Snowshoe Along the Dreamily Azure Lakes
Explore the great outdoors in the snow
If you’re interested in outdoor winter activities but are not up for skiing or snowboarding, taking a snowshoe walk in Bandai-Asahi National Park may be perfect for you. Within the park is Goshikinuma, literally, “Five-Colored Marshes,” which consists of several lakes and ponds that were formed by an eruption from nearby Mt. Bandai. The volcanic minerals that the volcano deposited into the water have created unique kaleidoscopic colors that change from pool to pool, season to season. As the colors can range from various shades of red to green to blue throughout the year, the name Goshikinuma is apt for this mystical marshland.
Hiking is naturally a popular activity in this area, which features a multitude of trails. However, outdoor exploration is not limited just to the warmer months. With an English-speaking guide, you can even take a snowshoe walking tour among the strikingly azure lakes during the snowy season, making this a quintessential Japanese winter experience. Calm your senses by listening to the birds sing and the ample maple trees whispering with the wind in this wonderland of white and blue. After you finish your tour through the snow, you will be able to feast on some special maple syrup snacks to unwind.
Beginners are warmly welcomed. Better yet, tour operator Natural Biz will lend you all the gear you need, free of charge, so you won’t need to worry about carrying bulky equipment around with you.
Access: From Tokyo Station, take the Shinkansen bullet train to Koriyama Station, which is about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Take the train to Inawashiro Station, which is about 40 minutes, and then take a 50-minute bus ride to Urabandai Kogen.
Goshikinuma Snowshoe Walk (Natural Biz)
1171-1 Yudairayama, Hibara, Kitashiobara-mura, Yama-gun, Fukushima-ken
Approx. 2 hours or more