Having a number of mountains, Japan is known as one of the best countries for hiking and mountaineering. The area around the middle of Japan is especially popular among hikers. So this time we are going to introduce you to one great place to hike to in the middle of Japan: the Koya Pond (高谷池) in Niigata Prefecture.
Situated between two mountains, Koya Pond attracts a lot of hiking enthusiasts with the vivid scenery there every season throughout the year. Koya Pond has been gaining more and more attention from the world in recent years since CNN, a famous American broadcasting station, introduced it as a beautiful place in Japan in 2015.
Koya Pond is situated in Myoko city, Niigata prefecture
Koya Pond lies between two mountains, Mount Hiruchi (火打山) and Monut Myoko (妙高山), in Niigata prefecture. The two mountains are especially famous among mountaineers, and are said to be very prestigious mountains. On the way climbing to Koya Pond, it will be a challenging mountaineering instead of a easy hiking, so make sure you are well-prepared with everything!
First, from Tokyo station (40 minutes by bus from Haneda airport) take a Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagano station. Then, transfer to a train bounding for Myoko Kogen station. It is approximately three hours in total from Tokyo station to Myoko Kogen station. There are bus services operating to the entrance of each trail. Pick the one which fits your schedule!
Easier level: Mt. Hiruchi, a relatively flat mountain
Being a country with a number of volcanoes, there are many steep mountains with high reputation as tourist attractions. Meanwhile, as there are tuffs upheaved, Mount Hiruchi is a relatively flat mountain compared to other famous mountains in Japan.
Mount Hiruchi is the highest mountain around Koya Pond
With a height of 2,462 metres, Mount Hiruchi is the highest mountain around Koya Pond. Overlooking the other surrounding mountains, Mount Hiruchi gives you the most spectacular view – standing at the top of it, you feel like reaching for the sky!
Harder level: Mount Myoko, a steep volcano
For those who want to challenge a steep mountain, Mount Myoko is the recommendation for you. Mount Myoko is 2,454 metres high – by no means inferior to Mount Hiruchi.
Both Mount Myoko and Mount Hiruchi are open for entry from July, and there will be an event for the ritual of the opening of Mount Myoko. The two mountains are both very rich in nature. What else can be better than enjoying the stunning scenery while climbing?
A magnificent view of Koya Pond after climbing across the mountains
After climbing across Mount Hiruchi or Mount Myoko, you finally come to Koya Pond. There you can enjoy the mysterious sight created by nature – the accumulation of meltwater. As it is almost the top of the mountain, there is simply nothing to block the wonderful wide view.
Koya Pond offers you various plants to enjoy in different seasons
In late September, there will be lovely flowers blooming in random; and in October, crowds of climbers come to enjoy the fascinating scenery made up by the red leaves there.
Stay in a mountain hut by Koya Pond
Don’t you feel like stay a night there taking time enjoying the amazing view the nature gives you? Well, there is only one accommodation choice near Koya Pond: a small mountain hut, named “Koyaike Hutte (高谷池ヒュッテ)”.
As you can tell, a mountain hut is not a hotel. Be reminded that it is not well-equipped as a hotel is. Considering it is located in a mountain, the mountain hut in fact has more than what you expected – except for bedrooms, there are also facilities such as dining rooms and simple shops!
If you plan to stay in “Koyaike Hutte”, it is highly recommended to make a reservation in advance. You can make a reservation from April 1st every year.
Camping is another option!
Camping is most recommended for mountain lovers. Campers are so blessed to be allowed to use the toilet in “Koyaike Hutte”, the accommodation we introduced above. By the way, shortly after the mountains are open, when there are still some snow left, you may rent the campsite with a lower price!
Koya Pond, a secret place hidden in mountains, offers you the most enchanting nature
Looking for a challenge? Dare to take mountaineering in Japan on? If you do, Koya Pond is the best recommendation for you! Spare no effort climbing mountains and enjoying the impressive nature there!