Japan’s largest karst topography ‘Akiyoshidai’,lying in Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, is dotted around with countless limestone pinnacles called ‘gunyoseki’ literally stones like a flock of sheep.
The picture above shows an unique landscape of ‘Akiyoshidai’ with uncountable white limestones.
Other than these stones on the surface of the hilly land, many sinkholes called doline, whose diameter is ten to twenty meters,are seen everywhere. Generally, there are no brooks in karst topography because rainwater sinks into underground from these hollows forming underground rivers and limestone caves which finally open at the foot of a hill like in the picture below. For the reason mentioned above, thick forest can be hardly created in this land thanks to a lack of the soil moisture. There spreads a vast grassy highland instead.
By Masahisa Takaki.
AKIYOSHIDAI VISITOR CENTER
Shuhocho Akiyoshi, Mine, Yamaguchi
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