Mt Kurikoma is a volcano on the prefectural borders of Akita, Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures, located almost in the center of the Tohoku region. It is 1,626 meters(5,335 feet) high with gradual slopes, and is also a symbol of the region.
It is famous for having a wide range of mountain plants and amazing fall foliage. It is known as one of Japan’s 100 most famous flower mountains, “Hana no Hyakumeizan”.
The ascent only takes 90 minutes from the starting point to the summit. As the climb is easy for beginner hikers, children, and families, the mountain is a popular destination in the Tohoku region.
In spring, about 150 kinds of alpine flowers grow in colonies, creating wonderful flower fields. The mountain is covered by a vast area of pristine nature which includes primary forest of beech trees, wetlands, gorges, waterfalls, spring water and snow patches. A large number of tourists come to see and enjoy the fresh greenery and flowers in spring.
In summer, many hikers visit the mountain to enjoy the great views the mountain has on offer while hiking. From the mountain top, you can see a panoramic views of Mt. Gassan, Mt. Chokaisan, the Zao Mountains and Mt. Hayachine, which are all famous mountains in the Tohoku region. From Mount Kurikoma you can also see as far as the Pacific Ocean. A variety of wild birds and animals inhabit the mountain. It is a part of the Kurikoma Quasi-National Park, and designated as an Ecological Conservation Area to protect the natural forests. Additionally, visitors can enjoy the night sky full of stars on a clear night.
In fall, we can see colorful fall foliage in the mountains. Leaves start changing colors in mid September, and all the mountains are covered with red and orange leaves of rowan trees and yellow leaves of Erman’s birch trees by October. It is awesome. It is one of the best spots to enjoy fall foliage among the Japanese mountains. Some say it is the most beautiful in the world.
In winter, the mountain is covered with a great amount of snow, and you can enjoy backcountry skiing and snowboarding.
There are some great onsens (hot springs) around the mountain, and hot spring bathing can be enjoyed throughout the year.
As you can see, Mt, Kurikoma is beautiful all year long, and can be enjoyed in many ways. So it is not hard to see why it is loved by many people.