This year the time window is much longer than usual since the waterfall froze early, and is likely to stay frozen through February. You can rent the snowshoes at the Forestry Museum or get them as part of a tour!
We are getting tons of snow all over Japan this week, and in Hachimantai, the powder is perfect!
Whether you’re staying near APPI, in the Hachimantai Onsenkyo, or near the Panorama Ski Area, there are buses that will take you everywhere you need to go!
A convenient bus network will take you between the two main ski areas (APPI and the Hachimantai Resort) as well as to Morioka Station. So it’s easy to spend multiple nights in the Hachimantai area making the most of the great powder snow in a variety of terrains!
Check out the bus map and schedule here:
The Nanataki Falls in Hachimantai are starting to freeze! This famous ice falls is glorious to see every year – and lots of people make the snowshoe hike through the forest to see it each winter.
It usually is completely frozen by the end of January and stays that way through February. So we’re not anywhere near there yet, but even in its current stage it’s quite beautiful!
It’s about a 45-minute hike to the falls from the Nanataki trailhead, located here: https://goo.gl/maps/znBeMrM96CAzWmxHA
Sakuramatsu Shrine in Hachimantai is one of my favorite places to go (besides the mountains) in the winter. This ancient shrine has a rare dragon/serpent shrine built into a cliff, and the atmosphere is really otherworldly.
But most people that come here visit for Fudo Falls – one of the 100 most beautiful waterfalls in Japan. In another month or so it will freeze into a magnificent ice falls, but for now it’s still flowing. This waterfall also has a rather mysterious history as a center for Shugendo training. Buddhist Mountain Ascetics would stand under the falls while chanting the Heart Sutra as part of their spiritual training hundreds of years ago.
I’m not one that senses this sort of thing – but many Japanese people feel that this is a “power spot” and feel intense waves of “energy” here. While I don’t share that feeling, I do think the atmosphere is unrivaled! It’s a very intense place!
The location is here: https://goo.gl/maps/AetqtZMgUsRjpxjr7
Selected as one of the 100 best places in Japan for forest bathing. Around 1930, the trees in the Appi Kogen area were cut down over a wide area for use in making products such as charcoal and lacquerware. The large trees that couldn’t be logged at that time remained, and gradually spread. Now a large secondary beech tree forest has grown here, restoring the area to its former beauty.
Take a walk along the promenade from the Appi Kogen Beech Station, and you’ll be able to enjoy the scenic beauty of the secondary beech tree forest. All of your senses will be engaged with the sun shining through the canopy, the sound of the breeze through the leaves, and the warm embrace of the earth under your feet. The spring and autumn are particularly stunning times to visit!
Have you ever met an Alpaca? Maybe you have? But can you really ever meet *enough* alpaca. Probably not. So come out to the Salad Farm in Hachimantai, where in addition to a beautiful new garden with a pond and stunning view of Mt. Iwate, you can meet and feed alpaca!
The youngest one, momo, is around 100 days old and beyond cute. In fact, the Salad Farm is holding an event on November 14th for Momo-chan, the youngest Alpaca! The event will be held around 11AM on Saturday, November 14th.
Traveling through Hachimantai in a rental car with your family? Great idea! If you know to do that, you probably already know about the Salad Farm- a rather expansive area with all kinds of great activities and food to enjoy! Whether you’d like to buy house plants, create your own “moss ball” with a plant growing out of it, pick fresh strawberries, relax in a cafe, or or meet the cutest Alpacas that you’ve ever seen – the Salad Farm is the place! Another of the facilities were renovated recently, and there’s a large new garden area with ponds, all kinds of flowers, and great views of the surrounding mountains. And don’t miss the chance to try their delicious gelato!
So after you’ve explored the Hachimantai Summit area and walked around the alpine marshlands there, zip down to the Salad Farm for dessert!
Full details here: https://trip8.jp/listings/salad-farm-2/
Now is the perfect time to visit Goshiki Pond in Hachimantai! While it changes color throughout the year and thus warrants multiple visits, if you were only going to see it once, now would be the time! Around late August and early September, just after the end of the rainy season in Japan, the pond is at its most radiant. The bright azure color of the water right now is further accentuated by the red clay that surrounds the pond. Its location right next to another scenic lake, this one not augmented by subterranean minerals and thus normal (though beautiful) in color, makes the special character of Goshiki Pond even more pronounced!
This area is easy to reach, just a 15 to 20 minute walk from the parking lot on the Hachimantai Aspite Line. (Here: https://goo.gl/maps/i4N8C9CsW7dFDMLc9)
And if you visit this area, there are so many other things for you to enjoy nearby! From the ruins of the Midorigaoka apartment ruins near the Matsuo Mine site, to the alpine wetlands near the summit of Mt. Hachimantai- this entire area is a paradise for those that appreciate the great outdoors! And we haven’t even entered the delicious season of autumn colors….!
Detailed information on Goshiki Pond here: https://trip8.jp/listings/goshiki-pond/