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    Natural Environment

    rumoi The Sea of Japan is calm and blue in the summer, but shows a completely different side during the winter. The heavy seas driven by bitter cold winter winds form soap-like white foam called Nami no Hana (Flowers of the Waves), or Flowers of the Waves, while sea fog can also be seen when the outside air temperature drops below the ocean temperature. A wintertime visit to Rumoi will likely feature a display of the artistic wonders created by the wind and waves.

    Opposite the Sea of Japan stands one of Hokkaido's most famous mountain ranges, the Shokanbetsudake Mountains. The range features expansive forests at the base and the Uryunuma Wetlands, which are located at an elevation of over 800 meters and are Hokkaido's largest wetlands. From the snow melts in the spring until autumn, hikers are greeted by more than 200 varieties of alpine plants and flowers, including the mashikegenge perennial, Aleutian avens and daylily. The Shokanbetsudake Mountains consist primarily of Mt. Pisshiri, Mt. Mito and Mt. Poroshiri. The rocky peak of the gently sloping Mt. Pisshiri offers a spectacular 360-degree panoramic view, said to be the best in all of Northern Hokkaido.

    The area is also known for its strong winds throughout the year. From the start of autumn to winter, seasonal winds shift westerly with the wind energy that sweeps across the Sea of Japan generating strong winds and heavy seas. As a result, the area, which features some of the world’s largest tetrapods in breakwaters and several large wind farms, offers a variety of views that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.

    In the early evening, be on the lookout for the setting sun as it disappears below the horizon. Every moment offers a different image, from the sparkling reflection in the waves to the dazzling color of the sky. The spectacular show that graces your eyes has been selected as one of Japan's 100 most renowned locations for viewing sunsets.

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