Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Hiruzen Highlands – A Great Place to Enjoy the Nature

Hiruzen Highlands (蒜山高原) in Okayama Prefecture, also known as Hiruzen Plateau, is one of the best highland resorts in Western Japan. It is reminiscent of Karuizawa near Tokyo. While architecture might be less fashionable, it has much more capacity for you to enjoy nature. At the same time, there are still stylish boutique shops for you to visit just when you start missing urban life (´▽`*). Renowned as a summer resort, cycling through the 29km well-maintained bike road is the most enjoyable way to avoid summer heat!

The plateau, with an elevation between 500 to 600 meters, is located at the southern foot of Mt. Hiruzen (蒜山). This part of Maniwa City (真庭市) has been developed for outdoor recreation. Just second to Okayama Prefecture’s most popular destination, Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, around 25 million people visit it each year!

Japan’s largest Jersey Cow Farm is also on the Hiruzen Highlands. That is why the dairy products here are so famous and must-try during your visit!

Below is a list of places where to go and what to do at Hiruzen Highlands!

Tip: If you want to spend a night at Hiruzen Highlands, OKAYAMA HIRUZEN Villas Peter Pan is a nice hotel.

There are also a couple of great camping sites in the area which are not covered in this article. If you need assistance finding the right camping site, you can contact us HERE, and we will be in touch.

How to Get to Hiruzen Highland by Public Transport

To get to Hiruzen Highland by public transport, catch a JR train and get off at JR Chūgoku-Katsuyama Station (中国勝山駅). From there, change for Maniwa City’s Community Bus – Maniwakun (まにわくん). Depending on your first destination, get off at one of the below three bus stops. The bus ride will take around 80 minutes.

  • Hirusen Kōgen Sentā Mae (蒜山高原センター前) for Hiruzen Kogen Center & Joyful Park (ヒルゼン高原センター・ジョイフルパーク)
  • Yubune Guchi (湯船口) for Jersey Cow Fureai Hiroba (ジャージー牛ふれあい広場)
  • Hirusen Kōgen (Kyūkason Mae) (蒜山高原(休暇村前)) for KYUKAMURA HIRUZEN-KOGEN resort

HERE is the current timetable for the bus service for your reference. The timetable is in Japanese, so please use the Japanese characters of the bus stops’ names to read it. If the link doesn’t work, refer to HERE and click on the PDF under “蒜山久世ルート (蒜山高原休暇村~真庭市蒜山振興局~湯原温泉~中国勝山駅~真庭市役所)”.

Autumn Foliage Season at Hiruzen Highland

The color of the foliage will start to change in late October, with the plateau being the most vivid from early to mid-November.

Hiruzen Kōgen Cycling Road

© Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Whether you are an experienced cyclist or someone like us who is just too lazy to walk, if you know how to ride a bike, definitely rent one during your time at Hiruzen Highlands. Cycling your way through the hills, pastures, fields, and rivers will save you time to travel between the attractions scattered on the plateau. Furthermore, unlike driving a car, where you need to find a car space before you can hop off and explore, biking gives you all the freedom you need to explore everything this part of Mt. Hiruzen has to offer!

The bike path is a well-kept loop track that goes around the plateau. With a total length of approximately 30 km, the path will bring you to all the attractions on Hiruzen Highland (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Please refer to THIS MAP which maps out the cycling road and for more details on what to expect in each course section. You can also refer to HERE for all recommended cycling routes in Okayama.

Tip: As mapped out in the cycling road map, a section of the track goes through the hills area. Renting an electric-assisted bicycle would be a good idea if you worry about your physical stamina. Although they are more expensive, you will thank yourself for making the right decision while you cycle uphills!

Where to Rent a Bicycle from at Hiruzen Highlands

The map also includes the facilities where you can rent a bike from. Further to the information provided on the map, the below acts as complements of what is already written on the pdf!

