hope that the beautiful natural scenery that adds so much to our lives will remain unchanged as the seasons and years go by.
January & February:
Daybreak / Echizen Town, Nyu County
With beaches on the Sea of Japan to the west and the Echizen-misaki Cape to the north, Echizen Town is blessed with all kinds of seafood, including crabs and sea urchins. The terraced land along the beaches is also one of the three largest places in Japan where Japanese daffodils bloom in early winter. The Nyu mountains stretch from the coast to the northern part of the town and make up much of the town’s total land area. With mountains resembling shore reefs peeking out from the waves, and billowing clouds overhead, the seas are warmed by the rays of the rising sun.
March & April:
Cherry Trees along the Asuwagawa River / Fukui City
The source of the Asuwagawa River can be traced to Mount Kanmuri, which is located on the border between the prefectures of Fukui and Gifu. The river flows through Fukui City toward the northwest, and merges with the Hinogawa River, which is a tributary of the Kuzuryu River. The Asuwagawa River once served as a moat to protect Fukui Castle and played an important role in supporting water transportation during the Edo and Meiji Periods. An estimated 600 cherry trees along the Asuwagawa riverbank between Kida Bridge and Shinakari Bridge burst into bloom in spring. The brightly colored rows of trees are emblems of the season and are renowned throughout Japan.
May & June:
Uriwari Waterfall / Wakasa Town, Mikatakaminaka County
Located in the southwestern part of Fukui Prefecture, Wakasa Town has an abundance of water resources, such as the Kitagawa River, which flows south of the town, and the Mikata Five Lakes, which were registered in the Ramsar Convention. Uriwari Waterfall can be found behind the grounds of the Tentokuji Temple, which is to the south of the Kitagawa River. In 1985 the waterfall was selected as one of Japan’s most beautiful water spots. The name literally means “gourd-splitting waterfall”, and derives from the legend that its waters were cold enough to split gourds. The pure water flows gracefully down the slopes to create a scene of sublime beauty.
July & August:
Suisho Beach / Mihama Town, Mikata County
Lying to the east of Wakasa Town in the southwestern part of Fukui Prefecture, Mihama Town is blessed with a variety of natural splendor in its beaches, mountains, rivers, and lakes. In the eastern part of the town, Suisho Beach faces Wakasa Bay. The beach is famed both for its powder-like white sand, which resulted from the weathering of granite, and for the oddly shaped rocks that jut out here and there. The name of the beach means “crystal”, and was supposedly given because of the colors of the sea and the sand. Here in this popular place for sea bathing, the clear water gently laps the shore, and not a cloud appears in the bright blue sky.
September & October:
Karikomi Lake / Kamikoike, Ono City
Ono City lies in the Ono Basin in the eastern part of Fukui Prefecture. The streets of Ono still bear reminders that this was once a castle town, and it is sometimes called “the little Kyoto of the Hokuriku District”. Surrounded by virgin forests of beech and other kinds of trees, Karikomi Lake is situated at the base of Mount Gankyoji in the upper reaches of the Uchinami River in the northeastern part of the city. While there are streams that pour into the lake, it is said that the waters do not subsequently flow out of the lake. In spite of that, the water level of the lake remains constant. When trees change color in the fall season, their brilliant tones are reflected in the mirror-like surface of the lake, further enhancing the mystical allure of the autumnal foliage.
November & December:
Kuzuryu Gorge / Ono City
With its source at the Aburasaka Pass on the boundary between Fukui and Gifu Prefectures, the Kuzuryu River flows through the northern part of Fukui Prefecture and empties into the Sea of Japan. The rapids have carved out amazingly beautiful geological features in the river’s upper reaches in the Kuzuryu Gorge. The riverbanks have been deeply eroded to leave sheer walls that are a testament to the power of nature and the passage of time. Covered entirely in snow, the gorge is so still and quiet that it seems to be a magnificent painting.