Oze National Park
Japanese nature is often depicted through cinematic and ethereal landscapes of Mt. Fuji or its colorful gardens. However, National Parks also offer wonderful opportunities to get close to the sublime nature of Japan. Oze National Park is a marshland dating back to the ice age around 10,000 years ago. Many of the plants of the region evolved from that time, making for a unique hiking trail right above the wetlands and into the wild.
Although the park is popular during the spring season, when the skunk cabbages are in full bloom and the melted snow lakes reflect the mountainous landscape, the park completely remakes itself during the autumn season. At that time of year, golden grass and colorful foliage contrasts with the indigo waters and take over the scenery in a mesmerizingly immersive experience. The wetland grasses on Ozegahara Plateau turn gold in September and the mountains and forests turn shades of red and gold in October.
The hike, although ranging from 6 to 8 hours, is not tiring even for the most inexperienced hikers. There are also resting stations (don’t forget to take your bento box or onigiri rice balls), and mountain huts over the course where you can stay overnight during the climbing season, from late April to mid-October (reservation required).
If you’re planning to go to Japan and scheduling a stop in the Gunma region, it is definitely a must-go spot for nature lovers.
Photos provided by Oze Preservation Foundation
About 1 hour 40 minutes by bus from JR Numata Station.
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