  • Hilzen cycling club (蒜山サイクリングサービス): they provide a variety of bikes for you to choose from. All bikes are well-maintained here to ensure an enjoyable and trouble-free bike trip. Reservation is required. Please refer to their website HERE for the price guide and reservation method.
  • Kaiyukan, Hiruzen Onsen (蒜山やつか温泉快湯館):
    • Bicycles can be rented from 9 am to 4 pm daily except Wednesdays from April to November. Please return your bike by 5 pm.
    • If Wednesday is a public holiday, the bike rental facility will close on the next business day.
    • Bike rental service isn’t available from December to March as the track will be covered by snow.
    • Mountain bike (large): 300 yen/hour
    • Mountain bike (small): 150 yen/hour
    • Normal bike: 200 yen/hour
  • KYUKAMURA HIRUZEN-KOGEN (休暇村蒜山高原): bike rental from spring to autumn
    • Normal bike rental for
      • Hotel guests: 250 yen/hour
      • Daytime visitors: 350 yen/hour
    • Electric-assisted bike rental for
      • Hotel guests: 400 yen/hour
      • Daytime visitors: 600 yen/hour
    • Bicycle rental service is available from spring to autumn between 8 am and 4:30 pm.
  • Hiruzen Shiogama Camping Village (ひるぜん塩釜キャンピングヴィレッジ)
    • Cross bike, Mountain bike, and Electric-assisted bike: 600 yen/hour
    • Cross bike (small size) and Normal bike for kids (with or without training wheels): 500 yen/hour
    • Bicycle rental hours are from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Michi-no-Eki Hiruzen Highlands Rest Stop (道の駅 蒜山高原)
    • Bicycle rental hours are from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
    • Cross bike: 500 yen/hour
    • Mountain bike (small): 150 yen/hour
    • Normal bike (large): 300 yen/hour
    • Normal bike (small): 200 yen/hour

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions at Hiruzen Highlands.

Hiruzen Kogen Center & Joyful Park (ヒルゼン高原センター・ジョイフルパーク)

Hizuren Kogen Center & Joyful Park, just as they are named, can be largely divided into 2 sections.

  • Hiruzen Kogen Center for you to shop and eat
  • Joyful Park, where all the typical amusement park rides are located

You can basically get all the Hiruzen Highland specialties from the souvenir shops at Hiruzen Kogen Center. From dairy products and Japanese sweet bean cakes to salty pickles, if you can’t be bothered to travel between all the shops on the plateau, visit the center, and your souvenir shopping at Hiruzen Highland is done!

© Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Tip: Many edible souvenirs have free samples, so don’t forget to try them out before you pay! We particularly recommend lightly pickled radish. The freshly steamed Japanese sweet bean cake – Hiruzen Kōgen Manjū (ヒルゼン高原饅頭), is another popular souvenir, but it contains eggs.

In their restaurants and cafes, there are a few vegetarian options. As the menu may change, please utilize the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarian article to ask for vegetarian menus (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Joyful Park’s Entry Fee and Free Passes

To enjoy the rides at Joyful Park, you have two options. You can either get a free pass that includes the entry fee to the park or an entry ticket and pays for each ride separately.

  • Free pass:
    • 3,900 yen for junior high school students and above
    • 3,300 yen for children from the age of 3 to elementary school students, and anyone who is over the age of 64
  • Entry fee:
    • 800 yen for junior high school students and above
    • 600 yen for children from the age of 3 to elementary school students and the elderly who is over the age of 64
  • The cost to enjoy the rides ranges from 300 yen to 800 yen. Please refer to their website HERE for more details. The website is in Japanese, but you can click on the numbers to reveal the photo of the ride.
    • You can open the page with Google Chrome and change the Google Translate language setting to English at the right of the address bar.

Hiruzen Highland Rhododendron Festival (蒜山高原しゃくなげ祭り)

Another thing that Hiruzen Kogen Center & Joyful Park boasts about is its rhododendron garden. At the back of the Joyful Park, there are approximately 15,000 rhododendrons of 100 different species that will be in full bloom in May each year!

Note that as the garden is inside Joyful Park’s ground, you will need to pay the entry fee to see the gorgeous flowers.

In 2022, the Hiruzen Highland Rhododendron Festival was held from the 7th to the 29th of May. During the festival period, various events are on. It is probably the best time of the year to shop at Hiruzen Kogen Centre because once you spend a certain amount of money, you get your chance to bring home local specialties for free by participating in a lucky draw (≧▽≦).

Hiruzen Kogen Center & Joyful Park’s Business Hours and Access Information

If you are taking a bus to the plateau, the bus stops in front of the Hiruzen Kogen Center & Joyful Park if you get off at Hirusen Kōgen Sentā Mae (蒜山高原センター前).

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions at Hiruzen Highlands.

Jersey Cow Fureai Hiroba (ジャージー牛ふれあい広場)

At the center of the entire Hiruzen Highlands is the Mikigahara (三木ヶ原). An amusement park, a winery, bike tracks, and a well-maintained ranch can be found here!

