A Hike to the Yellow Lilies of the Oguni Marshlands

Every year in late June, bright yellow Nikko Kisuge Lilies light up Oguni Marshlands. I’ve seen many photos of these beautiful flowers since coming to Fukushima, so I was determined to go and see them for myself.

oguninuma lilies in full bloom aizu (3)

Oguninuma (the name of the marshland area) is in Urabandai area, and is part of the stunning national park.

Although reaching Oguninuma is a pretty straightforward 1.5 hour hike from Oshizawa Car Park, where we started our walk, our tour guide decided to take us up Mt Oguni before having our lunch at the marshlands.

 

I never get over how stunning this area is – I especially have a soft spot for the huge Japanese beech trees that tower over the rest of the trees in the forests.

 

Hiking Mt Oguniyama

oguninuma hiking summer aizu (8)oguninuma hiking summer aizu (10)

It was during our ascent of Mt Oguni that we found much to our dismay that the Nikko Kisuge Lilies were late this year and wouldn’t be blooming for another week or so! Nonetheless, the views on the walk to Mt Oguni’s peak were so beautiful that we didn’t feel dismayed for too long.   oguninuma hiking summer aizu (9)

There is a viewing platform at peak of Mt Oguni so that visitors can enjoy the wonderful panoramic views to the full.oguninuma hiking summer aizu (3)oguninuma hiking summer aizu (20)

 

Making Our Way to the Wetlands

We decided to continue our hike to the Oguninuma wetlands and have our lunch sat down overlooking the flowers – lilies or no lilies!

oguninuma hiking summer aizu (13)

There were many school kids and other visitors who had come as a group.  oguninuma hiking summer aizu (1)

As you can see from the photograph above, I very much enjoyed reaching the marshlands. The scenery was amazing – a great, relaxing spot for taking photographs and for people watching. oguninuma hiking summer aizu (11)

There were a few lilies poking their heads out, and a lot of other beautiful flowers in the surrounding forest.

Below are some photos that I took of the flowers I saw. Unfortunately I am incredibly bad at knowing flowers names – and even worse at remembering them when I am told them in Japanese! However, even I know that the yellow flower below is a Nikko Kisuge and the top right one is a thistle of some sort – living in Scotland has taught me something!

 

 

Nikko Kisuge Lilies In Bloom

Although the Nikko Kisuge Lilies were one week late this year, this is what they would have looked like. I’m sure you can appreciate why this is such a popular spot to visit for flower-viewing. I’m sad I missed out on these views this year, but it has made me even more determined to get to see them next summer!

oguninuma lilies in full bloom aizu (1)oguninuma lilies in full bloom aizu (4)

 

Hiking Route

oguni-numa-hiking-trail-illustration

We started the hike from Oshizawa Car Park, and took the route shown in blue and green dots in the illustration above. There are regular buses between Oshizawa Car Park and Inawashiro Station / Kitakata Station, but they are few and far between, so it’s worth researching bus times before arriving.

For those who don’t fancy such a long walk, there is a seasonal bus every year between early June and mid July which takes you from Kitakata Station to Oguni Hagidaira car park. From then, you can ride a shuttle bus which drops passengers off at Kanezawa Pass, which is a short walk away from the marshlands.

Access

 

Take the bus from Kitakata Station. To reach Kitakata Station, see the access information here.

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