The guardian of spring slowly opens its eye
Originally known in Japanese as “Kagami-Numa” (Mirror Marsh) for its reflective qualities, the Hachimantai Dragon Eye can be found on Mt. Hachimantai’s peak (elevation 1,613m). The lake is said to have earned its name in 2016, when a Taiwanese tourist found and posted a picture of it on social media, comparing its likeness to a mysterious azure dragon eye. This breathtaking scenery has since attracted people from all over the world to Tohoku’s beautiful countryside.
The Dragon Eye is formed as the lake thaws out from winter. Reflecting light from the sun, the water takes on a deep blue color. Meanwhile, the snow melts faster in the middle and around the lake shore, leading to this distinctive look.
The Hachimantai Nature Bus Makes Travel Easy
The Hachimantai Nature Bus (Sansaku Basu) runs to and from Morioka Station each day from April 26th to October 20th. It takes about 1.5 hours to get between Morioka and the Mt. Hachimantai Rest House located at the summit.
Travelers coming from Tokyo via bullet train should add an extra 2 hours to reach Morioka Station from Tokyo.
Great accommodations are available on the way to the summit for those who would like to stay overnight.
Bound for Hachimantai
|2019 Route Schedule
(bus runs each day in the periods listed below)
(April 26th - May 18th)
(May 19th - September 30th)
(October 1st - October 20th)
|Morioka Station (Bus Stop #3)||9:10||15:55||9:10||17:10||9:10||16:55|
|Sakura Park (Matsuo-Hachimantai Visitor Center)||9:50||14:48||9:50||16:18||9:50||15:48|
|Matsuo Mine Museum||10:02||14:45||10:02||16:15||10:02||15:45|
|Hachimantai Heights Hotel||10:07||14:40||10:07||16:10||10:07||15:40|
|Hachimantai Rising Sun Hotel||10:09||14:38||10:09||16:08||10:09||15:38|
|Hachimantai Onsenkyo (Onsen Area)||10:11||14:36||10:11||16:06||10:11||15:36|
|Hachimantai Mountain Hotel||10:13||14:34||10:13||16:04||10:13||15:34|
|Active Resorts Iwate Hachimantai||10:16||14:31||10:16||16:01||10:16||15:31|
|Hachimantai Jukai Line|
|Mount Hachimantai Summit|
(Summit Rest House)
|Hachimantai Aspite Line|
(Chausu Hiking Trailhead)
Bound for Morioka
|Bus Stops||Day times|
|Mt. Hachimantai Peak|
(Mt. Hachimantai Rest House)
|(some bus stops)|
- Seat reservations are not possible.
- Not covered by the Japan Rail Pass / JR East Rail Pass.
- Best Season:
- Late May - Mid June
- Hours (Hachimantai Mountaintop Rest House):
- Normal Hours: 9:00 - 17:00
- Nighttime Road Closure: 9:00 - 16:30
Hachimantai Mountaintop Rest House
- Parking ¥500
- Boot rentals ¥200
- Recommended Clothing:
- A light jacket for the changeable weather at the peak.
- Snow/Rubber Boots or waterproof trekking shoes for traversing snow