Healthy walking to enjoy nature in Okuhida
With access nearby the Hirayu Bus Terminal, the Hirayu Nature Trail winds through primeval forest extending approximately 1¼ miles (2 km). The trail is also accessible from entrances near Hirayu-no-Mori and the Hirayu Campground.
The forest is an excellent place to observe nature during seasons without snowfall. In springtime after the snow melts, brightly colored plants appear, such as kiransō (carpet bugle plants) and fuderindō (brush gentian Gentiana zollingeri). The forest comes alive even more as summer approaches. In autumn, ten or so varieties of maple tree are colored in reds and yellows, and everyone will enjoy the beautiful foliage of Okuhida.
There are three gazebos situated along the trail where you can stop to relax and spend some time appreciating the natural setting. While walking through the forest, you will need to pay attention to the information boards installed at trail branching points. Although the trail generally covers level ground, it includes steep stairs at some points that require caution.
For those who enjoy serious hiking, following the course around the Hirayu Campground is recommended. After departing from the campsite, a rugged path similar to light mountain climbing leads to Hirayu Ônezuko, and then upstream along the Ôtaki River to the famous Hirayu Grand Waterfall where you can feel refreshed. There are various ways to enjoy the trail.
After hiking, you may want to ease fatigue by dipping into the hot spring baths at Hirayu-no-Mori or relax with the shallow warm water footbaths that are located in the same area for soaking your feet.
Full trail course: Approximately 1¼ miles (2.0 km); time required: about 1 hour
Access: One-minute walk from the Hirayu Bus Terminal