Offering a wide range of splendid sceneries such as blooming glens, cozy river banks, graceful waterfalls and traditional villages, Kaga’s mountainous area is the perfect place for hiking. Those who enjoy driving their cars or riding their bikes on narrow curving mountain roads will also be delighted as long as enough caution is observed. Please note that due to heavy snowing expectations, the roads are usually closed in winter.
JR Kaga Onsen sta.
Located on the very heights of the Higashitani Valley, the picturesque village of Ozuchi gathers together a good number of traditional farmhouses. Generally inhabited from March up to the edge of December, when the harshness of winter’s heavy snowing drive the villagers out to settle downstream, Ozuchi seems to quietly remain frozen in time while giving us some nostalgic glimpses of what used to be the traditional Japanese lifestyle in remote mountainous areas.
The road leading to Ozuchi is closed in wintertime.
A nice and cozy café in a renovated mountain warehouse surrounded by lush greeneries and tranquility only disturbed by the gentle stream that crosses the village of Suginomizu. Healthy food and sweets are prepared daily from the valley’s best seasonal fruits, rice and mountain ingredients such as burdock and green wasabi leaves. Both on-site consumption and take-out are available.
A concrete-made suspension bridge crossing the body of water that spans between the Kutani and Wagatani dams: You are here at the water source of Kaga. Of some 155 m height for 140 m length, this suspension bridge offers a splendid panorama over the lake below and the surrounding mountains. It is connected to the climbing mouth of Mount Fujishagatake.
Located on the heights of Yamanaka Onsen, the Sugawa Shrine is famous for its impressively large red cedar trees. One of them is being estimated to be over 2,300 years old and was particularly praised by a former Japanese monarch and is thus famous in the country as “the emperor’s cedar”.
Across the road in front of the Sugawa Shrine, this tiny teahouse proposes delicious “kusa dango” (grass dumplings). The locals have kept unchanged this ancient recipe of round sweet dumplings made of rice flour and mug wort topped with kinako powder. Served by groups of three or four on skewers, these are very popular sweets traditionally eaten at the return of spring as a prayer to be spared by diseases and illness. Free from chemical coloring and preservatives, the kusa dango should be eaten on that day. Pre-order is highly recommended.
Back from your journey towards the Kaga mountains, enjoy a relaxing time in Yamanaka Onsen soaking in the public bathhouse or shopping in the nearby shops and galleries.
JR Kaga Onsen sta.