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  • Enkatsura trees (katsura trees (Cercidiphyllum japonicum Siebold et Zucc. ex Hoffm. et Schult.)
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  • Enkatsura trees with new leaves
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  • Enkatsura trees connecting together
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  • Walking trail surrounded by Buna (Japanese beech (Fagus crenata Blume)) and Mizunara (Japanese oak mizu-nara (Quercus crispula Blume))
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  • Woodchip-covered footpath
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  • God of marriage
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  • Poem by the poet Naoko Aso
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Enkatsura Recreation Forest


Elevation Lowest : 150m / Average : 150–370m / Highest : 370m

Enkatsura trees are believed to be the home of a god of marriage. Touch one and make a wish to find a good match!

Enkatsura trees are believed to be the home of a god of marriage. Touch one and make a wish to find a good match!

Newest information
Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Flower-viewing (species: cherry (Prunus)) (Includes surrounding area) Autumn leaf viewing (Includes surrounding area) Birdwatching (Includes surrounding area) Paddling (river) (Includes surrounding area) Hot Spring (Outside the forest) Municipal ski area (no. of trails: 1) (Outside the forest) Shrine / Temple visit : Hachiman Shrine (Outside the forest)
Geographical/topographical features
The Enkatsura Recreation Forest is located in a montane region on the west side of Oshima Peninsula in southwestern Hokkaido. It ranges in elevation from 150 to 370 m.
The coast around Hiyama was the earliest area to be developed in Hokkaido, and as such it has a large number of historic shrines and temples as well as cultural properties designated by the national government and the Hokkaido prefectural government.
The area faces the Sea of Japan. The coastline offers varied landscapes where precipitous cliffs and unusually shaped rocks and stones harmonize beautifully with the blue ocean. The coastal area, with its superb views of islands including Okushiri Island, Matsumae-Oshima Island, and Matsumae-Kojima Island in the far distance, has been designated a notable scenic area in southern Hokkaido as Hiyama Prefectural Natural Park.
Historical/cultural features
Two approximately 500-year-old "Enkatsura" trees (katsura trees (Cercidiphyllum japonicum Siebold et Zucc. ex Hoffm. et Schult.) stand about 40 m tall, with trunk diameters of up to 6.1 m, at the foot of the montane area. Because they are "connected trees"―their branches intertwine 7 m above the ground―they are treasured by local people as matchmakers.
According to legend, in the Meiji period (the latter half of the 19th century to early 20th century), a brawny fisherman tried to cut down the trees, but when he raised his axe, he suddenly lost his strength and was unable to do so.
The Forestry Agency selects giant, over 100-year-old trees that have grown without human intervention in mountainous areas in national forests nationwide for inclusion in its 100 Giants of the Forest list. The Enkatsura trees were included on this list in 2000.
Climate, flora and fauna
The Enkatsura Recreation Forest is located in the Sea of Japan climate zone. Due to the effect of the Tsushima Current, the climate is rather warm with a relatively small temperature difference compared to other areas in Hokkaido, but strong seasonal winds blow from the northeast in the winter.
The forest is a combination of a natural forest mainly consisting of Buna (Japanese beech (Fagus crenata Blume)) and Itaya Kaede (Acer pictum Thunb. subsp. dissectum (Wesm.) H.Ohashi) and a planted forest mainly consisting of Todomatsu (Todo fir (Abies sachalinensis)) and Karamatsu (Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi)). Wild animals, including Higuma (Ezo brown bears (Ursus arctos)) and Kitakitsune (Ezo red fox (Vulpes vulpes schrencki)), live in the forest, and plants, such as Oobaku Yuri (Cardiocrinum cordatum (Thunb.) Makino var. glehnii (F.Schmidt) H.Hara) and Kurumabaso (sweetscented bedstraw (Galium odoratum (L.) Scop.)), can be seen along footpaths.
The Enkatsura trees have been treasured by local people based on a belief that they house a god of marriage, and bring good matches to those who touch them. Six couples have held wedding ceremonies in front of the Enkatsura trees to date.
There are footpaths in the vicinity of the Enkatsura trees, and the approximately 1 km "Enkatsura Course" offers an enjoyable walk for people of all ages.
The Enkatsura Mori Mori Festival, held on September 23 every year, attracts a large number of visitors from within and outside Hokkaido.
Latest Information
Regular events
"Enkatsura Mori Mori Festival": September 23 (Autumnal Equinox Day) every year
Warnings (Flora and fauna)
Ezo Brown bears: Higuma (brown bears (Ursus arctos)) may be present during the period from May to November. When entering the forest, please carry a bear bell and stay in a group. Check for local information on bear sightings and warnings and follow instructions.
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
Free of charge
Opening seasons and hours
Accessible 24 hours a day. During the winter (November through April), the road to the forest is closed to traffic about 1 km before the parking lot.
Accommodation options
"Kourinsou" and Wheelchair-Accessible Hotel "Asunaro"
Toilets (1 location) Footpath (Enkatsura Course, Beech Forest Course, Bird-Watching Course) Parking lot (Includes surrounding area) Shop (Outside the forest) Restaurant (Outside the forest) Campsite and/or cabins (Outside the forest) Free public wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) (Outside the forest) Folk museum (Outside the forest) (Payment required) Accommodation facilities (Hotels/Japanese inns) (Outside the forest)
Tomioka, Otobe Town, Nishi County, Hokkaido
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)
By public transport
<Access from major transport hubs to nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • Sapporo Station → (Ltd. Exp. Super Hokuto: about 210 minutes) → Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station (Hakodate Bus: about 100 minutes) → get off at the Toriyama bus stop → about 115 minutes on foot (9.1 km)
By car
  • Sapporo Station → Hokkaido Expressway (Otoshibe IC exit: about 190 minutes) → public road (about 80 minutes) → Enkatsura Recreation Forest
  • Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station → public road (about 100 minutes) → Enkatsura Recreation Forest
<Car parking capacity / parking charges>

Free parking for approximately 20 vehicles

Nearby tourist facilities
  • Roadside Rest Area "Route 229 Gennadai": about 20 minutes by car
  • Gennadai Marine Park "Sea Pool": about 20 minutes by car
  • ・Accommodation and Experience Facility "Kourinsou" and Wheelchair-Accessible Hotel "Asunaro": both about 20 minutes by car (12 km)
Management office contact details
Hiyama District Forest Office
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Official Tourist Information
Otobe Town website (Industry Division, Otobe Municipal Office) [External link]
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Otobe Town Association for Conservation of Giant "Enkatsura" Trees

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