Miyoshi’s winter attraction
The Miyoshi Basin which is surrounded in all four directions by mountains is shaped by the various medium and small rivers including Gonokawa, Saijo and Basen Rivers. It is vapor from these rivers which rises up and forms fog that remains in the basin thus creating this sea of fog. The Kiri-no-Umi can be witnessed in the early morning from fall to early spring, and at times, the area can be swaddled in fog up until noon. There is a sheen that forms on the fog which is enough to chill anyone so that especially in the cold early mornings of the first several days in winter, the changing colors of the fog at sunrise are breathtakingly lovely. The sight of mountains that seem like islands floating on the sea repeatedly disappear and re-appear so that it is well worth the early wake-up to witness this magical and mysterious scenery.
The mountains where you can fully enjoy Kiri-no-Umi
The season is from November to March and the sea of fog can be viewed from mountains which are at least 400m in altitude. The Mt. Takatani Kiri-no-Umi Observation Point located on the peak of Mt. Takatani which has also been covered by the media provides a panoramic view of the city even on days when the fog doesn’t appear, and is also popular as a night viewing spot. In addition, from the observation point on Mt. Tomishi, you can also get a 360-degree grand view. At Tomishi-no-Sato on the mountain itself, there are accommodations such as cottages and bungalows along with restaurants and BBQ houses. Also, you can get views from Mt. Okada and Iwaya Temple.
A daily spectacle
In Miyoshi, to be able to see the Kiri-no-Umi is not particularly a special thing. While there may be differences in things such as the thickness of the fog due to it being a natural phenomenon, you can usually witness the fog as a gentle veil even if it is slightly cloudy. Check the weather and the time of the sunrise before putting on the cold-weather gear and waiting up to 30 minutes before showtime.