Oze, famous for the Oze National Park, is in Katashina Mura, the north eastern part of Gunma, attracting numerous hikers with its beautiful marsh and alpine plants. Every spring reminds hikers of beautiful Oze filled with Mizubasho flowers.
Mizubasho is an alpine plant similar to (Yellow) Western Skunk (Swamp) Cabbage though its color is white. They grow in swamps and wet woods along streams. The plant grows from rhizomes that measure 30 cm or longer, and 2.5 to 5 cm in diameter.
Although covered with thick snow during winter, you can encounter spectacular nature in any other time of the year once the snow begins to melt till it snows again. Every scenic point is linked by causeways surrounded by flowers and trees which spread all over the marsh. Fishes swim in the clear river and enjoy looking up at the magnificent mountains around them. Imagine that you inhale the fresh and crisp air while looking at all these wonderful living things and landscapes. You just want to pack your bag and hit the road, don’t you?
Mizubasho blooms during mid-May and mid-June, Watasuge galingale during mid-June and mid-July, Nikkokisuge Hemerocallis during mid-July and early-August, and brilliant red- and yellow-colored weeds cover all the marsh after late-September to make vast autumn carpets. Oze entices you with its various beauties at any moment of the year.
If tired, savor Hana-Mame Bean frozen yogurt since it will diminish your fatigue of walking.
Oze is on the borders of Gunma, Niigata and Fukushima Prefectures with an entrance for each of them. Below is one of the most popular one-day hiking courses, which starts from the Hatomachi-Toge Pass.
Traffic restrictions ban vehicles’ entrance into Hatomachi-Toge Pass during the peak season. Take a shuttle bus or a taxi at Tokura Parking in that case. In case you use trains and buses, take a bus at Numata station (Joetsu Line) for Hatomachi-Toge Pass.
Hatomachi-Toge Pass –60min → Yamanohana –40min → Ushikubi Fork –40min → Ryugu-Goya –30min → Yoppi Bridge –50min → Ushikubi Fork –40min → Yamanohana –70min → Hatomachi-Toge Pass