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Why Sotomo Arch is special ?
Sotomo boasts 6 km of rock formations, caves, and cliffs, as well as cliffside waterfalls, which form in square-shape patterns as the granite is shattered by waves and eaten away by the sea. The magnificent appearance of Sotomo makes it one of the most scenic spots along the entire coast of the Sea of Japan.
In particular, Omon (The Big Gate) and Komon (The Little Gate) are two tunnels large enough for a boat to pass through, as the rock in the center has been smashed to pieces, leaving the outside in the shape of pillars.
Sotomo boasts many other natural formations that let you forget yourself in nature's imaginative beauty, such as Fufukameiwa (Turtle Couple Rock), Shishiiwa (Lion Rock), and Karafunajima (Tang Ship Island), which is said to look like a Tang Dynasty Chinese ship with an elephant on board.
The scenery of Sotomo is portrayed along with that of Obama in "Obama Joka Sotomo Keikanzu" (Landscapes of Obama Castle Town and Sotomo), a famous painting of the middle Edo Period. In other words, Sotomo had already been introduced to the people of Japan as a place of picturesque scenery in the late 18th century. Even now you can witness the power of the scenery for yourself.
Sotomo, one of the greatest sights in all of Japan, is located in Tomari, Obama City. The name "Sotomo" (蘇洞門) is said to be a more poetic Chinese rendering of the original name, "Sotomo" (外面), which is used to refer to the cliffs on the north side of Kusugayadake. The local villagers have built their livelihoods on the rich natural surroundings. Wakame can be gathered in the spring, and iwanori in the winter, while net fishing and isonagi fishing can be pursued year round. In recent years, the seas have found new use for leisure as tour boats ply their waters. We are happy to have so many visitors to our beautiful shoreline, but this has also led to regrettable problems such as sea pollution and poaching of endangered fish. Legend has it that the god Hikohohodemi no Mikoto rose from the waters to a rocky part of the shore near Omon and Komon called "Senjojiki", crossed over the mountains to the village Tomari, and spent the night there. Thus the name "Tomari" (stay overnight). This god is enshrined in the village's Shinto shrine "Wakasahikohime Jinja".
Wakasa, Obama, Fukui Prefecture 917-0114