207-2 Yumoto, Nasu, Nasu District, Tochigi Prefecture 325-0301
TEL: +81(0)287-74-2301 (9:00~17:00) FAX: +81(0)287-74-2302

NasuKogen Visitor Center | Nikko National Park

Nikko National Park: The Nasu-Kashi Area

The Nasu-Kashi area of Nikko National Park is centered on the Nasu mountain range
and straddles the border of Tochigi and Fukushima Prefectures. Winter here is colder
than it is in Tokyo, with average January temperatures several degrees below freezing
and snow accumulation averaging 20 to 30 centimeters in a typical year. Summer
temperatures are also relatively cool, averaging in the low twenties (Celsius).

The Nasu mountain range is a volcanic group centered on the Five Peaks of Nasu
(sometimes collectively called Mt. Nasu): Mt. Chausu (1,915 m), Mt. Asahi (1,896
m), Mt. Sanbonyari (1,917 m), Mt. Minamigassan (1,776 m), and Mt. Kuro-oya (1,589
m). The peaks were formed by volcanic activity that began around 500,000 years ago.
Mt. Chausu, the range’s only remaining active volcano, erupted violently from 1408
to 1410, killing more than 180 people and creating the dome of hardened andesite that
forms its current summit. Mt. Chausu’s last eruption was in 1881, but numerous hot
springs around the mountain indicate ongoing volcanic activity. Fumaroles (volcanic
vents) near the peak and base of Mt. Chausu constantly emit sulfurous gas.

The unique environment of the Nasu mountain range gives rise to a highly diverse
ecosystem. Firstly, local wildlife has had to adjust to the volcanic conditions over the
centuries. Secondly, the area is the boundary of the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan
ecological zones. Thirdly, the broad highland area south of Mt. Chausu, called
Nasukōgen, is home to many high-altitude species, many of which are classified as
Vulnerable (VU) or Near Threatened (NT) on the Ministry of Environment’s lists of
endangered species.

The Nasukogen Visitor Center provides information on the Nasu-Kashi area and
features exhibits on its history, nature, and outdoor activities. The staff can also advise
visitors on the area’s many hiking trails.

Guide to hiking trails in the area

  • Nasu Nature Study Path

    Nasu Nature Study Path

    This trail links the hot springs of Yahata Onsen, Benten Onsen and Ōmaru Onsen.
    Despite its several ascents and descents, we recommend the climbing trail.
    Watch for the stunning panoramic vista that opens up when you emerge from the azalea tunnel (in last spring) and Mt. Chausu leaps into view. The area is also a hidden paradise for azaleas.
  • Komaruyama park

    Komaruyama park

    This pleasant clearing affords views out over Mt. Chausu and the Kanto Plain.
    Visitors can take a break on a bench or enjoy a picnic lunch while drinking in the scenery.
    It’s also a hidden spot for nighttime views, so the park can be enjoyed in the morning, daytime, and evening.
    Why not stop for a rest when you are out for a drive?
  • Sesshō-seki and Observation Point

    Sesshō-seki ("Killing Stone") and Observation Point

    Seen in profile up close, the Sesshō-seki ("Killing Stone") has a powerful ambiance.
    The observation point looks out over the hot spring spa town of Yumoto Onsen.
    Hikers on this trail are likely to encounter wild birds and find soothing solace in the gentle babbling of the nearby river.
    You can also access the Tsutsuji Suspension Bridge (Tsutsuji Tsuribashi) from the mid-point of the trail.
    Heal your mind with a walk in the woods and soothe your body in the hot springs. A two-for-one special!
  • Yahata Azalea Park

    Yahata Azalea Park

    In late spring, when the azaleas are in full bloom, the entire area is carpeted in pink.
    This trail is well equipped with wooden boardwalks, making it accessible even for wheelchair users.
    This trail offers a variety of seasonal attractions, including the autumn colors of the azalea and maple leaves and walking along the snow-covered boardwalks in winter.