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Questions and inquiries
* If you have any questions, ideas or inquiries not listed, please get in touch using the contact details at the bottom.
FAQs and answers
Q1. Getting to Oze
- Q1-1 How do I get to Oze by car or public transport?
- Click here to display the access map.
- Q1-2 How easy is it to find parking?
- Parking lots may be crowded in busy seasons (late May (skunk cabbages), mid-July (daylilies) and late September (wetland grass turning yellow)). Please plan your trip in consideration of these busy seasons wherever possible.
- Q1-3 Is there a charge to enter Oze?
- Q1-4 Are there a traffic regulations?
- Yes. Click here for details.
- Q1-5 Where are the access points to Oze?
- On the Gunma Prefecture side, there are three access points: at the Hatomachi Toge Pass, the Fujimi Toge Pass and Oshimizuguchi. On the Fukushima Prefecture side, there are two access points: at the Numayama Toge Pass and Miike. Ozeguchi is on the Niigata Prefecture side, and Kuriyamaguchi is on the Tochigi Prefecture side.
- Q1-6 When is the best time for skunk cabbages, daylilies and autumn leaves?
- Although the exact timing varies from year to year, skunk cabbages are best between late May and early June, daylilies are best between mid- and late July, and autumn leaves are best in early October. Oze is crowded on weekends during these seasons, and visitors may find it harder to enjoy the area’s charms in a leisurely way.
In addition to these flowers and landscapes, Oze has diverse natural attractions that change on a daily basis. The Oze Preservation Foundation hopes that visitors will enjoy these wide-ranging landscapes to the maximum by visiting again.
Q2. Entering Oze
- Q2-1 I’m not physically strong. Will I be OK?
- There are trailheads with gentler gradients, such as at the Hatomachi Toge and Numayama Toge passes. Please plan hiking reasonably in consideration of your physical capacity.
- Q2-2 Can I visit and return in one day?
- Yes. Many people come to Oze for day trips; however, this allows only a short time in Oze considering the time taken to get here and back. Staying near or in Oze the night before a hike enables visitors to enjoy the area at a more leisurely pace. Mornings and late afternoons in the region are also quite beautiful.
- Q2-3 Can I bring pets with me?
- Please do not bring pets, as they may disturb local wildlife.
- Q2-4 Are there any places that are dangerous for children?
- Walking on the boards in the wetlands is basically safe; however, the boardwalks are elevated in some places and can be very dangerous if you lose your footing. Please be careful with small children.
Also, alpine areas such as Mt. Shibutsu have steep slopes in some places, and care should be taken.
Q3. Necessary items
- Q3-1 Can I wear sports shoes?
- Although it is possible to negotiate Oze’s boardwalks in sports shoes, we recommend trekking shoes with a good grip as wet boardwalks can be very slippery.
- Q3-2 Can I rent shoes at the trailheads?
- There are no shoe rental facilities, but some rest stops sell footwear. However, Oze is an alpine area, and we encourage visitors to bring their own mountain shoes.
- Q3-3 Is cold-weather clothing needed in summer?
- Even in summer, temperatures can be quite low in the morning and late afternoon, and the same-day temperature fluctuation is very large. We recommend bringing warm clothing.
- Q3-4 Are raincoats needed even if the weather forecast is good?
- The weather can be changeable in Oze, and may turn adverse even if conditions in surrounding areas are fine. Getting wet without a raincoat can cause rapid body heat loss. Oze is a mountain region, so a simple raincoat may not offer adequate protection from rain in windy conditions; we recommend bringing separate rainwear for the top and bottom halves of the body.
Q4. Climate in Oze
- Q4-1 What are temperatures in Oze like?
- The monthly average temperatures are as follows (in Yamanohana, averages for 1989 – 1998).
May June July August September October 7.0 ºC 12.4 ºC 16.6 ºC 17.2 ºC 13.2 ºC 6.7 ºC
- Q4-2 Does it rain often?
- Oze is located in a subarctic humid zone with large amounts of snow in winter and moderate amounts of rain in other seasons. It is an alpine region, and the weather can be changeable. Raincoats are a must.
- Q4-3 How can I find out about the weather in Oze?
- There is a link on the top page of the Foundation’s website to a weather forecast service. When using services provided by TV and other media, check northern Gunma Prefecture (Minakami), southern Fukushima Prefecture and the Chuetsu region of Niigata Prefecture.
