About Oze National Park
Oze National Park is a national park that spans Fukushima, Tochigi, Gunma and Niigata prefectures in Japan. The park’s mission is both to protect the natural environment and to provide sightseeing, with Oze, the largest mountain wetland area in Japan, and the surrounding areas such as Aizu-Komagatake, Tashirozan and Taisaiyama as viewpoints.
Oze was formed when lava from Suidake was intercepted by the Monomi River, and is located at an altitude of 1,400 to 1,700 meters, making it the largest high-rise wetland area in Japan. Among the approximately 400 shallow ponds scattered in Oze, you can see wetland plants such as the rare wetland plant Kannon lily and the Nikko yellow sugo (a yellow lily), as well as floating islands formed by floating peat layers. From spring to summer, various flowers in the Oze wetland area compete with each other, and the clear air and beautiful scenery make people come back for more.
In addition to the beautiful scenery in the wetlands, it is also worth visiting the Aizu-Komagatake, Mount Taisai, and other mountain scenery in Oze National Park, especially the large jungle of fusuma pine and beech native forests, which undulate spectacularly when the wind blows.
How to get there
There are three entrances to Oze: Numata-guchi on the Gunma Prefecture side, Aizu-guchi on the Fukushima Prefecture side, and Echigo-guchi on the Niigata Prefecture side. When accessing from the Tokyo area, it is convenient to use Numata-guchi on the Gunma Prefecture side. You can access to Oze from Tokyo by train, bus, or car.
To get to Oze from Tokyo, you can take the Shinkansen bullet train. Take Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Jomo Kogen Station and take a bus from Jomo Kogen Station to Oze. It takes about 1 hour and 6 minutes from Tokyo Station to Jomo Kogen Station. Buses between Jomo Kogen Station and Oze are infrequent, so it is advisable to check the number of buses before you take one.
Shinkansen and regular trains (toward Numataguchi)
The Shinkansen is the most convenient way to get to Oze from the Tokyo area. Take the Joetsu or Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Takasaki Station. From Takasaki Station to Numata Station, take a local train on the Joetsu Line. From Tokyo Station to Takasaki Station takes about 50 minutes, from Takasaki Station to Numata Station takes about 47 minutes, and from Numata Station to Oze is by bus.
Regular train (toward Numataguchi)
You can also take a regular JR train to get to Oze from Tokyo. From Tokyo Station/Ueno Station to Takasaki Station, take the Ueno Tokyo Line. From Takasaki Station to Numata Station, take the Joetsu Line. It takes about 3 hours. You can also take the Shonan Shinjuku Line from Shinjuku Station to Takasaki Station. The time required depends on the route you use.
To get to Oze from Kansai area, you can take an express bus, Shinkansen or airplane to Tokyo, and then take a bus or train from Tokyo to Oze. From OCAT in Osaka, you can take an express bus to Takasaki City in Gunma Prefecture without changing trains.
Oze has a hiking etiquette called “Oze Manners” to protect the natural environment. As an example of the manners, do not enter the marshland, and keep to the right when walking. Climbers have priority. Smoking is prohibited in Oze. Also, when using trekking poles, be sure to cap them without poking them into the marshland. When going to Oze, please observe the minimum manners.