Nasu Japan: The Home of the Powerful Mount Nasudake

Nasu Japan guide

History of Nasu Japan

During the Edo period, the Tochigi prefecture was home to a number of holy grounds and shrines. The prefecture, then still a province, is set to face a great deal of change after the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate and major changes in governance were foreseen. Since Japan is facing a new unification after the Edo period, it is only understandable by places and locations changed their names.

The Meiji restoration has created a significant change in the naming and group of places in Japan. Before it became the Tochigi prefecture, this place was known as the Shimotsuke province. This place was Japan’s oldest university.

Despite been renamed and regrouped, there are still a great number of UNESCO World Heritage sites all over the Tochigi prefecture. The towns inside the Tochigi prefecture boast of their heritage and place in Japan’s long history.

Nasu was only a part of the Nasu district which was a small town in the Tochigi prefecture. The town of Nasu in Japan was founded in the late 1800s. It was formed after a merger of three towns namely the Nasu village, Iouno village, and the Ashino town. One of the things that Nasu is most famous for the onsens and hot spring resorts in the area. It was the primary backbone of the Nasu economy and there are some onsens which date back more than thousands of years ago.

Nasu Japan Map

This small town is located in Tochigi Prefecture of Japan located in the Kanto region. It has a total area of 370 square kilometers and has a population of roughly 25,000 people. This place is located in the center of the main island and not close to the ports.

The town of Nasu, also known as Nasu-machi, is surrounded by other municipalities from the Tochigi prefecture and the Fukushima prefecture. One of the most notable tourist destinations in the area would be Mount Nasu or Nasudera. This place is best known for their ryokans, onsens, whose primary heat source is the active volcanoes of Nasudera. It is also a popular destination for slope lovers and ski resorts.

Nasu district of Japan is also made popular by its beautiful scenery which is highly sought-after during the autumn or fall seasons. The changing colors of the autumn foliage is a romantic scene to watch. People can enjoy short strolls and walks along parks while creating a strong bond with nature.

Nasu Japan Weather

Since Nasu is located atop mountains and is found in the Tochigi prefecture, it is known that its climate is humid but temperate. They experience strong winters and very cool summers. According to studies, it has been recorded that winters are dry while summers are very humid with a significant amount of rainfall.

Getting around Nasu Japan

Nasu Japan JR Station

The town of Nasu in Tochigi prefecture can be reached via the JR East – Tohoku Mainline. This is a 160-kilometer line which traverses Tokyo going to Tochigi. There are different stations that can reach the town of Nasu and these include Takaku station, Kurodahara station, and Toyohara station.

For those who wish to take the bus, there are bus lines that travel and pass through main highways which include the Tohoku Expressway, Japan National Route 4 and Japan National Route 294. There are many different ways to reach Nasu town in Tochigi prefecture.

Nasu Japan Airports

The airport nearest Nasu town in Japan would be the Fukushima Airport, those coming from faraway places like Nagasaki, Osaka and the like can reach Tochigi prefecture from this airport. The distance between the Nasu town and the Fukushima airport is roughly 51 kilometers. There are bus lines that travel directly to Tochigi prefecture from the airport. For those who wish to reach their destinations faster, there are also train lines that travel from Fukushima to Tochigi. Traveling from Fukushima airport to central Tochigi takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes via bus.

For those traveling international flights, the Narita International Airport is the nearest airport to Tochigi. This is roughly 90 kilometers away. There are also bus lines that travel from Narita airport to Tochigi in only less than two hours.

Mount Nasu Trips and Adventures

What is known as Mount Nasu is a group of active volcanoes which is located in the borders of Tochigi and Fukushima prefecture. It is considered as one of Japan’s 100 Famous Mountains. There are a number of towering peaks in this complex collection of mountains in Mount Nasu which is collectively known as “Nasu Five Peaks”. The highest point of Mount Nasu stands at 1916 meters and is known as the Sanbonyari Peak.

Those who enjoy outdoor activities and adventures can easily find tour groups that climb the five peaks of Nasu. There are options of hiking up the summit, enjoying the view at the top before hiking back down the base. However, there are options of riding a lift up to the middle of the mountain to hike a shorter route up the summit before hiking back down.

By Kanohara (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Up the summit, there are camps and bases available for hikers. These are rest stops where they can stay to cook, eat, and even rest when going up. A lot of people go to the mountains during the autumn season to enjoy the beautiful fall colors – providing an incredibly artistic view of nature in Japan.

There are places in Mount Nasu where people can enjoy a natural hot spring while experiencing the impressive view of the mountains. Some of these onsen resorts include Yumoto, Takao, and Omaru. There are some resorts and farms which are located near the base of the mountains where families can enjoy skiing, playing golf, and more.

