In the northern reigion of Akune City is the Wakimoto District, home to Mount Kasayama. Here, you can see hydrangeas at the start of summer, and cranes making their way home north in the winter. The area is full of little-known tourist delights. Situated at 400m above sea level, it boasts an expanse of gently sloping terrain. Only here can you visit a sightseeing plantation and look out onto the prospect of the East China Sea. Watching the colours of the evening sun dye the surface of the sea is amazingly beautiful. Thus, it is no surprise that the plantation is a popular date/rendezvous spot!
At the summit of Mt. Kasayama is a sightseeing plantation. It is a source of immense pride to the locals, famous for approximately 1500 blooming hydrangeas come the month of June. In times past, the plantation was a series of terraced fields constructed on the mountain slopes, spanning an area of approximately 1 hectare. It took 35 years to complete. The area is brimming with romance, a place where visitors can see remnants of old stone steps (marking the gradations of the fields) hidden amongst the hydrangea flowers. On a clear day you can see as far as Akune's Ōshima Island and Kuwa Island. This makes it an ideal location to view the mass of hydrangeas and the East China Sea. The destination is approximately 15 minutes by car from Origuchi Station, along a meandering, narrow mountain road. On this road, numerous tree branches extend outwards from both sides; the resulting visibility will no doubt set your heart pounding with excitement.
From February through March, from Mt. Kasayama, you can see the gorgeous sight known as 'Tsuru no Hokikō' – the sight of cranes making their way home to Northeast China and Siberia. In excess of 10,000 cranes spend their winter among Japan's flood plains, 1700km away from their native habitat and breeding grounds. Just before their journey, at the exact moment the cranes are about to commence their flight, you can witness them flapping their powerfully strong wings on Mt. Kasayama. The cranes circle above ground to catch the rising air currents, before rising up high into the sky and flying in a V-formation. Crowds of nature-lovers set up their cameras in anticipation of catching the beautiful cranes at this exact moment, rendering the area an ideal spot for photo opportunities. The endangered 'Nabezuru' ('Hooded Crane') and Manazuru (White-naped Crane) are particularly elegant mid-flight and make for a precious highlight encountered only at this time of year.