Bandai-Asahi National ParkOguni, Yamagata
Japan's second largest National Park Bandai-Asahi includes the Three Mountains of Dewa, the Asahi, Iide, Azuma, and Adatera Mountain Ranges, Mt. Bandai, and Lake Inawashiro.
The national park has many mountains suitable for climbers of all levels with stunning scenery, hot springs, skiing in the winter months, and many other leisure activities for all ages.
The Three Mountains of Dewa are famous as places of mountain worship and historical importance. Azuma, Adatera Mountain Ranges, and Mt. Bandai feature stunning and rugged landscapes created by volcanic activity as well as beautiful, diverse scenery formed by lakes, ponds, and forests of various sizes. Urabandai is known for its various species of wild birds and visitors can enjoy birdwatching all year round.
From late April to early November the best way to get around Lake Sohara and take in the stunning sunken forest is by kayak. The tranquility of the area can be fully appreciated on kayak and it's the only lake in Urabandai where power boats are not allowed. Lake Hibara also has canoes for hire.
From mid December to mid-March, and at 680 meters above sea level, Mt. Bandai offers powdery snow lies and a 600-meter-long sled course is available. Skiing conditions are suitable for the whole family.
The Azuma Mountains west of Fukushima City are home to the Azuma goyomatsu, a popular species of Japanese white pine for bonsai. Bonsai enthusiasts are in for a real treat as they can visit Bonsai Abe and experience ‘The Beauty of Space’ with a third generation bonsai artist.
No visit to is Bandai-Asahi National Park is complete without exploration of its two volcanoes ‒ Mt. Bandai, which last erupted in 1888; and the still active Mt. Azuma. Activities in the area include trekking, canoeing, hot springs and bonsai.
Train from Tokyo: 2 – 5 hours.
Train from Fukushima or Koriyama: 1 – 2 hours.
There is no entry fee or permit required for Bandai-Asahi National Park. Please check the website for individual activity prices.