What makes this place even more special is the fact that steam is often seen rising from the ground.

Nasu Japan Attractions

Nasu Japan Zoo (Nasu Animal Kingdom)

The Nasu Animal Kingdom is a 43-hectare land which is a home for well-cared-for animals that are found locally in Japan and even abroad. There is a farm zone where most of the animals are living in and there is a town zone where the restaurants, cafes, and shops can be located. It is usually open between 10:00 AM t 4:30 PM and admission tickets can cost up to 2000 yen.

This place is one of the many family-friendly spots in Japan. It is located in the Tochigi Prefecture of Nasu Japan and it is a great place to visit with children and family. What is great about this place is that there are feeding and petting areas for most of the animals residing in the zoo.

taro gen [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Nasu Animal Kingdom is best known for their enclosure of capybaras which are cute animals that kids will love. They are very friendly and they love to swim. Another popular animal most visitors sought after are the fluffy white alpacas that roam around the zoo. This is only some of the non-native animals which are found in the enclosure. There are kangaroos, camels, meercats, Bearcats, and more.

There are vending machines available all around the zoo providing food and chow for different animals around the zoo. The animals do live in cages but in nicer environments which mimic their real habitat. On top of that, there are special divisions that will make sure that animals that can harm each other are not mixed.

Nasu Kogen Japan

Nasu Kogen, or simply, Nasu Highlands is a place in Tochigi where most of the tourist attractions of the Nasu district is located. It can be found in the northernmost region of the Tochigi prefecture.It is comprised of hills and slopes which are commonly enjoyed by hikers and trekkers. A lot of people enjoy going to the Nasu Kogen because it is almost as large and as accessible as the famous Nikko National park. There are wildlife preserves, safaris, zoos, and the like inside the area. There is even a Monkey Park in the area. There are museums also to enjoy in the Nasu Kogen.  

There is also a good system of transportation that can take an individual from place to place. What travelers love the most are the free bus shuttles available and take passengers from hot spring resorts from the main train stations. This place is located on the boundaries of Nikko National Park.

Shiobara Onsen

This place is a small town located inside the Nasu district of the Tochigi prefecture. It is well  known as Nasushiobara and has a great number of onsens. This place is officially known as the hot spring town of Tochigi as it is closely located to Mount Nasudake. People travel to this place to enjoy relaxing dips in hot spring baths, a quick cool swim in the waterfalls and even a refreshing trek up hiking trails in the area.

There are spas and hotels which allow to night stay, there are also places that offer gender-mixed baths. There are baths literally located along a public river called the Iwa no Yu. There are foot spas in the area as well for the tired feet known as the Yuppo no Sato. The two falls in Nasushiobara would be the Ryuka falls and the Mikaeiri Fall, both of which are found inside Nasu district and can be reached through a short trek up the hills and forests.

Nasu Highland Park

Located in the mountains, the Nasu Highland Park is the largest amusement park found in the Nasu district. It has a total of 40 attractions and a whopping number of 10 roller coasters! There are seasonal shows which are performances that change depending on the season’s themes. There are even indoor roller coasters found in the park.

What visitors like most about this place is that there are English language maps available inside the park, the queues are also short and most of the rides are children friendly. On top of that, there is an enclosure for wild animals inside the park. There are lions, tigers, giraffes, and zebras. The trail can be accessed via car or bus.

This place can be accessed via taking a Tono bus from the JR Kuroiso Station and getting own exactly at the amusement park.

Nasu Teddy Bear Museum

An interesting tourist destination, the Nasu Teddy bear museum is one of the first of its kind even reaching the international news. It is a large museum where teddy bears of different kinds are exhibited. There are small dioramas showing teddy bears doing different things like cooking, reading, and other human activities.

There are also gigantic teddy bears in the museum that children will surely love and enjoy. There is also a section inside the museum where the individual can create their own teddy bear. The museum was established as a means of awareness for the protection of wildlife in the area, particularly local bears.

By 663highland (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Karasuyama Castle

This is one of the most beautiful castles located in the area, it is located in the northern Tochigi Prefecture of Japan. It used to be owned by the Okubo clan which is the daimyo, or leading family of the Karasuyama domain.

This castle was built in the early 1400s by the Nasu family. More than a century later, it was taken over by Toyotomi Hideyoshi which is one of the most famous feudal lords at the time. It became the center of the governance in the Karasuyama domain before it was officially awarded to the Okubo clan. It was destroyed in the late 1800s due to the re-establishment of the Japanese empire through the Meiji family. Since then, the ruins of the castle is turned into a public park.

A lot of people enjoy visiting this park during the springtime months of February and March because of reports of beautiful blossoms of Sakura every year. It is a popular Hanami destination where families and friends can enjoy picnics on the park grounds.