Destinations

Oze

Last updated: December 21, 2020

Outdoor adventure around this national park full of marshlands

Oze is a national park in northern Gunma, known for Ozegahara Marsh and Ozenuma Pond. The area was formed in the ice age around 10,000 years ago, and plants that evolved from that era still flourish.

In spring, summer, and autumn, the area is a popular hiking spot, with elevated boardwalks on the marsh and around the pond. There are three trailheads from Gunma prefecture: Hatomachitoge, Oshimizu and Fujimishita, with various hiking routes of various lengths and difficulty. In winter, Oze is covered in snow.

Numata and Kawaba are convenient spots to stay within the Oze area. Numata is well-connected by train to Gunma’s main destinations. Try fruit picking at nearby farms. Kawaba is a quieter, rural option where you can stay in a traditional onsen ryokan.
In winter, snow covers mountains around the area and it makes a good opportunity for a ski trip.

See & Do

Nature & Outdoors

Oze National Park

Action & Adventure

Oze-Iwakura Ski Resort

Nature & Outdoors

Lake Sugenuma

Nature & Outdoors

Fukiware no Taki Falls

Relaxation

Kawaba Onsen

When to Visit

You can combine an early April skiing trip in Katashina, Numata, and Kawaba with cherry blossom viewing, when the trees in southern Gunma are at their peak. As the snow melts after a long winter, the start of spring is marked by striking white skunk cabbages emerging at Ozegahara Marsh from mid-May to mid-June. Early June is the best time to see the plants at their peak.

Getting Here

Getting Here
Getting Here

The shinkansen from Tokyo to Jomo-Kogen Station takes around 1 hour 5 minutes. During late April to early November you can take a bus from there for two hours to Tokura or Oshimizu, where the main two trailheads, Hatomachitoge and Oshimizu, are located. You can take an expressway bus from Shinjuku in Tokyo directly to Tokura and Oshimizu from May to October. From both Hatomachitoge and Oshimizu trailheads it takes around an hour to walk to Ozegahara. In winter, for skiers, the expressway bus operates from late December to late March. If you make a reservation, all five ski areas in Katashina offer a free pickup service from the bus drop-off point.

Getting Around

Getting Around

Bus services run from Numata Station, Kawaba, and Katashina around the surrounding area. Bus services may be suspended in some sections during winter. Oze National Park is best explored on foot. There are well-kept, raised boardwalks across the marshland.

Renting a Car

Renting a Car

Oze is in the remote northeastern reaches of Gunma. It is accessible by local bus, but infrequent service makes renting a car at Jomo-Kogen Station and driving about 75 minutes to Hatomachitoge, Oshimizu, or Fujimishita trailheads. A car is also a more convenient option for accessing spots in Numata City and Kawaba Village.

Accommodation

There are various accommodations around Oze's ski area with convenient ski-in, ski-out access. Elsewhere in Oze, accommodation is limited. You can camp at Lake Sugenuma or stay at hotels and traditional inns in Kawaba, around an hour away by car from Hatomachitoge.

Travel Tips

Oze is an alpine area, so the weather can change quickly. It has short, relatively cool summers and cold, very snowy winters.

There are very few facilities, including ATMs, in Oze. There are some around the Numata area. Withdraw cash before you arrive for any expenses that may occur, such as bus fares.

Ozenuma Visitor Center and Ozeyamanohana Visitor Center provide information on the trails, sights, and flora and fauna you can find in Oze National Park.

Other tourist information centers in the area include Katashina Village Tourism and Numatashi Information Center.

Jomo-Kogen Station has coin lockers you can use if you have to make a stop on your way to Oze. Alternatively, ask if you can drop your bags at your accommodation.

Free Wi-Fi is limited to hotels and visitor centers in Oze. If you want to be connected at all times, buy a pre-paid SIM card or organize a pocket Wi-Fi rental on arrival in Japan.

Related Stories & Guides

Downloads

Oze Katashina Official Tourism Website

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