Nikaho City Tourist association
Zip code: 018-0121
36-1 Ooshiokoshi Kisakata, Nikaho City, Akita Prefecture, Japan
Business hour: 9:00-21:00
Phone: +81 184-43-6608
FAX: +81 184-43-6609
Nature and Scenery
A 40-minute walk along the trail from the Recreational Forest (Recreation no Mori) leads you to the spring-fed Detsubo Lake, also known as Kuma no Mizunomi ba (the Bears' Drinking Fountain). The large volume of water is fed from the corner of the Shinzan lava dome at the top of Mt. Chokai. The water, springing from four sources in the area, covers a 26-hectare area of marshland.
The riverbed and the area around the spring are distinguished not only by the great volume of water, but by the wide variety of mosses concentrated in the area. Many rare species, such as the handeru soroi goke (jungermannia handelii), found only in Yatsugatake; the hira uroko goke (nardia compressa), exclusive to Mt. Chokai; the marshlands' own moerugia japonica; and the scapania undulate, also known as "Chokai marimo," have been observed.
Please be aware that the marshland is a designated natural monument. There are laws against collecting moss and damaging the environment and they are strictly enforced.
Mototaki Fukuryusui Underflow
The infiltrated water, falling from a 30 meter-wide rock wall, provides refreshing air. The contrast between the vivid green of the moss-covered slope and vibrant white of the spraying waters creates a therapeutic breeze to soothe the soul.
Naso no Shirataki
Southward from a cluster of small waterfalls and directly opposite of the Naso no shirataki (the White Waterfalls of Naso), stands the Kinpo Shrine, which is famous for the traditional Choukurairo dance.
Located midstream in the Naso River, the waterfall is 26 meters tall and 11 meters wide. It is famous for the great volume of water passing through it.
The treasure house inside the shrine displays a statue of the Kannon carved out of a single Japanese cedar, said to have been sculpted in the late Heian period. It is a designated cultural treasure of Akita Prefecture. The treasure house welcomes visitors free of charge between April and early November to see the great Kannon statue among many other cultural treasures. A garden, the Folk Culture Preservation and Learning Center and a kiosk on the shrine's premises, also offer a unique learning experience for all visitors.
On the south of the shrine is a 75-meter long and 2-meter wide suspension bridge called the Negai Bashi (the Wish Bridge) reaching across the river at 21 meters above the water. After crossing this bridge, a short trail leads you to a green park.
The Nikaho Highlands are located at the easternmost end of Mt. Chokai at 500 meters above sea level. Situated 10 kilometers from the Sea of Japan, the highlands are spotted with lakes of various sizes to compose a unique scenic area. Mt. Chokai stands as the most magnificent monument, overlooking the Nikaho Highlands from its centrally- oriented position, to the awe of visitors.
The Nikaho Highlands also have a series of tourist attractions and facilities, such as the municipal lodge, "Hibari so," a bicycling path, and a camping site so that visitors can fully enjoy the beauty of the place.
At 2,236 meters, Mt. Chokai is the second highest mountain in the Tohoku region of Japan. Soaring almost vertically from the shore, the top of the mountain is only 16 kilometers from the coast. Among the diversity of the nation's mountains, this type of isolated volcano peak is very unusual, especially with its varied and scenic surroundings, including seashore, flat land, rivers, highlands, marshlands and mountains, all condensed into one area. The scenery of "Kage-chokai" (Chokai shadow), the dark, pyramid-shaped silhouette of Mt. Chokai under the morning sun reflected on the Sea of Japan, is a hiker's ultimate dream.
The sunset of Kisakata's shoreline is named as one of the Hundred Sunset Selections. The scarlet light coloring the view is certainly worth the visit. Tourists and locals go to the shore to spend a relaxing time watching the sun bury itself beyond the horizon.
Seishi Park is an oasis for city dwellers and is one of the most famous cherry blossom sites in the prefecture.
The 1000 someiyoshino cherry trees cover the sky above the park and create a phenomenal view in combination with the Kannongata, the Takeshimagata, and the overlooking Mt. Chokai. It was selected in 1978 as one of the 30 New Tourism Spots of Akita.
The cherry blossoms are not the only flowers that delight visitors. The park is also full of Japanese camellias, marubagumi, and Japanese azaleas to please the eye. The opening of the Shirase Antarctic Expedition Memorial Museum in 1990 near Takeshimagata encouraged the development of the area to create a great path for jogging or strolling.
Misaki Park is located along National Route 7 (Kokudo 7-go) on the border of Akita and Yamagata prefectures. It is named Misaki (three capes) after Kannon Cape, Daishi Cape and Fudo Cape, all of which project into the Sea of Japan.
The cliff is formed by the molten rocks erupted from Mt. Chokai. The Misakiyama Kyukai do (designated by the prefecture), known as one of the most difficult paths along the shoreline of the Sea of Japan since olden times, still exists today as a historical walkway.
The cherry blossoms in this park are known to bloom earliest in Akita Prefecture. The park also has a camping site and an athletic field from which the beauty of the shore, with its rocks of unusual shape, can be viewed.
Nakajimadai Recreational Forest (Nakajimadai Recreation no Mori)
With the regional symbol of the Reiho Chokaizan situated within, this national park is designated as a natural recreation forest.
The massive beech (buna) trees, which are hundreds of years old, are an expression of the mystique of life and are decorated by unusual contours.
From the mukashibuna, a surviving fossil from the ice age, to the plentiful purity of the springs to the natural treasure of the "Shishigabana Marshland" and the rare Chokai marimo moss, this park is an organic museum displaying the diversity of nature's wonders.
National Natural Monuments
Mt. Chokai Shishigabana Highland plant community, Niyama Lavaflow Cliff (Niiyama Youganryu Tanmatsugake) and the Cluster of Springs
Designated Area 26 hectares (260,000 sq. meters)
Average Altitude 550 meters from sea level
Time Required to Tour the Whole Circle: About 2 hours and 20 minutes
Total Trip Length to Tour the Circle: 5.08 kilometers
The recreational forest is located inside a nationally owned forest, is surrounded by beech virgin forest, and was designated as a natural forest for preservation.
A trail through the virgin forest of beech has been made to give hikers a great view of the natural scenery. Beech trees are growing in smaller numbers throughout the world. The beech forest here is made of natural dwarf beech trees and is valued scientifically. The nature of the dwarfism is unknown, although theories of heavy snowfall, eruptions and tree-trimming by fire all exist as theories.