Red Kochia, Goshikinuma and Mt. Zao Autumn Trekking Trip

2019 October 19-20 (Saturday-Sunday)

Ibaraki/Fukushima/Yamagata

Experience the absolute autumn beauty of the Tohoku Region!

This Trip Features;

  • Three (3) prefectures in one weekend; Ibaraki, Fukushima and Yamagata
  • The spectacular sight of 32,000 Red Kochia (pompom balls) at Hitachi Seaside Park
  • Short trek to see the gorgeous Goshikinuma (five color ponds) surrounded by colorful autumn leaves
  • Beautiful autumn leaves while driving along the Zao Echoline Road
  • Breathtaking views of Okama Crater Lake and the surrounding mountain sceneries
  • Short hike up to Kumanodake (Mt. Zao's highest peak @1,841m) for the more adventurous ones ;p
  • Zao Onsen Dairotenburo; one of the best and most beautiful outdoor onsens in Japan

Join us for this fantastic autumn adventure for all ages!

Trip Itinerary

Saturday (Oct 19)

  • Meet in Shinjuku at 7:15am
  • Get on the bus
  • Catch up on your sleep or chat with other members and get excited
  • Short stop for breakfast on the way
  • Arrive at Hitachi Seaside Park around 9:30am
  • See the cute Red Kochia and other beautiful seasonal flowers
  • Get on the bus 10:45am
  • Short stop for lunch at service area (30mins)
  • Arrive at Goshikinuma Tourist Information Center around 2:15pm
  • Trek and explore the gorgeous Goshikinuma (five coloured ponds)
  • Get on the bus at 4pm
  • Arrive in Zao Onsen around 6:15pm
  • Check-in at the hotel
  • Enjoy the hot shower/bath or the local onsen nearby
  • Dinner at 7:30pm
  • Group party

Sunday (Oct 20)

  • Breakfast at 7:30am
  • Join the Okama Crater Lake/Kumanodake trek (8:30am-12:30pm)
  • Visit Zao Onsen Dairoten or one of the local onsens in town
  • Get on the bus at 3:30pm
  • Short stop for food/snacks on the way
  • Arrive back in Shinjuku around 9pm

Trip Inclusion - Extras - Discounts

Price includes;

  • Private bus transportation (for the entire duration)
  • Entrance fee to Hitachi Seaside Park
  • One (1) night 'shared room' hotel accommodation
  • Dinner for Saturday
  • Breakfast for Sunday
  • Fun and cute (English/Japanese speaking) trek guides ;p
  • Travel insurance
  • Consumption tax

Extras;

  • Okama Crater Lake/Kumanodake trek (2,000yen) *Includes round-trip bus transportation and trek guides
  • Private room for 2 persons (2,000yen/person)
  • Private room for 1 person (4,000yen)

Discounts;

  • Birthday on Oct 19-20 (3,000yen)
  • Kids under 12 (3,000yen)
  • Early-bird (1,000yen) *Pay before 3pm on Sep 19
  • Group of 4-5 (1,000yen/person) *Group leader or name required
  • Group of 6 or more (2,000yen/person) *Group leader or name required
  • Regular member (1,000yen) *Joined more than 5 TG trips/Cannot combine with the group discount
    *** Check Discount Policies ***
Price: 25,900Yen
Space left: 26 out of 28

PLACES TO EXPLORE/TREK/HIKE

    Red Kochia

  • The 350 hectare miassive field at Miharashi Hill in Hitachi Seaside Park is filled with 32,000 Pompom 'Kochia' balls in bright crimson red during this time of the year making a spectacular scenery.
  • Goshikinuma

  • Mysterious but beautiful lakes/ponds which include Bishamonnuma, Akanuma, Midoronuma, Tatsunuma, Bentennuma, Rurinuma, Aonuma and Yanaginuma. The colours of these lakes can vary from emerald green, cobalt blue, turquoise blue, emerald blue, and pastel blue depending on the weather, season, angle of view, volcanic substances contained in the water, etc.. Aonuma in particular has such a beautiful colour that it cannot be thought of as something created by nature. The name, Goshikinuma, as written in Japanese (五色沼 or five colour ponds), is rather a misnomer. The area consists of many more than five ponds, and is also famous for displaying a much larger spectrum of spectacular colours.
  • Goshikinuma Walking Trail

  • The 3.6k long walking trail is fun for beginners and takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to conquer. The trail takes you around the mystical five lakes and ponds of Goshikinuma, or the "Five Colored Marshes", including Lake Bishamon. There is little elevation change making it a very easy walk.
  • Zao Echoline Road

  • Driving along this spectacular mountain road from Zao Onsen to Kattadake you will see a lot of Maple species and other gorgeous autumn leaves.
  • Okama Crater Lake

  • With a circumference of 1,000m and a depth of 27m, this crater lake also known as “Goshikinuma” (five color pond) for the changes in the colors of the water surface from the intensity of light, is one of the best features at Zao Onsen. Okama means cooking pot in Japanese which resembles the shape of the crater :)
  • Kumanodake Hike

  • A short (45mins) and optional hike up Mt. Zao's highest peak (1,841m above sea level) from Kattadake (Okama Crater Lake viewpoint) to see and enjoy more breathtaking mountain sceneries.
  • Onsen

  • Zao Onsen's sulfuric waters are among the most acidic in the entire country with a PH value of close to 1. They can be enjoyed at multiple public bath houses across the town, which range from small, old-fashioned community baths to a modern facility with various pools. The highlight is the Zao Dairotenburo outdoor bath which is one of the best and most beautiful onsens in Japan.

Important Notes

  • Itinerary may vary due to the weather, traffic conditions, and other unavoidable circumstances.
  • You MUST have your own insurance (health, social, company, etc.) to be able join.
  • Hiking/trekking experience not necessary but reasonable fitness required.
  • You can leave your belongings in the bus (or hotel) during the walk/trek/hike. All you need is a small backpack, raincoat, picnic lunch, snacks, drinks, camera, smartphone and cash.
  • Maximum of 4 persons per room.
  • Group of 4 friends can have their own room.
  • Single and double rooms are available at extra cost.
  • We will try to accommodate all dietary requirements. However, we are unable to guarantee the hotel/lodge can cater for every meal
  • Final details will be sent to the participants by email two days before the event.

What to wear/bring

  • Windbreaker/waterproof jacket and pants
  • Warm clothes (fleece/thermals)
  • Clothes appropriate for trekking and weather
  • Hiking/trekking shoes or trainers with ankle protection
  • Soft/thick socks
  • Trekking poles
  • Big and small backpack
  • Small towel
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks
  • Mineral water or sports drinks (1.5L)
  • Eye masks
  • Ear plugs
  • Book
  • Camera
  • Smartphone
  • Cash

Useful Links