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scenic spots
Mt. Asahi

Standing at a height of 598 meters above sea level west of Jozankei Onsen, this mountain was named “Asahi-dake” (Mt. Asahi) by Tashiro Heihachi, an employee of the Imperial Estate, at the end of the Meiji era (1868-1912). The name came to be because the sun’s rays strike Mt. Asahi first when seen from Jozankei Onsen. The founder of Jozankei Onsen, Miizumi Jozan named the mountain “Jozan,” after himself, and regarded it as a place for ascetic practices.

Enjoy the mountains and rivers

Mt. Asahi is one of the ridges between the Toyohira River and its tributary, the Shirai River, but is covered with trees up its peak, so you can hardly expect a clear view. However, the rich forest of coniferous and broad-leaved trees is the perfect place to refresh your mind, body, and soul. It is a great mountain to enjoy shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) or to climb in early spring. You can also enjoy the mountains and rivers by ascending from the Iwato Park Course, descending the Horinso Course to the Usubetsu Forest Road, crossing the Ikoi Bridge, and walking along the Toyohira River into the Futami Jozan Road’ nature trail (there will be a partial road closure).

Be enchanted by the butterflies

From May to June, wildflowers such as the Shiraneaoi (Glaucidium palmatum) and Enreiso (Trillium smallii) one after another. Mt. Asahi is characterized by its many shrubs and trees such as, Ginryoso (Monotropastrum humile), or ghost mushrooms, plants which belong to genus Ichiyakuso (Pyrola), Murasakiyashio (Rhododendron albrechtii), which is the queen of azaleas, Okamenoki, (forked viburnum), Miyamagamazumi (Viburnum wrghtii), Yamatsutsuji (Rhododendron kaempferi), Akushiba (Vaccinium japonicum), Obasunoki (Vaccinium smallii) and Tsurushikimi (Skimmia japonica var. intermedia f. repens). In the summer, you can enjoy watching the Jozan chequered blue, the butterfly of Jozankei, which appears like a jewel swaying in the breeze.

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Jozankei
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