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Hiji River Cloud Formations

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Marvel at the phenomenon of a sea of clouds on winter mornings near Ozu

Destination Management Organization KITA-Management



On winter mornings in Ozu City on the island of Shikoku, the sun rising over an undulating sea of clouds pierced by mountaintops is a memorable sight. Before dawn, locals equipped with cameras and thermos flasks filled with hot drinks head towards the mountains to admire this not infrequent meteorological spectacle. There are several sightseeing spots, but the slopes of Mount Takayama are easily accessible from the city center; cyclists can get there in less than 20 minutes. The narrow valleys of the Hiji River basin trap these low-lying clouds for several hours, until the ground temperature rises and the sky regains its perennial blue.
Another rare meteorological phenomenon can be viewed about 20 kilometers north of downtown Ozu City at Nagahama, facing the Seto Inland Sea. Hijikawa Arashi is the name given to a thermally driven, nocturnal gap wind that on cold winter mornings pushes bands of fog down the river towards the ocean. Set within a landscape boasting 1,000-meter mountains and soothing maritime vibes, this peculiar phenomenon attracts the interest of scientists and tourists alike. For the best views of this drifting sea of wispy clouds, head to the Hijikawa Arashi Observation Deck in Nagahama.


How to get there

It takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Haneda Airport to Matsuyama Airport. From Matsuyama Airport to Garyu Sanso, it takes about 40 minutes by JR train. Get off at Iyo Ozu Station, and drive or bike the 20 km from downtown Ozu City.


From Haneda Airport, take a flight to Matsuyama Airport (about 1 hour and 40 minutes). From Matsuyama Airport, take the JR train line to Iyo Ozu Station (about 40 minutes), and then drive or bike the 20 km to Hijikawa Arashi Observation Deck.


Nagahama, Ozu-shi, Ehime-ken


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