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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

OKAYAMA Hiruzen Highlands

Hike, bike, ride, onsen, ski and snowboard in the highlands

Fans of outdoor sports love the Hiruzen-Kogen Highlands for trekking, camping and cycling during the warmer months and skiing and snowboarding in the colder ones. On the border between Tottori and Okayama prefectures, the Hiruzen area is especially known for mountain trails.

If you're simply looking for fresh air, a healthy environment and some great scenery, food and relaxation, Hiruzen offers horseback riding, hot springs, a dairy farm, a park with carnival rides and more.

Don't Miss

  • Trekking through the plateaus and foothills of Mt. Daisen
  • Riding a horse through the highlands
  • Milking a cow and making your own cheese

How to Get There

Start from Okayama Station, the main prefectural transit hub.

The train from Okayama Station to Chugoku-Katsuyama Station on the JR Tsuyama Line takes two hours, 20 minutes. From there, take the Maniwa City Community bus (“Maniwa-kun”) from Katsuyama Station to Hiruzen Kogen. Alternatively, you can take a Chutetsu bus from Tenmaya Bus Center in Okayama to Katsuyama Station.

Nature's adventureland in northern Okayama Prefecture

Hiking is the centerpiece of outdoor activities in Hiruzen-Kogen Highlands. Mount Hiruzen is a dormant volcano that has three peaks. These peaks are part of the Daisen-Oki National Park—a huge and diverse park that includes Mt. Daisen , the Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan, and Izumo Taisha, the oldest shrine in Japan.

Other popular outdoor activities here include paragliding, camping and cycling. There is a well-paved and relatively flat cycling road through the area, and rental bikes are available. Guided tours by a knowledgeable local are available.

In the winter, skiing and snowboarding is popular. A skiing competition is held annually in February or March depending on the snow conditions.

Ride out under the open skies

At Hiruzen Horse Park, supervised horseback riding is available for all ages. Enjoy a trot around the corral or experience riding outside the park.

Outside of the park, you can ride through lush green meadows during the spring and summer or through the harsh, snow-covered ground of winter.

For families and young kids

For an activity that smaller children will certainly enjoy, visit the Hiruzen Kogen Center Joyful Park. This small theme park features classic carnival rides that are familiar around the world. The park's 30 attractions include a Ferris Wheel, Viking ship, and go-kart course.

The hot springs of Hiruzen

Another reason that many people visit Hiruzen is to soak in one of the many hot springs. Some of them welcome day trip visitors, while others are only available for those making an overnight stay. Of course, a stay in an onsen ryokan or hotel will give you more time to explore the natural environment and outdoor activities of the region. With the extra time, you may even take the opportunity to trek out to one of the many waterfalls and picnic by a riverside.

Fresh ice cream and foodie fun

In Hiruzen, dairy farming is a key industry. A popular treat is the locally produced ice cream. While summer is when its popularity hits its peak, it is popular all year round.

The dairy industry is such an important part of the fabric of Hiruzen, there is even an agriculturally based theme-park in Hiruzen-Kogen—Jersey Land. Here, you can mil a cow, make cheese, and enjoy delectable dairy.

The Jersey Land restaurant offers plenty of hearty fare—their specialties include steak, cheese fondue, yogurt, milk, and ice cream. The produce, sourced from nearby farms, is also incredible. Be sure to drink the milk too.

There is a bounty of herbs on offer at the Hiruzen Herb Garden. With more than 250 varieties of herbs and 20,000 lavender plants, its no wonder the restaurant calls itself Kaori-no-Yakata—the House of Scent.

An idyllic landscape, clean air, great food, soothing waters, and a paradise of herbs makes Hiruzen-Kogen Highlands an ideal nature getaway.