Challenges for Experts with Beauty for Novices
The Mt. Naeba area has great ski resorts, such as Naeba, Kaguramitsumata. While popular as a heavy snow area in the winter, the Mt. Naeba area features expansive Japanese beech forests, broad marshes, and many ponds surrounded by blooming flowers in the spring and summer. The Tanigawa Mountain Range includes Mt. Tanigawa—the range’s highest peak. The Tanigawadake Tenjindaira Ski Resort is usually open December to May as heavy snows and rocky mountain terrain produce a superb powder. Ichinokurasawa Gorge, one of Japan's three great rock faces, is a rock-climbing Mecca. While complex slopes attract experienced and well-equipped hikers and climbers, there are easier hikes for novices, and the Tanigawadake Ropeway allows anyone to enjoy the mountain views without any hiking.
A Volcanic Wonderland Blessed with Hot Springs
In the center of the park, Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane is an active volcano characterized by impressive crater lakes. Volcanic activity has produced notable onsen resorts. The most popular onsen include Manza Onsen to the west, and Kusatsu Onsen, famous for its old-world flavor, to the east. Slightly north, Shima Onsen in Nakanojo Town, Gunma Prefecture offers abundant nature, the colors of each season, and even wild animals. Shiga Kogen (Shiga Highland) is home to one of Japan's top ski resorts. You’ll find 70 marshes and lakes, large and small, represented most famously by Onuma Pond. To the west, Jigokudani Yaen-Koen in Yamanouchi Town, Nagano Prefecture is known around the world for the snow monkeys—wild Macaques active throughout the year but better known for enjoying in the hot springs in winter.
A Natural Wonderland for Relaxation and Recreation
An eruption split Azumaya volcano, creating Mt. Azumaya and Mt. Nekodake in the south of the park. Hikers from around the world enjoy these mountains blessed with exotic landscapes and brilliant flowers. Further south, the area around Mt. Asama—an iconic volcano and the park’s highest peak—features popular recreational areas: Takamine Highland is a base for skiing and mountain climbing, and popular hot springs; Onioshidashi Park is a picturesque park shaped by volcanic sediment in Gunma Prefecture. Just across the border, lies the resort town of Karuizawa in Kitasaku, Nagano Prefecture. Initially, a popular place for non-Japanese to escape the summer heat during the Meiji period, Karuizawa has become Japan’s representative summer retreat and is home to the National Karuizawa Wild Bird Forest.
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