With spring fast approaching both Maine and Aomori, it seems appropriate to look at an aspect of Aomori’s culture that resembles that of the State of Maine. Maine is renowned for its vibrant natural environment and abundance of outdoor activities – especially in its national and state parks, which are enjoyed by both locals and visiting tourists.
So, how about Aomori’s natural environment and outdoor culture?
In the interior of the Tohoku region and spreading across the Prefectures of Aomori, Akita, and Iwate, resides Towada-Hachimantai National Park. The park is split up into two separate areas: the Northern area known as Towada-Hakkoda (which is within both Aomori and Akita), and the Southern area known as Hachimantai (which is within both Akita and Iwate). Each area – North and South – has equally stunning scenery and a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking trails, rustic hot springs, tourist boat rides, snowshoe hiking, winter/spring skiing, camping, and nature tours.
Natural Features: Mount Hokkada, Lake Towada, Oirase-Keiryu (mountain stream & gorge), The Hakkoda Branch of the Tohoku University Botanical Garden, volcanic land formations
Wild Habitats for: Asiatic Black Bears, Golden Eagles, and the Japanese Serow (resembles a deer, but is a member of the cow family)
Natural Features: Mount Hachimantai, a highland marsh/Hachiman pond, Mt. Iwate, Mt. Akita-Komagatake, Mt. Yake-Yama, the Hachimantai Aspite line (corridor of snow – so winter only!), Juhyo (frost-covered trees – so winter only!), volcanic land formations
Wild Habitats for: Golden Eagles, the Japanese Serow (resembles a deer, but is a member of the cow family), Forest Green Tree Frog (species unique to Japan), and a variety of alpine plants
Like the woodlands of Maine, Towada-Hachimantai National Park is admired for it’s ability to appeal to the visitor regardless of the season. Whether it be Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter, people are drawn to these mountains, lakes, and woods in order to experience the power and beauty of nature.
For more information on Towada-Hachimantai National Park and it’s different areas, please check out the links below!
(All photo’s belong to the Ministry of the Environment: Government of Japan: http://www.env.go.jp/en/nature/nps/park/towada/point/index.html)