Goshogake bubbling up

By chance our travels north from Tokyo to Kamaishi coincided with a reward of delightful cherry blossoms in Morioka Castle Park in full bloom.

More of that in a later post. Today I wanted to relay the story of a circle bus and train trip out from Morioka in Iwate Prefecture that is certainly worth the effort.

After just avoiding a noisy and unpleasant tour group charging in for breakfast on mass at our hotel, we trotted off to Morioka Station to join our early morning bus to the Hacchimantai Plateau. Tickets in hand, the bus driver told us excitedly that we were in luck – this was the re-opening day for the famous Aspite Line where the road is cleared of snow banked metres high. Too good to be true! Apparently this bus service had does not run for some months when the area we were heading to is totally snowbound.

After going through seemingly endless urban areas we finally got into the rural foothills and then up the windy roads into the southern portion of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park through the Aspite Line to Mt Hachimantai. Wonderful views are available here, and numerous short walks.

Changing buses here we went to Goshogake and Onuma Pond in the early afternoon. Being the first day open for public transport visitors the carpark was almost empty, with just a few people wandering around the tracks and trails in the crisp windless spring afternoon. Certainly we were the only people on the bus!

At the Hachimantai Visitor Centre fabulous staff recommended a couple of short walks to tide us over until the next bus taking us on this beautiful circular journey. After a stroll around part of Onuma Pond we ventured into the bubbling mud pools adjacent the the HVC.

Being able to enjoy the Hachimantai area without your own car is possible. Get an early bus from Morioka, and you will be at Mt Hachimantai in a couple of hours. There are numerous short and long walks to do or sights to see. With a change of bus at Mt Hachimantai you can travel to through Hachimantai and Onuma Pond, the very isolated Tamagawa Hot Spring, the splendidly scenic Lake Tazawa and then to JR Tazawako before training it back to Morioka.

About Tony Jarrett

Taking regular visitors routes but more often just where the trains or buses go. Japan leads the way.
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2 Responses to Goshogake bubbling up

  1. Juny says:

    Hello, Tony,
    I know Hachimanti area is the wonderful place to visit, so it’s great to read a story about the place.


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