Mt. Goshikidake is a volcano composing the Zao Mountain Range in the border of Yamagata Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture. It is 1,674 m above sea level. It is a post-caldera pyricrastic cone in the outer rim of the crator with a diameter of 2 km. At the center of the caldera lies a caldera lake known as Okama, one of the major attractions in Zao area.
The walking trail is set around Okama so that you can go round the lake, which changes colors from cobalt blue or emerald green to brown depending on the weather conditions.
As there is nothing to cut off the view, you can enjoy the scenery of the magnificent Zao Mountain Range covered with crimson foliage in fall. In winter, you can take a close look at snow monsters, which are trees frozen by winds and covered with snow. In any season, you will fully enjoy soaking yourself in the world filled with the wonder of nature.
Hachimantai is a plateau-like volcanic terrace, 1,400-1,600 meters above sea level, extending over Iwate Prefecture and Akita Prefecture. The plateau is composed of aspite volcanoes in various shapes. Numerous ponds and swamps are dotted among the peaks. The highest peak is at 1,613 m above sea level. In winter hard rime is formed on Maries' firs, which are called “Snow Monsters.” Skiers can enjoy endlessly continuing snow monsters on a fine day.
Silver forest, or soft rime, can be seen near the top of Mt. Gomadanzan, the highest peak in Wakayama Pref. from the middle of November through the end of December. Soft rime is a white ice that forms when the water droplets in fog freeze to the outer surfaces of objects like tree barks. You can take the hiway called Takano-Ryujin Skyline from Ryujin Village to Mt. Gomadanzan parking lot, from which walking along the promnade is the nearest way to the mountain top. Beautiful soft rime can be seen on every beech tree growing along either side of the promnade The ice on the trees glistens like white blossoms, creating fantastic atmosphere all over the area. On the way to the mountain top, there is a small waterfall named the Koikosode Waterfall, where you can see water splashes frozen to iciles. The forest in Mt. Gomadanzan was selected as one of 100 Headspring Forests by Forestry Agency in 1995.
If you pass along Tenjin beach toward the mouth of the Nagase River in midwinter, you will see the phenomenon of natural ice art.
Water from Inawashiro Lake is blown by very strong westerly winds onto trees near the beach where it freezes in splash formations, a phenomenon that is very rare in Japan. This 'splash ice' is as beautiful as 'silver frost' and you will never be tired of seeing it.
The splashes sometimes make ice formations up to five meters long. The wind is so strong that windbreak forests have been planted along Tenjin beach. Strong cold waves sometimes make the splash ice around the trees. You can see this ice along a 100m area where there are no anti-erosion concrete blocks.
Moreover, you can see various other changing ice formations such as drift ice and ice upheavals that are said to mark the passing of deities.
Mt Tsurumi is a 1375m-high dormant volcano, located to the east of Beppu in Oita Prefecture. It is a part of the Aso Kuju National Park, and also a part of the Kuju volcanic cluster.
Hot-spring resorts can be seen down below, and places as far as the Kokuto Peninsula and Shikoku can be observed from the top of the mountain.
The mountain changes its view for each season: cherry blossoms and Kyushu azaleas in spring; green leaves in summer; leaves turning into red in autumn; and rime ice on the trees in winter, which is a rarety in the Kyushu area.
There is a ropeway that goes from the Beppu-Kogen Station up to a point near Mt Tsurumi's summit, making the ascent of the mountain easily accomplished.
Both citizens and tourists enjoy events like the Beppu Mt Tsurumi/Mountain Climbing Race, in which people compete to ascend the mountain from sea level. Another event is the Mt Tsurumi Deep Freeze Tolerance Contest held in January at the top of the mountain.
Shakadake mountain is located in Hita, Oita Prefecture. In January and February, the hoarfrost on the mountain is absolutely beautiful and has become a winter specialty of Shakadake.
Shakadake is the dominant peak in the Tsue mountain range. The observatory on Shakadake is positioned at an altitude of 1230m and is the highest in Oita Prefecture. Because of this, it has a radar dome installed by the Ministry of Construction, along with three radio relay towers for the Meteorological Agency, the Defense Agency and for Oita Prefecture.
In Soma Village Mountain Stream Park, the sight of pure white peaks soaring majestically in the deep blue sky during the hoarfrost season can only be described as astounding and phenomenal. On fine days, the keen blue sky spreads endlessly, and hoarfrost in the shape of flowers blooms all over the trees of the mountain, resulting in a splendid view. The hoarfrost of Shakadake is nature's kaleidoscope, and invites spectators into a different, enchanting world.
Mt. Takamiyama is one of the mountains which belong to the Daiko Mountain Range located on the border of Mie and Nara prefectures. As Mt. Takamiyama is known in Kansai Region as the place where hard rime and silver forest can be seen, a lot of climbers come to see them in winter. The mountain trail is arranged to the summit, which is at a height of 1248 m above sea level. You can command a panoramic view of Ise Bay, Kawachi Plain, Kaochi Valley and Daiko Mountain Range. In Mt. Takamiyama, hard rime (a white ice that forms when the water droplets in fog freeze to the outer surfaces of objects) can be seen on a cold winter morning even when it doesn’t snow. Walking under a twinkling rime ice tunnel is fantastic. Even during the severe winter, it isn’t very difficult to climb this mountain if you are equipped with light crampons and ski poles. Mt. Takamiyama is counted as one of 100 Fine Mountains in Kinki Region.
Gozaishodake is a mountain located between Komono in Mie Prefecture and Higashioumi in Saga Prefecture. At 1212m, it is the highest peak in the Suzuka mountains.
Gozaishodake is covered in precipitous and jagged rocks, and is lush with all kinds of changing, gorgeous azalea flowers. This mountain is an excellent place to visit in any season. It has all sorts of activities on offer: viewing the beautiful azaleas, cherry blossoms, and other plants in spring; retreating from the heat in summer; hiking in autumn; and skiing, mountain climbing and viewing the snow-covered trees in winter.
On the other hand, intense, extreme sports can be enjoyed as well. Tounaiheki is a mecca for rock climbers. In winter, ice climbers can try the frozen waterfalls and icy cliffs. The summit used to have the world's only center for the study of Japan's kamoshika (mountain goat), but it unfortunately closed in 2006.
What is so captivating about Gozaishodake, the mountain that represents Suzuka, is that it has similar features and aspects to the Alps. Majestic and mind-blowing are the only apt words for the dramatic appearance of Tounaiheki and Daikanpeki.