Rishiri means "an island with a high mountain" in Ainu native Japanese, and this is a round volcanic island in the north of Hokkaido. With an area of 182 square kilometers, this island has Mt. Rishiri, 1,721 meters high, in the middle. This mountain is an active volcano though, any volcanic activities have never been seen these 3,000 years. As repeated rainfall is gradually eating into the mountain body, distinguished volcanic terrain has mostly disappeared. The picture shows Mt. Rishiri over Himenuma pond, which was formed in an explosion crater at the foot of the mountain. There are other ponds found in peat wetlands formed in a larger explosion crater. The number of the inhabitants of the island is 4,200, who are engaged in fishery or tourism. Thus, this island became famous for Rishiri Konbu, special kelp which is necessary to make Japanese broth. Rishiri Konbu is regarded as Japan's No.1 konbu.
A trading post with the Ainu was built here from the second half of the 17th century, but the islanders and officers were taken prisoner in an attack by the Russians in the early 19th century. This incident triggered the stationing of more than 250 samurais from Fukushima-Aizu clan to guard the area, which has since developed into the northernmost fishing base up to now.
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