A typical course for beginners. As it is a short course, it is perfect for visiting several times during the season to enjoy the changes in the scenery. The route is also a part of the Aizu-Numata old road, which has been around since the Edo period. Lake Ozenuma is still a popular destination for visitors to meet and socialize to this day.
Private vehicles are restricted all year at Numayama-toge Pass. Visitors will need to take a bus from Miike, which takes about 20 minutes one way. You will start walking up a wide, gentle wooden stairs trail.
It takes less than 15 minutes to reach the peak of the pass.
The Numayama-toge Observatory is a rest area, located at the start of the descent.
One of the conservation activities at Oze is the maintenance of wooden trails. The total length of the trails is approximately 65 km in the entire Oze National Park and requires several hundred million yen annually for maintenance. It has been a challenge to secure sufficient financial resources to sustain the current level of maintenance.
Visitors can reach Oe Marsh in less than 40 minutes from the mountain entrance. Blessed with rare plants despite its easy access, numerous marshland and alpine plants that are rarely seen in Ozegahara Marsh thrive here. In the past, this area was the main route of the Aizu-Numata old road. For this reason, earthen mounds were also built on the marshes during the Boshin Civil War.
Oe Marsh is one of the most important botanical treasures among the marshlands of Oze.
The colorful scenery of skunk cabbage in spring, cotton grass in early summer, broad dwarf day lily in summer, and the autumn colors of the grass are a treat for visitors.
A small hill in the Oe Marsh was built watching over Lake Ozenuma and Chozogoya Hut.
Since the mid-1990s, the marshland plants have been affected by the foraging and trampling of Japanese sika deer. The population of the broad dwarf day lily, which is typically seen in summer, has also been declining due to animal feeding damage. Due to measures such as the installation of deer-proof fences and trappings, there have been signs of recovery in recent years.
The route from Numayama-toge Pass to Oe Marsh is a place where visitors can see up close how Oze is conserving the nature.
Lake Ozenuma is located at an altitude of 1,660 meters above sea level. There is no other lake in Japan that is larger than Ozenuma at a higher altitude. As it is 260 meters higher than the Ozegahara Marsh, the snow melts later and the leaves change color earlier even though it is in the same Oze area. There is a visitor center, two mountain lodges, and a tent site by the lake.
The clear surface of Lake Ozenuma reflects Mt. Hiuchi and the sky. Standing by the lake, watch in awe the magical beauty as it changes moment by moment.
Ozenuma Visitor Center is located on the east bank of Lake Ozenuma. During the season, staff members are always on hand to provide information about the nature of Oze. Check for the latest information about Oze National Park posted in the center.
A new visitor center will open in 2021. With the completion of the new center, the surrounding Ozenuma areas will also be redeveloped and so it will definitely be worth a visit.
The oldest mountain hut in Oze was established 130 years ago. This mountain lodge represents Oze both in name and reality. It was built by Chozo Hirano, the founder of Mt. Hiuchi and who protected Oze from dam development.
In addition to the main building, there is an annex with a coffee shop, a rest area, and a store.
This is a mountain lodge managed by Hinoemata Village.
The wooden terrace in front of the hut overlooks Mt. Hiuchi, and visitors can view the summit using the large telescope found there.
The paths on the “Course Around Lake Ozenuma” are well maintained and can be walked with sneakers, but please pay attention to the shuttle bus schedule between Miike and Numayama-toge Pass. Do not forget that it takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes from Lake Ozenuma to Numayama-toge Pass. For the latest information, please check the Aizu Bus website which operates the Oze shuttle bus.