Bandai Asahi National Park 磐梯朝日国立公園
Bandai Asahi National Park
Credit: Brian Adler
Seen on Mount Bandai in autumn
Credit: Tanoshimu Japan
The Wonders of Tohoku
Located in the Tohoku region in the north of Japan's main island and stretching all around Mount Bandai, Bandai Asahi National Park will delight nature lovers in all seasons!
Bandai Asahi National Park is located in the Tohoku region. Founded in September 1950, it covers an area of 1,870 km2 and extends over three different prefectures: Fukushima, Niigata and Yamagata prefectures.
Bandai Asahi National Park is the 3rd largest protected area in Japan, bounded by the Bandai Azuma mountain range to the south and the holy mountain Dewa Sanzan to the north. An ideal place to visit for all those who love nature, hiking and wild animals.
A PRESERVED PARK
Although the park is open to the public, its status as a national park makes it a place for the protection of both flora and fauna. Only 29 parks are lised under the national park status in Japan. These parks have several objectives: to protect landscapes and ecosystems, to promote environmental education to the public, tourism and outdoor recreation.
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Visitors can alternate between hiking in the countryside, but also water sports on some lakes in the park. Swim, or take bike rides on the various tracks that meander through this mecca of green tourism. But that's not all, once winter comes, Mount Bandai welcomes skiers on its 29 trails, as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing enthusiasts.
Our must-see places in Bandai Asahi Park, would be Lake Inawashiro, Goshikinuma Swamp and Lake Hibara.
Lake Inawashiro is a large lake, also called Heavenly Mirror Lake, with Mount Bandai reflecting on its surface. The lake has many beaches and is also a place of passage for the migration of wild swans. Be careful, however, it is better to avoid the lake during the Japanese holiday period. Particularly prized for its beauty of the surroundings, it is very popular in the summer months.
The Goshikinuma marshes are also worth a visit. Nicknamed the "five-colored ponds", because of their variable colors according to the seasons, the weather, and their composition, they offer an exceptional natural spectacle. A one hour hike allows you to discover these marshes, while having a fantastic view of Mount Bandai.
The largest lake at Goshiki
Credit: Jordy Meow
One of the colorful ponds of Goshikinuma
Credit: Bryan Adler
Finally, Lake Hibara which is perhaps the most particular of the lakes in Bandai Asahi National Park. It is rarely visited, because some visitors prefer to stroll around the first two lakes, without necessarily embarking on the hike of several kilometers. Here you can see some abandoned buildings around the lake, vestiges of the old village that the eruption of Mount Bandai engulfed. The village was submerged with water and remains at the bottom of this lake.
From Lake Hibara, you can take a bus back to the starting point of the hike. Practical for the most tired, even if we still advise you to make the trip in the other direction, we sometimes discover details that had escaped us during the first passage.