The Jersey Cow Fureai Hiroba is where you can observe the Jersey cows up close from spring to autumn. The cows are likely chilling at the ranch when you get there. They are quite friendly, and if they notice you approaching the fence, they might come to you too and even lick your hands (≧▽≦).

Whilst the grazing usually starts in late April and ends at the end of autumn.

Next to the ranch, there is a red-crowned crane breeding facility – Hiruzen Tanchō no Sato (蒜山タンチョウの里). If you are lucky, you might be able to see the smaller cranes following their mothers!

The Hiruzen Tanchō no Sato is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily.

How to Get to Jersey Cow Fureai Hiroba

If you are taking a bus to Hiruzen Highland, get off at Yubune Guchi (湯船口). It is just a 4-minute walk from the bus stop.

Hiruzen Winery (ひるぜんワイナリー)

For all the wine lovers, or if grape juice is your favorite drink, make sure you drop by Hiruzen Winery before you depart the plateau!

It is the only winery that produces high-quality wine from Japanese wild grapes locally grown in Hiruzen Highlands. Just the process of selecting and cultivating the grape trees with high sugar content and low acidity took them 10 years!

© Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

The wines produced by Hiruzen Winery have won several awards and are now distributed throughout the country (=゚ω゚)ノ.

At the wine-tasting corner, you can try out the wines you are interested in. While some will cost 100 yen, it is just around USD$ 1!

There is also a cafe that serves a menu that fits perfectly with their wine. The menu changes seasonally, so please utilize the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarian article to check if they can provide a menu that suits your dietary requirements.

For more information about the winery, please refer to their website HERE!

Hiruzen Winery’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • The winery is open from
    • 10 am to 5 pm between April and November
    • From December to March, it closes earlier, at 4 pm, and the winery won’t open on Tuesdays.
  • The cafe is open from 10 am to 4 pm.
  • The winery is closed on Tuesdays unless it is a public holiday. In which case, it will close on the next business day
  • If you are taking a bus to Hiruzen Highland, then get off at Yubune Guchi (湯船口). It is just a 3-minute walk from the bus stop.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions at Hiruzen Highlands.

Hiruzen Jersey Land (ひるぜんジャージーランド)

Speaking of Hiruzen Jersey Land, you definitely can’t miss out on the Jersey cow grazing. Meet the 400 adorable cows living freely on the plateau! If you come at the right time, you can even milk one of them (=゚ω゚)ノ.

The grazing season usually starts from late April to early November. During this time, your photos of Hiruzen Highlands will also be more lively with the cows in them!

The tan of the Jersey cows with the greenery in spring and summer, or the warm colors of autumn in the background, is just simply a better scenery for photography (*´ω`).

© Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Hiruzen Jersey Land is operated by the Hiruzen Dairy Agricultural Cooperative (蒜山酪農農業協同組合). Apart from taking a relaxing stroll on the farmland, feeding the horses on the Hiruzen Horse Farm located next door will be really fun, and you might also be able to tour the dairy factory!

The cafe/restaurant is where you can get your lunch sorted. If you are looking for some sweets for your morning or afternoon tea, their soft-serve ice cream and yogurt have a rich taste that will tempt you for a second or even a third serving (≧▽≦).

It is also worthwhile mentioning that their non-homogenized milk is so good that even those who don’t normally like milk find it delicious!

Vegetarian Options at Hiruzen Jersey Land’s Restaurant

© Hiruzen Jersey Land
  • Cheese Fondue (you have to order at least 2 courses)
    • A Course – 2,000 yen: including bread for fondue, salad, and yogurt
    • B Course – 2,550 yen: including bread for fondue, vegetables, sausage, salad, and yogurt
    • Please let Hiruzen Jersey Land know in advance by emailing [email protected] to replace the sausage with other vegetables.
  • Cheese Fondue For One Person – 2,700 yen: including bread and salad
  • Camembert cheese spaghetti – 1,100 yen

Tip: Despite its price tag, the cheese fondue is super popular at Hiruzen Jersey Land. So we would advise you to head to the restaurant as early as possible to avoid being stuck in the massive queue!

Milking Experience at Hiruzen Jersey Land

Important: This activity is currently not available due to COVID-19 restrictions.

