Oze National Park (Niigata) 尾瀬国立公園（新潟）
Wilderness trekking past ponds and through marshland and mountains
Oze National Park is an immense natural expanse shared by four prefectures—Niigata , Gunma , Fukushima and Tochigi . The park's biggest attractions are its peaks, mountain marshlands, large pond and alpine flora.
Trekkers and other outdoor enthusiasts come here in force from spring to fall, drawn by the opportunity to roam through environs free of buildings, roads and traffic. Instead, you'll find plants from the Ice Age and creatures of various kinds. There are also places to camp if you want to extend your stay.
- The white mizubasho flowers in spring
- Hiking from Hatomachitoge
- Walking around enormous Ozenuma Pond
How to Get There
The Oze area can be reached by train, bus and car.
To get to Numata Station, take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Jomo Kogen Station or to Takasaki then transfer to a local train to Numata.
By train and bus: Take local trains to Numata Station, then transfer to a bus that leads you to different trailheads in the park.
By direct bus: Three highway buses run between Tokyo and Oze every day by the Kanetsu Kotsu company. This line only operates from late May to mid-October.
Buses run from Numata Station to Oze's trailheads every hour.
An ancient alpine marsh, high up and flourishing
The most popular area of the park is undoubtedly the Ozegahara Marshland. Located 1400 meters above sea level, it is Japan's largest highland marsh. Some of the flora here have been growing in the area since the Ice Age. The white flowers of mizubasho bloom here in late spring and early summer, and warm autumn colors take over in September and October.
Raised wooden walkways make traversing the area quite easy, but be careful on rainy days, when the wood can become slippery.
Mt. Shibutsu and Mt. Hiuchigatake are located on each side of Ozegahara Marshland, so they can be seen from all vantage points of the marsh.
Hiking around Oze
The most popular mountain trail here is Hatomachitoge, about an hour away on foot from the western end of the marshland. This hike leads to Oshimizu, and takes about 6 to 8 hours to finish. The climb does not get overly steep, and you'll be able to enjoy views of the mountains and marshes along the way.
The road to Hatomachitoge is closed to private vehicles during the peak hiking season, so you'll need to take a bus there.
To the east of the Ozegahara Marshland lies Ozenuma Pond. A six-kilometer path leads you past the entire pond. You can easily walk over the marsh of Oze thanks to the wide wooden boardwalks, which allow you to get a close look at the wildflowers.
About a two-hour walk away from the pond is the Oshimizu trailhead, the start of another popular hike. A bit further away lies the trailhead for Fujimi-shita trailhead. It is not very easily accessible but the road remains open to private vehicles during the entire hiking season.
Other information about Oze
Make a stop at the Oze-Yamanohana Visitor Center located at the access point to Ozegahara Marsh to get information on the animals and plants of Oze. There are also restrooms and vending machines.
If you're looking to stay in Oze for more than a day, check out the campgrounds, in the area. There are also lodges both in the park or in the small towns around Oze.
This area is heavily buried in snow during the winter months, so plan your trip for sometime between May and November.