Spiritual Enlightenment and Glorious Natural Splendor
The Dewasanzan (Mt. Haguro, Mt. Gassan, and Mt. Yudono) are located in Yamagata Prefecture. Important sites for ascetic hermits since the eighth century, the mountains became a popular pilgrimage route for spiritual rebirth in the Edo period (1603–1868). Today, many people visit Dawasanzan for mountain worship and culture as well as mountain climbing and summer skiing. Midagahara is a lava plateau on the north face of Mt. Gassan with marshes over the area. A very high-altitude wetland in Toyama Prefecture, the Midagahara Wetlands stretch over a gently sloping lava plateau 1,040–2,120 meters above sea level. Covered by snow half the year, Midagahara is a snow patch grassland. After the snowmelt in early summer, blooming flowers bath the marshes in color.
The Tohoku Alps and Forest Therapy
The Asahi Mountain Range runs along the border between Yamagata and Niigata prefectures. Enjoy fantastic views of Sado Island from its highest peak (1,870 meters above sea level), Mt. O-Asahi, one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains. The Iide Mountain Range spans Fukushima, Niigata, and Yamagata prefectures. At 2,105 meters above sea level, Mt. Iide (Iide Honzan) is the main peak of the Iide Mountain Range. Along with the Asahi Mountain Range, these mountains are known as the Tohoku Alps. Nukumidaira is a thin and long, gently sloping piece of land in the mountainous areas on the northeast side of the Iide Mountain Range. A 5.5 km footpath is maintained in a lush Japanese beech forest, and visitors can enjoy forest therapy programs.
Astounding Natural Beauty and Relaxing Onsen
Urabandai is a place of outstanding natural beauty in northern Fukushima Prefecture. Bandai Kogen (Bandai Highlands), the pond-dotted area north of Mt. Bandai, features many walking trails, including the picturesque ‘Goshikinuma’ Walk. The region’s volcanic activity has produced a number of onsen (Japanese hot springs) near the Azuma Mountain Range. Travellers and mountaineers alike enjoy Takayu Onsen and Tsuchiyu Onsen for rest and relaxation. Takayu Onsen is a small hot spring resort town halfway up the Azuma Mountains in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture. Built near its source, the Arakawa River, at the foot of Mt. Azuma,Tsuchiyu Onsen is a hot spring resort approximately 16 kilometers west of Fukushima City.
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