Oze National Park spans 4 prefectures in Gunma, Fukushima, Niigata and Tochigi prefectures. Approximately 300 thousand hikers visit here annually, and half of them choose the strolling route “Ozegahara”. The wetland spreads to Ozegahara, which is surrounded by mountains of 2,000 meters level, and a boardwalk goes far. If you walk down the boardwalk leisurely, you will be enveloped in the vast landscape, birdcall, clear air that can only be seen here.
There are two main courses of walking Oze National Park spanning the four prefectures, “Ozegahara Course” and “Ozenuma Course”. Especially, “Ozegahara Course” starting from “Hatomachitoge Pass” of Gumma Prefecture side is a popular course many people visit, such as Mizubasho and boardwalk extending in the marshland.
Speaking of Oze, the scenery where boardwalk extends in the marsh is famous. To that end, you first go down the mountain path for about an hour from “Hatomachitoge Pass”. Let’s aim at “Yamanohana” which is the starting point of the wetland.
As soon as departing, the section with a slope of about 30 minutes continues. Let’s prepare a walkable sneaker. After passing the big river called Kawakami River and passing through the road surrounded by trees, you will arrive at “Yamanohana” about one hour from the start. There is “Yamanohana visitor center” just to the right. There is an exhibition on animals and plants in the center, and you can hear explanations about Oze from the staff who are resident.
It is about 30 minutes as boardwalk goes around in a large wetland. Because the height of this boardwalk is low, it is the point that you can see plants nearby. This place is not too crowded, it is a great place to enjoy Oze’s nature slowly.
It is extremely crowded in the high season when beautiful flowers and autumn leaves are at their best. If you want to enjoy Ozegahara slowly, let’s visit on weekdays.
Surrounded by 2,000 meters of mountains, the silence as long as you can see and the tranquility of boardwalk are full of clear air that will let you forget everything in your everyday life. How about refreshing in the Oze where you can enjoy on a day trip from the city center of Tokyo?
“Oze” which appears also in Japanese children’s song “Memories of summer” is one of the leading scenic spots in the country where numerous mountain peaks and marshes spread. The vast wetlands, also called ‘Japan’s largest wetlands’ surrounded by many famous peaks counted in 100 famous mountains of Japan, show beautiful scenery every season, and in the early summer, skunk cabbages make white flowers all at once. “Oze National Park” spanning Fukushima Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture, and Niigata Prefecture exudes a secluded atmosphere, and has released a wonderful charm which has nostalgia somewhere.
Mt. Aizu Komagatake, boasting an altitude of 2133 meters, is a scenic spot representing Oze National Park. Famous mountains, which have beautiful shapes with remaining snow in spring, are counted as one of Japan’s most famous mountains.
Speaking of Oze National Park’s most popular attraction is the Lake Ozenuma. In the Lake Ozenuma about 9 kilometers around and 9 meters deep, you can observe the various seasonal appearances of various plants that reproduct to marshes.
The wetlands of Oze National Park including the Lake Ozenuma and Ozegahara are called “the largest mountain wetland in Japan” and the area is about 650 hectares.
There is the gregarious-life place of skunk cabbages in Ozegahara. If it becomes around June when the snow which lay in winter will disappear, white flowers of skunk cabbages are all blossoming in Ozegahara all at once, and it tells us the summer’s visit to the wetlands.
Katashina village in Gumma Prefecture is the village with a gateway to Oze. It is famous as an entrance to the nearest Gunma prefecture from Kanto. There are lots of sightseeing spots and special products using Katashina’s nature, including the Oze trekking.
|Name:||Oze National Park|
|Address:||Tokura Tonegun Katashinamura, Gunma 378-0411 Japan|
|Access:||JR Joetsu Shinkansen Line “Jomo-Kogen-eki Station” (150 minutes by bus)|
|Tel:||(+81) 278-58-3222 (Katashina village Tourism Association)|