Japan Tourism / Enjoy Autumnal Paradise at Foot of Mt. Daisen

Courtesy of Kyukamura Oku-Daisen
Mt. Karasugasen is seen from a boardwalk in the Kagamiganaru wetlands on the grounds of the Kyukamura hotel.

One of the largest beech forests in western Japan stands halfway up Mt. Daisen, the highest mountain in the Chugoku region.

This is an especially good time of the year to visit the 1,729-meter peak, as the first snow falls around the time the beech leaves turn golden, creating an autumn brocade together with the leaves of oaks, maples, rowan trees and mizunara oaks.

The Kyukamura Oku-Daisen resort hotel is situated at an altitude of 920 meters at the southern foot of Mt. Daisen in Kofu, Tottori Prefecture. This is a wonderful location to enjoy autumn leaves and starry skies from late October to early November, promising visitors a relaxing getaway.

Courtesy of Kyukamura Oku-Daisen
The Kyukamura hotel in Daisen-Oki National Park is one of the best locations to enjoy starry skies.

Travel there by car to get the most out of the autumn mountain foliage. Take the Hiruzen-Daisen Skyline from the Hiruzen Interchange exit on the Yonago Expressway. The sightseeing road connecting the Hiruzen Highlands in Okayama Prefecture and Mt. Daisen is famous for its winding bends and beautiful autumn foliage.

The Kimendai Observatory rest area, located on the prefectural border, offers spectacular 360-degree panoramic scenery with a view of Mt. Daisen in the north and the foot of Mt. Hiruzen to the south. Clusters of silver grass can be found there in autumn.

The main building of the four-story Kyukamura Oku-Daisen hotel is surrounded by virgin forests of beech and mizunara oak. It has 50 guest rooms, most of them Japanese style.

Relaxing and enjoying the view of the highlands from your room is a great way to unwind, but getting out into nature is also fun. Strolling through the Kagamiganaru wetlands and silver grass fields on the grounds of the hotel will transport you to an autumnal paradise.

Information on the area’s natural attractions is available on the first floor of the hotel’s main building.

Photos courtesy of Kyukamura Oku-Daisen
Clockwise from above: A telescope at the Kyukamura hotel, one of several tubs at the bathhouse, a standard Japanese-style room

Enjoy a soak in a large tub at the bathhouse after some activities — the bathtub is filled with natural water pumped up from 250 meters underground at the foot of Mt. Daisen, which is then heated. It’s soft water, gentle to the skin, and you can also drink cold natural water from a dispenser after taking a bath.

A dinner course featuring high-end nodoguro black throat sea perch is popular at the hotel in autumn. A special autumn buffet will be available from Oct. 13 to Nov. 13, offering an all-you-can-eat dinner with Tottori wagyu beef, and fish and seafood caught in the waters off Sakaiminato in the prefecture.

The Milky Way can be seen throughout Tottori Prefecture, and the hotel holds stargazing events, mainly on weekends, offering a perfect opportunity to look for autumn constellations.

In the morning, hotel guests can join a walking event that starts at 7 a.m. or go somewhere by themselves. Maps are available at the front desk, and there are three different walking courses to try.

Kitanizawa mountain stream

Courtesy of Kyukamura Oku-Daisen
Kitanizawa mountain stream

Visitors can stroll along a one-kilometer walking trail beside the Kitanizawa mountain stream in Okudaisen’s beech forests, on a tour organized by the Kofu town tourist association. The autumn leaves and moss-covered rocks are part of the attractions of the guided tour. The peak season for viewing autumn colors there is from late October to early November.

The tour is held on Wednesdays through Nov. 30, with a participation fee of ¥1,100. It is 9 kilometers from the Kyukamura hotel, with a bus service available for guests.

Kagikake Pass

Courtesy of Kyukamura Oku-Daisen
Kagikake Pass

Kagikake Pass is a scenic point from where you can see the south face of Mt. Daisen. At an altitude of 910 meters, the pass is the highest point on the Daisen ring road that circles the mountain.

The dynamic mountain surface and the autumn leaves of the beech forest in the foreground make a beautiful contrast.

The peak season for viewing autumn colors is from late October to early November.

Admission is free to the pass, which is 11 kilometers from the Kyukamura hotel.

How to get there

30 minutes by complimentary bus (reservations required) from Neu Station on the JR Hakubi Line, or if driving, 13 kilometers from the Hiruzen Interchange on the Yonago Expressway. A weekday accommodation plan is available for ¥15,000 per person for a room for two people with two meals. Bathing is available for non-hotel guests from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for a fee of ¥520.

The Japan News


Japan Tourism is presented in collaboration with Ryoko Yomiuri Publication, which publishes Ryoko Yomiuri, a monthly travel magazine. If you are interested in the original Japanese version of this story, click here.