With just 700 yen, you will be able to milk the Jersey cow! There are 3 sessions that you can choose from each day that the event is on, at 10:30, 1 pm, and 2:30 pm. As they currently don’t take any reservations, when you arrive at the farm, apply at the Milking Experience Tent (ちちしぼり体験テント) as early as possible. The tent is just at the back of Jersey Land’s buildings.

© Hiruzen Jersey Land

Also, note that you won’t be able to drink the milk you just milked as it will require some processing to be safe to drink. But, you will get a free bottle of milk that is also sold at the shop!

Important: The event may be canceled due to the weather and the cow’s condition.

Sunflowers at Jersey Land

From late July to early August, another reason for you to visit Hiruzen Jersey Land is the sunflower field. During this time of the year, approximately 80,000 sunflowers will surround you, and a lot of them will tower over you!

If you happen to miss out on the sunflower season in Jersey Land, head to the Roadside Station Michi no Eki Kaze no Ie (道の駅 風の家) in mid-August. The sunflowers there are blooming a little bit later than in Jersey Land. It is a great place to source local fresh produce as well (^_-)-☆.

Hiruzen Jersey Land’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • The farm is open from
    • 9 am to 5 pm daily from March to December
    • 10 am to 4 pm daily except Tuesdays and Wednesdays in January and February
  • The restaurant is open from
    • 9:30 am to 4:30 pm from March to December
      • The last order is taken at 4 pm
    • 10 am to 4 pm in January and February
      • The last order is taken at 3:30
  • Lunch is served from 11 am onwards in the restaurant.
  • From either of the 3 bus stops on Hiruzen Highland, it is around a 60 to 70-minute walk.
  • From Yonago City (米子市) in Tottori Prefecture, it is around a 30-minute drive
  • From Okayama City, it is around a 60-minute drive
  • From Hiroshima and Osaka, it is around a 2.5-hour and a 2-hour and minute drive, respectively.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions at Hiruzen Highlands.

Hiruzen Horse Park (蒜山ホースパーク)

After having fun with the Jersey cows, the horses in the Hiruzen Horse Park might want your attention too (or maybe they are just hoping you will get their favorite snack – a cup of carrots, to feed them (´▽`*))!

You can get a cup of carrots at 100 yen at the horse park to feed the horses that come up to you. Their eyes will focus on the carrots in your hands, but it is a great photo opportunity to get a selfie with these beautiful creatures (^_-)-☆.

Tip: If the carrot is too short and you are scared the horse might bite your fingers off, place the carrots on your palm!

You can check out the photos of all their horses HERE on their website. Note there is one dog at the end of the list (≧▽≦).

For the horse riding activities here, however, we would only recommend to those who want to put their young children (from 3 years old) on horseback, or it is your first time to experience horse riding that you want a staff member to lead the horse for you. Because unless you have a Japanese horse riding license, they can’t allow you to wander off with one of their horses into the wild.

Cost of Horse Riding at Hiruzen Horse Park

  • Horse riding on the horse trek (available from 3 years old): from 1,320 yen per person
  • Horse riding around and close to the park’s ground (available from 4 years old)
    • 2,420 yen for 500 meters course
    • 3,630 yen for 1 kilometers course

Hiruzen Horse Park’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • The park is open from 10 am to 4 pm daily except for
    • Wednesdays from March to November
    • Tuesdays and Wednesdays in January and Febuary
  • If Wednesday is a public holiday, the park will close on the next business day instead.
  • The park is just next to Hiruzen Jersey Land.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions at Hiruzen Highlands.

Fukuda Shrine (福田神社)

© Maniwa Tourism Bureau

Fukuda Shrine is a place with many cultural properties. Starting from the stone guardian dogs to the statue of the gods enshrined here, all are highly valuable.

But the cultural value probably isn’t why people come to the shrine. The shrine is most well-known for its great ginkgo tree!

The 650-year-old tree decorates the entire precinct of the shrine with a yellow carpet made of its golden leaves from early to mid-November!

Hiruzen Fireworks Festival (ひるぜん花火大会)

In summer, the shrine is also the venue of the Hiruzen Fireworks Festival. From 8 pm to 8:30 pm, 1,000 fireworks are launched to the night sky of Hiruzen Highland!

© Maniwa Tourism Bureau
© Maniwa Tourism Bureau

And don’t hurry off and leave afterward, because straight after the fireworks, the Ōmiyaodori dance (大宮踊), which is a Nationally Designated Important Folk Cultural Property, will take place at Fukuda Shrine!

HERE is the link to Maniwa City’s website for some photos of past events.