Q5. Walking in Oze
- Q5-1 What should I do if I hear thunder/see lightning?
- Thunderclouds usually pass quickly. In mountain areas, start descending as soon as possible, and in open wetland areas, seek shelter in a nearby mountain lodge, rest stop or forest (it is dangerous to stand below isolated trees).
- Q5-2 What if I can’t find my companions?
- There may have been an alpine accident rather than just a separation. Report to the nearest visitor center.
As mobile phones cannot be used in Oze, it is important to confirm with your party in advance regarding routes and where to meet in case of separation.
- Q5-3 Is it OK to walk outside boardwalk areas?
- Wetlands are very fragile ecosystems. To protect Oze’s natural environment, please refrain from walking or placing tripods on the wetlands.
- Q5-4 Do bears inhabit Oze?
- Oze is a habitat for Asiatic black bears. Recent reports of bear sightings are provided at visitor centers and Oze Preservation Foundation.
Please report any bear sightings to the Oze Preservation Foundation. This information is valuable to us.
- Q5-5 Can I collect fallen leaves?
- Visitors to Oze must not collect plants or fallen leaves, or use fallen branches as walking sticks. In Oze, which contains Special Protection Zones, nature is strictly preserved. Please cooperate in protecting the natural environment of Oze ? it is an asset common to all of us.
- Q5-6 Can I collect plants?
- Harvesting of plants in the area is prohibited. In Oze, which contains Special Protection Zones, nature is strictly preserved.
- Q5-7 What if I get sick or injured?
- Please report to the nearest visitor center or mountain lodge. As there are no hospitals in Oze, it is important that visitors do not push themselves too hard; if necessary, change plans and start descending.
Q6. Staying overnight in Oze
- Q6-1 Where can I stay in Oze?
- Oze is divided into a number of sections, each of which has a mountain lodge. In principle, reservations must be made to stay at these lodges.
- Q6-2 Do the lodges have baths?
- Yes. The lodges themselves will provide information about bathing times.
(Soap, shampoo, etc. cannot be used for environmental reasons.)
- Q6-3 Do the lodges have private rooms?
- Some have private rooms, but these may be converted to shared rooms depending on the number of people staying there. Please ask at the lodge.
- Q6-4 Do the lodges provide packed lunches?
- With advance notice, they can prepare lunch items such as rice balls for guests. Please indicate lunch requests on making the reservation.
Q7. Facilities in Oze
- Q7-1 Are there any shops?
- There are shops selling souvenirs and providing light meals.
- Q7-2 Are there any places to eat?
- Food is available at rest stops, but tends to be mainly light fare such as soba or udon noodles. We recommend bringing food items to eat while walking.
- Q7-3 Are there any bathrooms?
- There are donation-based public bathrooms in section lodges and rest stops.
- Q7-4 Are there any camping sites?
- Camping facilities are available in the Yamanohana, Miharashi and Ozenuma sections. Reservations are needed to camp in the Ozenuma section; please ask the site manager for more details.
- Q7-5 Are there places to get water?
- Water is available free of charge at lodges.
- Q7-6 Are there any clinics?
- No. Visitor centers can provide first aid for minor injuries only. Please try to maintain wellbeing, plan well and prepare the necessary equipment before coming to Oze.
- Q7-7 Can I use a mobile phone?
- Base stations have been installed at the Hatomachi Toge Pass and Oshimizuguchi, and mobile phones can be used around these areas. They generally cannot be used in other areas. Public satellite phones are available at visitor centers.
- Q7-8 Can I use a portable cooking stove?
- Stoves cannot be used in indoor areas such as at rest stops, but may be used outdoors. Please take leftover food such as rice and soup home with other garbage.
- Q7-9 How can I call a visitor center?
- The telephone number for the Ozenuma Visitor Center is 090-5306-4004. To call the Yamanohana Visitor Center, which has a number for staff use only, contact the Oze Preservation Foundation (contact details below) (click here for open seasons and hours).
- Q7-10 What if I lose something in Oze?
- Visitors may hand in any found property at lodges or visitor centers. Please let the Foundation know the details of the missing items and where/when they were lost (contact details below).
Questions, ideas and inquiries not in the list above
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