Introduction to Landforms and Geology of Japan

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Columnar Joints and Landscapes

Kawazu Nanadaru

The Kawazu River flowing through Kawazu Town in the southeastern Izu Peninsula has cut down into the basalt, having many falls. Of these falls, seven falls collectively called Kawazu Nanadaru are well-known scenic spots in a 1-km section of the river. Each fall constitutes a distinctive landscape with columnar joints. Kawazu Nanadaru consists of the following falls: Kama-daru (22 m high, 2 m wide), Ebi-daru (5 m high, 3 m wide), Hebi-daru (3 m high, 2 m wide), Syokei-daru (10 m high, 7 m wide), Kani-daru (2 m high, 1 m wide), Deai-daru (2 m high, 2 m wide), and Ou-daru (30 m high, 7 m wide) in downstream order. The Ou-daru is the largest fall with a columnar joint wall. However, the most excellent columnar joints are exposed on a cliff adjacent to the Kama-daru located at the uppermost point of the section. Although the Deai-daru and the Hebi-daru are small falls, they are beautiful falls with impressive columns.

The columnar joints were created in basaltic lava spouted from a small volcano, Noborioyama on the eastern side of the upper Kawazu River. The multiple lava flows ran down in the river and formed scarps at their forward ends. The river cut down into the lava flows to form the falls.

Kamadaru
Photo 9: Kama-daru (22 m high, 2 m wide)

Columnar joints at Kama-daru
Photo 10: Columnar jointing at Kama-daru

Hebi-daru
Photo 11: Hebi-daru (3 m high, 2 m wide)

Deai-daru
Photo 12: Columns at Deai-daru

[Getting there]

Map of Kawazu

Location: Kawazu Town, Shizuoka Prefecture (On the Google map)

Izukyu Kawazu Station. Take a bus for Kawazu Nanadaru or Shuzenji and get off at the Kawazu Nanadaru stop (25 minutes from the station). Information signs for getting individual falls are placed on a road along the river. Since the only Ou-daru is in a private land, there is a gate to the fall opening from 8:00 to 17:00 (18:00 in summer).

[Names written in Japanese]

Kawazu Nanadaru, 河津七滝
Kama-daru, 釜滝
Ebi-daru, エビ滝
Hebi-daru, 蛇滝
Syokei-daru, 初景滝
Kani-daru, かに滝
Deai-daru, 出会滝
Ou-daru, 大滝
Kawazu-eki (station), 河津駅
Shuzenji, 修善寺

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