How to Get to Fukuda Shrine

If you are taking the Maniwa City Community bus – Maniwakun (まにわくん), get off at Nakafukuda (中福田). The shrine is just a 4-minute walk away.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions at Hiruzen Highlands.

Shiogama Cold Spring (塩釜の冷泉)

© Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

As you cycle through the Hiruzen Highlands, your water supply might run out rapidly if the weather is warm.

So drop by the Shiogama Cold Spring that is located at the foot of Mt. Nakahiruzen (中蒜山), one of the peaks of the Hiruzen Sanza (蒜山三座), for water supply!

The delicious mountain spring is free to take and more delicious than the water coming out of your tap (^_-)-☆. The spring is so fresh that some would come with many water containers to bring home as much water as possible!

However, we highly recommend you not to be that person trying to bring back liters of the mountain stream. The reason is, it is forbidden to source water from the pond in the photo, which is around 60 meters square big directly.

Instead, please the water fountain close to the pond is used. So you can imagine how you can potentially upset those in the queue if you occupy the fountain longer than you have to.

© Maniwa Tourism Bureau

Important: It is allowed for you to dip your feet into the pond. But please be extremely careful as the surface is really slippery!

How to Get to Shiogama Cold Spring

From the closest bus stop – Hiruzen Shinkō-Kyoku (蒜山振興局), it is around a 40-minute walk

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions at Hiruzen Highlands.

Tokuyama Shrine (徳山神社)

© Maniwa Tourism Bureau

If you are looking for a hidden gem for autumn foliage, come to Tokuyama Shrine. From early to mid-November, the maple trees and ginkgo will beautifully blend the ground of the shrine into a stunning painting (*´ω`).

In early April, the white-pink cherry blossom (although not many) with the surrounding light spring green foliage is another gorgeous piece of art by nature!

How to Get to Tokuyama Shrine

The bus stop that is closest to the Shrine – Kamifukuda (上福田) is around a 35-minute walk away.

Kayabe Shrine (茅部神社)

For those who are seeking a quiet spot to admire the cherry blossom, come to Kayabe Shrine.

Not only is its torii gate the biggest gate made of stone, the one km path leading to the shrine’s worship hall has cherry trees lining both sides.

In mid-April, when the trees are in full bloom, you will pass through a cherry blossom tunnel (*’▽’).

Thanks to the local volunteers, the path is beautifully lit at night from 7 to 9 pm when the flowers bloom (early to late April, as an estimate).

If you are interested in Japanese architecture, apparently, back in 1863, the 13 meters tall stone torii gate took about three months to complete!

© Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

How to Get to Kayabe Shrine

The bus stop closest to the Shrine – Kamifukuda (上福田), is around a 45-minute walk away.

From Hiruzen Herb Garden Her Bill (see the next attraction), it is around a 5-minute walk.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions at Hiruzen Highlands.

Hiruzen Herb Garden Herbill (蒜山ハーブガーデン ハービル)

If you want to visit a lavender field in Japan, Hokkaido isn’t your only choice. Hiruzen Herb Garden boasts the biggest lavender field in western Japan. Aside from the lavender and herbs, there are around 2,000 hydrangeas that beautifully bloom in summer!

© Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Below is a guide on when each type of plant will blossom for you to plan your visit (=゚ω゚)ノ.

  • Approx. hydrangea 2,000: late June to early July
  • Approx. 10,000 lavender: early July to the beginning of August
  • Approx. 200 different types of herbs: mid-May to late November

Following the small path out of the lavender field and passing the hydrangea garden, there is a small river that will cool you down in summer. Continuing walking up to where the forest is, there is a lookout that will give you a wide view of the three peaks of Hiruzen, commonly known as Hiruzen Sanza (蒜山三座)!

There is a cafe near the entrance selling various kinds of herbal tea and desserts. Their lavender soft-serve is a must-try! Light meals are also served in the cafe, but there are currently no vegetarian options.

Hiruzen Herb Garden Her Bill’s Opening Hours, Entry Fee, and Access Information

  • The garden is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm from April to November daily except Wednesdays.
  • The entry fees are
    • 300 yen for adults
    • 200 yen for high school students
    • Free for elementary school students and younger
  • The bus stop that is closest to the garden – Kamifukuda (上福田) is around a 50-minute walk away
  • From Karube Shrine, it is around a 5-minute walk.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions at Hiruzen Highlands.

