For a long time I’ve had my sights set on returning to APPI ski resort, as we have spent several New Year holidays here skiing. After experiencing the powder snow at APPI ski resort, I was excited to spend my third visit here in summer. Here you will find the ultimate guide to hiking APPI and Hachimantai in Iwate.
APPI Ski Resort
Many locals go to APPI ski resort to collect edible wild plants from spring to early summer. The total elevation is 1300 meters and you can ride a gondola to the summit. The hike is not difficult and the path is made of wooden boards across the top. Once you do reach the summit, the views are spectacular. From the observatory deck you can see the sea of clouds. I would have liked to have gone back to the car base on foot, but there had been recent sightings of wild bears with cubs and some locals were concerned about encountering them. So, we remained in a safe area and took the gondola back again.
Located on the border between Akita and Iwate Prefectures, Towada Hachimantai National Park offers many great hikes for visitors looking to explore the area. We hiked around Kuroyachi wetland. The total length is 5km and takes about two hours. Walking through 200 thousand years of geological history, the walk is coupled with an endless educational experience. Mount Iwate is the most iconic hike in Towada Hachimantai National Park, and it takes over 12 hours to hit the summit and return. We were not fully equipped for Mount Iwate this time, so we took the easy hike on wooden boards in Hachimantai.
Koiwai farm was established in 1891. The farm area was covered by volcanic ash from Mount Iwate and it was unsuitable for cultivation but people have improved the soil fields over the past 120 years into green lands. Now you can see cows raised on site and taste the locally produced dairy products such as cheeses, ice creams and milk. Though not a long hiking route, the Koiwai Farm offers some great scenery along the forest. There’s plenty to explore, see and do at the site, so be sure to spend at least a day here getting to know the area and discovering the history of Iwate Prefecture.