Enjoy Your Time and Stay in the Midst of Nature, Oguni

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  • Need a break from the busy city life? Then come to the hidden town of Oguni-machi in Yamagata prefecture. In Oguni you can enjoy the beautiful nature and positive atmosphere anywhere you go. One of my personal recommendations to enjoy the outdoors at is Kenko No Mori Yokone (健康の森横根).

    Kenko No Mori
    The lake in the center of the camp area.


    Author’s photo

    Enjoy any season’s beauty at Kenko no Mori as it is open from May to the early part of November. Unfortunately, it’s closed for the winter season due to the insane amount of snow that Oguni gets every year. Kenkou no Mori Yokone is roughly a 10-minute drive from the center of Oguni. Here you’re able to relax and see the full grace of the Oguni mountains. As for Oguni, it’s a 2-hour shinkansen (or bullet train) ride north from Tokyo. It’s a must-see during any adventure around Tohoku.

    This is one of the small cabins you can rent.


    Author’s photo

    This large camp area includes little cottages and houses you can rent at a reasonable price to spend the night. These are great for both small or large groups. The large area is great for walking around and exploring.

    You can also enjoy time on the lake. It is popular to fish or ride in a small canoe which you can rent. There’s no better way to relax on a beautiful fall day in Oguni than on the water at Kenkou No Mori.

    Enjoy Local Foods
    A bowl of Imoni from fall 2015.


    Author’s photo

    After a relaxing day on the water, you can cook at the outdoor barbecue areas that are available. Enjoy the local foods that Oguni has to offer. In the fall you must try one of my all time favorite soups Imoni. Imoni is the region’s specialty dish, a taro potato soup. The Ogunites cook this hearty dish outdoors at Kenkou no Mori Yokone every fall. This is a dish you will not be able to try anywhere outside of Tohoku, Japan’s northern region of the main island of Honshu.

    In short, come enjoy the beautiful nature of Oguni at Kenkou no Mori Yokone with friends and family or by yourself! It offers a hidden side of Japan that you’ll never find in typical large cities on your adventure in Japan.

    Kenko No Mori

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