Buckwheat Flowers in Hiruzen (そばの花)

© Maniwa Tourism Bureau

The Hiruzen region has been developing into buckwheat fields since 1997. Nowadays, in early to mid-September, the white little buckwheat flowers bloom across all the buckwheat fields.

One of the best spots to admire the flowers is close to Kayabe Observatory Rest Area (茅部野展望休憩所). From there, you will get a panorama view of the vast buckwheat fields with the mountain range in the background!

To get to Kayabe Observatory Rea Area, get off the community bus at Hiruzen Shinkokyoku (蒜山振興局). It is around a 30-minute walk from the bus stop, but you should start to see the flowers blossoming here and there on the way!

Yamanori Gorge (山乗渓谷)

The promenade of Yamanori Gorge is relatively short compared to most gorges in Japan. But, within the 400 meters track, the scenery changes rapidly!

Passing through the beech forest around the entrance of the promenade, rock cliffs will surround you. The speed of the flow of the Yamanori River (山乗渓) running downstream differs throughout the gorge. Sometimes the stream moves so slowly that you almost think it stays still. Other times the stream of water flows violently between the rocks and the trees!

At the end of the promenade is the 20 meters tall Fudo Falls (不動滝). The sound of the water pounding down is the perfect music to help you release the stress that you have accumulated from your busy urban life (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Important: The toilet at the gorge’s entrance is closed in winter between December and March.

Ryosui-Tei (涼水亭)

In summer, from mid-July to mid-August, cool your body down by eating the “Somen Nagashi (そうめん流し)” at Ryosui-Tei next to the trailhead!

Somen Nagashi is a Japanese way of eating thin noodles (somen). You will surely have a lot of fun while eating the somen because you will have to catch the noodle flowing down a bamboo sprout with your chopsticks. So be quick and grab that noodle before it is too late!

  • The business hours of Ryosui-Tei are from 11 am to 4 pm on weekdays.
  • On weekends and public holidays, the stall starts a bit earlier, at 10 am.
  • The last order is at 3 pm.

How to Get to Yamanori Gorge

It is probably best to access the park with a car as the closest bus stop – Hatsuwa (初和), is around a 90-minute walk away.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions at Hiruzen Highlands.

Fireflies in Hiruzen

© Maniwa Tourism Bureau

From late June to early July, you will spot some tiny golden lights moving around the rivers in the area. If you are interested in this fantastic show starring all the fireflies in Hiruzen, head to Tsurugo River (津黒川)!

The number of fireflies is significantly more than in other areas around Tsurugo Ikimono Fureai no Sato (津黒いきものふれあいの里). You can arrive at the nature park in the late afternoon and trek around the park. That should take around 60 – 90 minutes before you head to the riverside and get ready for the show!

HERE is a track map that you can refer to in advance. The map is in Japanese only, but as the spots along the track are marked with numbers, it shouldn’t be hard to tell what flowers to expect at each part of the track. The timing of when the flowers will be in bloom is also marked in the photos.

☛ Wasps and pit vipers are common in the area. If you happen to be stung or bitten, please contact the staff immediately or call 119 if the situation is serious.
☛ All plants and creatures in the park belong to the park. Please don’t try to take them home.

If the above sounds like a good plan, consider staying at Tsuguro Kogen-sou Inn (津黒高原荘), which is very close to Tsurugo Ikimono no Fureai no Sato. Sinking into their onsen pools will surely ease your tiredness from the sightseeing you have done during the day. Also, you can utilize their private onsen pool if bathing with strangers isn’t your thing!

How to Get to Tsurugo Ikimono Fureai no Sato

It is probably best to access the park with a car as the closest bus stop, Hatsuwa (初和), is around a 70-minute walk away.

Find out where else to Go in Maniwa City

Click the photo to find out how to get to this gorgeous spot!

Maniwa City, where the Hiruzen Highlands is located, is also known as one of the best places to be during cherry blossom seasons. Spots such as the cherry blossom tunnel and a gigantic cherry tree that is a thousand years old up on a hill are the places you won’t want to miss out on when you visit Japan when the flowers are blooming. There are even a few places where you can enjoy the cherry blossoms and the fall foliage at the same time (*’▽’).

And if you happen to come to Japan in summer, let the fireflies in limestone cave or along the river astonish you at night before you rest up in your hotel room (=゚ω゚)ノ.

To know more about where else to go around Hiruzen Highlands, check out our Maniwa City article!

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