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Meet the Akita dog tour - Part 5:
Attractions in Northeastern Iwate


A peaceful land on the mountains, filled with various wildflowers in summer, and absolute white with powder snow in winter.

Attractions in Hachimantai

Hchimantai area is a mountainous terrain in the northern region of Japan, situated in the middle between Iwate and Akita prefecture. Hachimantain area is formed with a cluster of volcanoes which erupted more than a million years ago, has peaks and plateaus dotted with small crater lakes. This area is designated as a part of Towada-Hachimantai National Park.

Hachimantai area is a place where visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities; walking, hiking and climbing in the national park, and the nearby resorts are for skiing, golf, tennis, camping, and cycling.

Hiking in Mount Hachimantai

Hachimantai is a group of volcanic mountains, and the highest peak is called Mount Hachimantai. At the height of about 1600m, the top of Mount Hachimantai is a plateau where people can enjoy hiking on the trails.

Hachiman Lake (Hachiman-numa) at the top of Mount Hachimantai.
Photo by Hachimantai DMO

The trails on Mt. Hachiman lead you to the "natural garden" of a hundred of different wildflowers. During the season, guided tours are available for visitors. Hiking/trekking tours with an English speaking guide may also be arranged at hotels in the nearby resorts.

Autumn-leaf viewing

In late September, the season of colorful leaves begins in Hachimantai, much earlier than other regions on the mainland of Japan. Hachimantai has many scenic spots for autumn-leaf viewing, good places to go for a drive.

A view from the bridge "Morino Ohashi" on the way to Matsukawa hot spring village. (Original photo by Hachimantai DMO)

Snow activities and Resorts

Blessed with powder snow, Hachimantai area has four of well-developed ski resorts. The ski areas open from the middle of December to late March, provide various snow activities as well as skiing for both beginners and skilled skiers. Recently, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing with the guide are getting popular there.

(Original photo by Hachimantai DMO)

Hachimantai Mountain Hotel & Spa

Hachimantai Mountain Hotel & Spa is located in Hachimantai Onsen Town. The hotel is just beside the ski area having one of the largest slopes in the region with a total length of 1000m.

The hotel is within easy access to Mt. Hachimantai, about 40 minutes by car, and provides various trekking tours in the area with a guide for both guests and visitors. Within a 20-minutes walk area from the hotel, there are also places people can stroll to enjoy wildflowers.

With a little luck, people who visit Mt. Hachimantai around between the middle of May and June may see the blue-ring appearance called "Dragon Eye" on Kagami-numa lake up there.

The crater lake Kagami-numa known as "Dragon Eye"

Hachimantai Mountain Hotel & Spa is reachable from Morioka Station by public bus. The bus runs every hour or so between Morioka Station (East Exit No3) and the hotel, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. From Morioka Station, a free shuttle bus is also available for their hotel guests, served once a day.

Natural Hot springs

Soaking into the hot springs water to warm your body after outdoor activities; skiing, mountain‐walking, sightseeing, can be the highlight of your stay in Hachimantai. Hachimantai is the area rich in hot springs and has 22 of hot springs facilities in different styles; traditional Japanese inns or ryokan, hotels, and day spas, all of them have different hot spring water.

A Japanese Inn "Kyounso," at Matsukawa Onsen Town in the mountains of Hachimantai area. The hot springs in milky blue at Matsukawa Onsen Town is favored by Onsen lovers.

A fireplace at Kyounso Japanese Inn. The Onsen hot springs spa at Kyounso is available for both guests staying at the inn and visitors.

Matsukawa Onsen, a hot springs town, opened over 280 years ago and has four traditional Japanese inns. The Matsukawa Onsen is accessible by public bus from Morioka Station and served about 3 times a day by Hachimantai Mountain Hotel.

Corridor of snow and Sakura in early spring

Aspite line, the scenic road leading to Mt. Hachimantai, closes in winter around the middle of November due to heavy snow. During the winter, the layered snowfall creates a wall, reaches a height of 5m, or even 10m depending on the year.

Aspite line opens in the middle of April as "Corridor of Snow in Hachimantai" with the snow wall. The late spring coming to Hachimantai allows visitors to view of Sakura cherry blossoms and snow in the same season.

Aspite line in April. (Original photo by Hachimantai DMO)




Hachimantai Mountain Hotel & Spa

Kyounso Japanese Inn at Matsukawa Onsen

Hachimantai Geothermal Dying
On the way to Matsukawa Onsen Town, there is a place offering hands-on workshops for geothermal dying, cafe and pension.

Kojiya Motomiya Restaurant & Traditional Japanese food experience

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