Hachimantai is a charismatic city in the mountainous region of the Iwate Prefecture, with access to waterfalls, mountain hiking trails, ski fields and national parks. Visiting Hachimantai lets you embrace a more peaceful Japanese lifestyle with hot springs, rugged volcanic landscapes and cosy alpine cafes.
Things to do in Hachimantai
Time your visit to Hachimantai during winter so you can snowboard or ski down the 20-plus groomed trails at Appi Kogen Ski Resort. It’s one of the largest ski resorts in Japan, with a 5.5-kilometre-long run, a kids’ ski area, petting zoo and snow play areas. Outside of winter, the ski resort is a hotspot for live music, hosting many Japanese and international bands. You can also tee off at four golf courses, which offer a total of 36 championship-quality holes.
Are you looking for some dining options around Hachimantai? The main township is dotted with traditional Japanese cafes and Western-style hotels with on-site restaurants. After indulging in some local cuisine, treat your weary muscles to one of the hot springs, such as the rustic Nyuto Onsen or the volcano-fed Goshogake Onsen.
If you want to get up close to a volcano, hike the numerous trails up Akita-Komagatake. Active travellers can also tackle the 1,613-metre-tall Mount Hachimantai or trek through the snow at the 2,038-metre-tall Mount Iwate.
Don’t forget about seeing the cascading Fudō Falls, one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Japan thanks to the traditional bridge that crosses the stream at its base. Nature lovers will also enjoy exploring Towada-Hachimantai National Park, home to Lake Towada and the Oirase River valley.
Getting around Hachimantai
Hachimantai is connected to the rest of Japan via regular JR East trains on the Hanawa Line and numerous expressways. While the ski resort area can be explored on foot, it’s best to have a hire car when touring the rest of the region.