3 must-do trails in Japan

Discover an unspoilt and authentic Japan

Nature and fresh air are on the itinerary for 3 trails in the Mount Bandaï region in the centre of Japan. Why not find out for yourself?

Mount Bandai area for trail in Japan

Spring is the ideal season for enjoying a stay in natural surroundings in the Mount Bandaï region. The Hoshino Resorts Bandaisan Onsen Hotel offers a wonderful view of the mountain and Lake Inawashiro, but is also the ideal starting point for discovering unspoilt and real nature. So why don’t you come and visit?

Forest and woodland in Mount Bandai

3 trails are provided, all tailored to everyone’s tastes and physical fitness, so whether your requirements are sporty or family-orientated, you can find one tailored to your needs. Each route leads you into the heart of unspoilt and unimagined nature, you walk through winding trails which interweave between mountains and villages; a full immersion in this region abundant in 300 lakes and marshes which appeared after the eruption of the volcano on Mount Bandai in 1888. The bountiful nature conceals many sources of high purity mineral water, suitable for rice cultivation, but also for making the excellent sakes produced in the region.

Luxury Hoshino Resorts hotel veranda panorama

Mount Bandai hotel room

The first route is rather quiet and family-orientated, a path in a lush forest, whose colours in spring change from day to day: magic happens and the scenery changes completely. For lunch, you can taste one of the local specialities, Aizu sauce, which accompanies delicious breaded pork cutlets.

The second route for the more sporty is about 10 kilometres and beckons you to discover Tsurugajo castle, surrounded by a beautiful golf course, and then you can continue with a visit to some historic temples and shrines before finishing at local handicraft workshops and tasting the famous “Dengaku miso” (aubergines in miso) at one of the stands.

The last trail, which is 15 km long, leads you along paths traced by climbers 1,500 years ago between the cities of Aizu and Kitakata, a hike in the fresh air marked by a visit to Buddhist temples and shrines, but also soy sauce factories and sake breweries. And for lunch, why not try a bowl of Kitakata Ramen, one of the most famous dishes in Japan, made here with a mild soy sauce broth, flavoured with a mixture of pork, chicken, and fish.

This stopping point in the centre of the island allows you to discover nature shaped by the mountainous landscape, and is a fantastic way for you to explore a fascinating and authentic Japan for healthy, calm holidays completely away from it all.

Discovering Karuizawa’s wildlife and plants

Spring is an ideal time to observe nature, and Karuizawa forest to the North of Tokyo, in the Nagano Prefecture, is the perfect place to explore this unspoilt wilderness, where between 60 and 80 species of birds nest. Why not come and find out for yourself?

Karuizawa's forest blue flower

Spring is the migration season and then Karuizawa forest teems with a host of multi-coloured birds which enchant as much with their vivid colours, as with their melodic “tweet tweet”. The Narcissus Flycatcher and the Blue-and-white Flycatcher are the most popular at this time of year, which is all the more suitable for bird watching as the trees are only covered by a few leaves. Spring is also the breeding season, when the males initially adopt their best singing voice to indicate their presence, but also to seduce the female who will also respond with her most beautiful song.

Calm and luxury hotel in Karuizawa's nature

So why don’t you use a guide to understand this unspoilt wilderness and grasp its subtleties? Picchio will be your guide! For 22 years now, he has been introducing nature lovers and the inquisitive to all the secrets that the forest can reveal. Better still, your guide shares the intimate life of the chicks and their mother with you. In fact, this nature and wildlife lover had the idea of installing a camera in one of the nests for you to share the first moments of the young chicks’ life. A unique experience which blends fun and education!!

However, the 100-hectare Karuizawa forest is not only reserved for birds, it is also a place where all sorts of flowers bloom, whose range of colours and scents awaken the senses. Look down at your feet, admire the primroses, anemones, and chrysosplenium – a perennial, creeping plant with yellow flowers without petals – lift your head up and look at the crowns of the chestnuts, Mongolian oaks, and larches. You might even be surprised by seeing an Asian black bear or a white Japanese serow during your walk; a prospect which should appeal to your children.

Hoshino Resorts Karuizawa HOSHINOYA hotel's guestroom

So after a surprising and rewarding family outing, why not choose to recover in your nest. Choose an extraordinary hotel located on the edge of the forest. HOSHINOYA Karuizawa beckons you into its luxurious settings to benefit from the tranquillity at the heart of the lush forest to enjoy a well-earned rest.

Restaurant in Japanese Alps in Karuizawa's forest