Nature of Kuroshima Island

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While up to an altitude of around 50m of Kishibe has become a steep cliff, at an altitude of about 100m or more gentle terrain, subtropical plant also has many native because it is a maritime climate affected by the Tsushima Current of warm current.
 
The northern limit for Satsuma China Root plant to grow.
Kuroshima has natural trees like chinkapin and intentionally planted trees like sea fig trees for windbreaking.


flowers

kuroshima001The island has been referred to as Flower Waving Island for its abundance of flowers. You can see not only wild flowers but also seasonal flowers planted along the roads by the residents.
Walking along the road with flowers which are taken care of by local residents, the tranquil landscape makes you feel relaxed.
Flowers grow better in the southern part of the island with lots of sunlight.

 

Expressive island with nature.

Geography and Geology

Kuroshima is located in the offshore of the west-southwest about 12km of Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture Aiura Port, is one 4 of the 1 one of manned Island in among the Kujukushima.
It is one of the four inhabited islands in a group of 208 islands called Kujyukushima and located in the western part of the group.
 
From east to west it measures about 4.5 km and from north to south about 2 km. The highest point in Kuroshima is at 134.3 m.
Kuroshima is a 100m-high plateau island with a lot of steep slopes on its coast line. Especially, the 50 to 100 m cliffs on the south eroded by sea waves are the one of island’s scenic spots.
North coast of Kuroshima Port (Motomura) from the island of the central portion (Nakiri) leading to the Nakiri Roh beach of the street south coast the northwest - and the valley is developed in almost a straight line in the southeast direction, and the erosion terrain along the fault zone It is considered.
 
They are regarded as an erosion landform along with the fault crushing belt.
Kuroshima’s geological features consist of the Nojima strata and diorite. There is one of the biggest basalt dikes in the prefecture in the Nojima strata and the dike was designated as prefecture’s natural monument on Feb 18, 1998.
 



 

Kushinohama Dike
A big sandstone and slate wave-cut platform appears and basalt dike which intruded into this layer can be seen on the westernmost beach at low.
 
There are three dikes.
The east one is 3m wide and 120m long, which runs northwest.
The central one is 2m wide and 55m long, and runs parallel to the east one.
 
The west one is 1.5m and 100m long, and a part of it is covered with fallen rocks.
These dikes were formed by the solidification of molten magma during a deformation of the Earth’s crust 8 million years ago, The surrounding softer part of bedrock was eroded and the harder part remains.
Compared with other dikes which are designated as prefectural natural monument, this is second to none.
This is the special place where you can see the 300 meter long, prefecture’s biggest, volcanic geological structure very closely.
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Warabe Observatory
The Warabi Observatory is covered with seasonal flowers and commands a panoramic view.
On a fine day, Sakito cho is seen on the left and Kami Goto on the right.
You can also see war ships and cruise ships sailing.
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Kappa Memorial
Location that remains is a legend of Kappa extermination in Kuroshima is Kappa mound of Motomura.
It is a small shrine and a five-ring pagoda on a big stone.
Kappa is an imaginary animal and about the size of a child. Kappa supposedly inhabit the ponds, rivers and seas. They can swim like fish. The most consistent features are a beak, a shell, and a flat hairless region on the top of the head that is always wet and regarded as the source of the Kappa’s power. A legend says a mischievous Kappa was defeated in a Sumo game and promised not to come up from the sea until this stone weathers away.
Another story says this is a gravestone for a slain pirate.


 

Rich-biodiversity Flora

014Kuroshima is known as the northern limit for some plants and a rare place to have some northern-limit species in Japan.
In this way where the northern limit species grow together is precious, is on the HAMAOMOTO・HAMAGO, only Artemisia capillaris has grown in the mainland side.
Kuroshima island and Ishima island are on the list of threatened species data book compiled by Sasebo City Hall.


 

Giant Sea Fig Tree

kuroshima001In tropical system of the plant, mulberry family. Growth early, in the Kuroshima has been used as a windbreak.
They grow fast and have been used as windbreaks in Kuroshima.
It is also known as strangler fig because of its potential to grow as a hemi-epiphyte and eventually progress to the strangling habit.
They have aerial roots which help breathe air. Though sea fig trees grow wild across the island, the giant one in Neya district is most famous.


 

Jomon-old Primary Forest

jinjyaIn the precincts of Kuroshima shrine, there is the island-only primary forest which is composed mainly of broadleaf trees whose ages are estimated to date to at least the Jomon period of Japanese history, 2,300 years ago.


 

Satsuma Sankirai (Satsuma China Root)

P1000555Satsuma Sankirai (Satsuma China Root) is a climbing plant in the genus Smilax and closely related to China Root which is used in making Dango (rice dumplings) in May.
In the past, the northern limit for this plant was thought to be Aoshima, Miyazaki Prefecture, but recently the place where Satsuma Sankirai grows wildly was found in Kuroshima.
Since then, Kuroshima has been known as the northernmost natural habitat for the plant in Japan. Unlike Sankirai (China Root), Satsuma Sankirai has less and smaller prickles and is in flower in January and February.
Flowers are white to yellow-green, their pedicels subtended by bracteoles, umbellate. Berries are black when ripe.


 

Satsuma Sankirai (Satsuma China Root)

kuroshima002The sasanqua camellia tree in Neya district is estimated to be 250 years old and one of the biggest sasanqua camellia trees in the northern Nagasaki Prefecture with 1.8 m in circumference and more than 10 m in height.
Every year, it has white flowers which are a symbol of Kuroshima’s hidden Christians and its seed oil supported the lives of Christians who moved into the island in around 1800.
Academically, sasanqua camellia’s life span is said to be about 400 years.