Mt. Kurikoma is a volcano on the prefectural borders of Akita, Iwate and Miyagi Prefecture, located almost in the center of the Tohoku region. It is 1,626 meters(5,335 feet) high with graduval slopes, and is also a symbol of the region.
It is famous for a lot of mountain plants and amazing fall foliage. It is 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. It is easy for beginners, children, and families. So it is a popular destination in the Tohoku region.
In spring, about 150 kinds of alpine flowers grow in colonies, which create wonderful flower fields. The nature remains intact in the mountain such as the primary forest of beech trees, wetlands, gorges, waterfalls, spring water and snow patches. A lot of tourists come to see and enjoy the fresh greenery and flowers in spring.
In summer, a lot of hikers come to enjoy hiking. The mountain has great views. From the mountain top, you can see a panoramic views of Mt. Gassan, Mt. Chokaisan, the Zao Mountains, Mt. Hayachine, which are famous mountains in Tohoku and 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. It is designated as the Ecological Conservation Area to protect natural forests. Additionally, you can see a wonderful starry sky at night.
In fall, we can see colorful fall foliage in the mountains. Leaves start changing colors in the middle of September, and all the mountains are covered with red and orange rowan trees and yellow Erman’s birch trees in 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 much snow. But you can enjoy backcountry skiing and snowboarding.
There are some great onsens (hot springs) around the mountain. And hot spring bathing can be enjoyed all through the year.
As you can see, Mt, Kurikoma is beautiful all year long, and can be enjoyed in many ways. So, it is loved by many people.