Boardwalks are in place around the wetlands and you can walk around in about an hour, while admiring the seasonal flowers. This is the Northern limit of the Japanese red maple and you can see interesting animals such as Japan’s smallest dragonfly, the scarlet dwarf, and the forest green tree frog that lays its eggs on the branches and leaves of trees. From around April, skunk cabbage and Asian skunk cabbage start to bloom and a variety of wildflowers adorn the wetlands throughout the year.
Mt. Kashimayari lies to the North West, and the view of the mountain from the wetlands is majestic. In the spring, the shapes of a crane and a lion can be seen painted on the mountainside by the remaining snow.
Access: By train – 30 minute walk from Inao Station on the Oito line
By car – 50 minutes from Azumino Interchange, or 55 minutes from Nagano Interchange
Parking: 5 cars
Miyanomori Nature Park
Located 15 minutes’ walk from Omachi Onsenkyo, this is a natural garden with abundant spring water. You can walk around the boardwalk in about 30 minutes and along the banks of the stream, skunk cabbages and Asian skunk cabbages bloom with dainty small flowers in early spring. Fireflies flutter around the clean water of the stream in summer. It is also possible to see white-spotted char swimming in the flow.
Access: By train – 15 minutes by taxi from Shinano Omachi Station
By car – 40 minutes from Azumino Interchange
Parking: 3 cars
Surrounded by trees and fields, these wetlands are located in the mountains at an altitude of 945 m. With a history of over 8,000 years, peat has accumulated in the wetlands to a depth of over 2.6 meters and was used as fuel in times of need. The disused pits have become home to water loving animals such as dragonflies. The best season in the wetlands is when the Miyamaumemodoki plants produce bright red berries. The beautiful contrast of the red berries with the white morning frost and early snow makes late fall to early winter the best times to visit the quiet wetlands. You can walk around the wetlands in about 30 minutes.
Access: By train – 10 minutes by taxi from Shinano Omachi Station
By car – 35 minutes from Azumino Interchange
Parking: 10 cars (Micro-buses allowed)
* Larger buses should use the parking lot next to the Aikawa tunnel in front of the wetlands.
(a 10-minute walk from the parking lot to the wetlands)
Rest Area: There is a free rest area with toilets next to the wetlands.