Towada-Hachimantai National ParkTohoku, Aomori
Towada-Hachimantai National Park is a nature-rich park of peaks, lakes, and streams located in Tohoku, the mountainous region of northern Honshu.
Towada-Hachimantai National Park consists of the northernmost Towada-Hakkoda region, where you will find Mt. Hakkoda, Lake Towada, and Oirase Stream. The Hachimantai region to the south, consists of Mt. Hachimantai, Mt. Akita-Komagatake, and Mt. Iwate. There is plenty to see and do, from animal spotting, canoeing, skiing, hiking to soaking in the many hot springs.
Lake Towada, and Oirase Stream are home to a variety of animals including the Asiatic black bear, Japanese serow, Japanese marten, Japanese giant flying squirrel, black salamander, and rare species of birds such as mountain hawk eagle. Lake Towada is an expansive area of great beauty and views and the best way to explore it is to hire a Canadian canoe and get paddling.
Those with energy to burn will enjoy the excellent skiing conditions at Mt. Hakkoda with powder snow from January through February and skiing conditions continue right up until early May.
Lake Tazawa at the southern end of the park, with its nearby ski lifts, hot-springs, and biking and hiking opportunities is the ideal location to burn of calories. Get active with a scenic trek or biking path and then rejuvenate in the hot springs.
At Oirase Gorge in the winter there are illuminated icefalls and icicle fantastical scenery with a night bus tour accompanied by a local nature guide. Snowshoe trekking is also available in the beech forest of Onuma Swamp, Hachimantai and there are seven kinds of baths, including a volcanic bath and mud bath, at Goshogake Onsen.
To finish, get your hiking shoes on for Mt. Iwate, an active volcano and if you need a pit stop mid-way, Amihari Onsen, consists of five onsen spots called the“Amihari Goto”(five hot springs of Amihari). One of them, Sennyo no Yu, is a mixed-bathing outdoor bath situated in Yunosawa Valley.
- Canadian canoe tour of Lake Towada
- Skiing and snowshoeing at Mt. Hakkoda
- Animal spotting at Lake Towada, and Oirase Stream
- Mountain biking around the many paths of the park
- Soaking in the many hot springs
- Hiking up Mt. Iwate
- Some activities are seasonal and not available all year round
From Tokyo, take the Tohoku Shinkansen train from Ueno or Tokyo Station to Morioka and then the Akita Shinkansen to Tazawako Station (the trip takes about 3 hours). Buses depart Yasumiya at 9am and reach Tazawako Station at 4pm, with stops at scenic spots along the way.
There is no entry fee or permit required for Towada Hachimantai National Park. Please check the website for individual activity prices.
Some hikes require a medium level of fitness.
Towada-Hachimantai National Park is one of Japan’s best spots for autumn colors during the month of October.