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  • Oranda-Entei (Dutch Dam)
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  • Main hall of Konshoji Temple
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  • Strangely-shaped granite boulders
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  • Playing in the water near Dutch Dam
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  • Tengu-Iwa Rock
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Omi Konan Alps Recreation Forest

1137.08ha

Elevation  170–600m

Alpine scenery featuring huge, strangely-shaped granite boulders and panoramic views of Lake Biwa

Alpine scenery featuring huge, strangely-shaped granite boulders and panoramic views of Lake Biwa

Newest information
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Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Area
Kinki Chugoku
Activities
Flower-viewing Autumn leaf viewing Waterfall viewing (Includes surrounding area) (There are a number of waterfalls in and around the Recreation Forest, including Ochigataki Falls, Setogataki Falls, Shiraito Falls, and Kuhon Falls.) Birdwatching Picnics Areas for paddling/fishing
Overview
Geographical/topographical features
Located in southern Shiga Prefecture, this area is known as the “Konan Alps” due to the distinctive form of its clusters of granite rock masses. It offers stunning panoramic views all the way to Lake Biwa.
Historical/cultural features
Attractions of historical and cultural interest in and around the Recreation Forest include Konshoji Temple, which was founded in the Nara period and played a key role in Buddhist culture during the Heian period; and a number of rock Buddhas (images of the Buddha carved into towering natural cliff faces, exposed rock, or boulders), including the Komasaka Rock Buddhas, which are said to have been carved sometime between the late Nara period and the Heian period.
The forest in this area began to be felled to provide wood for building the capital over 1,000 years ago, which, along with excessive felling of trees for fuel, led to this becoming renowned nationwide as an entirely bare mountain by the Edo period.
The forest was subsequently regenerated through erosion control projects that began in the Meiji period. A Dutch-style dike built in 1889 under the guidance of the Dutch engineer Johannis de Rijke is still in good condition today.
Climate, flora and fauna
Deforestation that began centuries ago led to the disappearance of the area's native vegetation, so the forest here mainly consists of akamatsu, Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora), many of which were planted as part of afforestation initiatives on the bare mountain from the late 19th century onward. Among the plants in the forest's substratum are kobanomitsuba-tsutsuji (Rhododendron reticulatum); nejiki (Lyonia ovalifolia ssp. Neziki);); ryobu (Clethra barbinervis); ganpi (Diplomorpha sikokiana); and hisakaki (Eurya japonica). Nihonrisu, Japanese squirrel (Sciurus lis) can often be spotted munching on pinecones.
Attractions
There are many hiking trails suitable for everyone from novices to those with some hiking experience, which are also open in winter, too.
Everyone from small children to adults can enjoy playing in the stream near Ichijoya Parking Lot. 
Visitors can explore rock Buddhas and other elements of Buddhist culture, and reflect on more modern industrial heritage.
Other
Kiryu campsite in the Recreation Forest a facility exclusively for the social education organization (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Young Men, etc.) and is not available to the general public.
Latest Information
Information on temporarily unavailable facilities
Daidogawa dam is under constructing now, following area(Setogataki-line. Kiryutsuji-line) is impassable.
Please refer to the PDF (267KB).
Re-opening : TBD
Events
During season, "Communing with forest" stamp rally is held.
For more informaton please contact: Omi Konan Alps Recreation Forest Management Committee
TEL:077-551-0236
Warnings
Please note that ticks and mamushi, Japanese pit viper (Gloydius blomhoffii) are found in this area. Wearing long sleeves and long trousers is essential.
The footing can be treacherous in places, so particular care is required after rain. The trails can freeze in winter.
Each trail has call points from which visitors can call for rescue in the event of an accident.
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
None
Opening seasons and hours
The forest is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Outside the Recreation Forest, Konze-no-Sato (general tourism facility) is open 09: 00-17: 00 (closed Wednesdays)
Accommodation options
Konze-no-Sato (Shinyukan, Cabin area, Mori-no-miraikan)
Facility
Toilets and drinking fountains Toilet (accessible) Walking trail Walking trail (accessible) Parking lot (charges apply in some cases) Observation platform (Outside the forest) Vending machine (Outside the forest) Shop (Outside the forest) Restaurant (Outside the forest) Campsite and/or cabins (Includes surrounding area) World Heritage Site / Cultural asset (nationally designated) (Outside the forest) (No foreign languages spoken) Accommodation facilities (Hotels / Japanese inns) (Outside the forest)
Map
pdf
Address
Kamitana-kamikiryu-cho, Otsu-shi; Arahari, Ritto-shi, Shiga Prefecture
Access
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)
By public transport
<Access from nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • ・From Kamikiryu: JR Biwako Line Kusatsu Station East Exit → Teisan Konan Kotsu Bus to Kamikiryu. Alight at the final stop, then 5 minutes on foot. (Bus journey: 30 minutes)
  • ・From Konshoji Temple: JR Kusatsu Line Tehara Station → Konze Megurichan Bus. Alight at Konshoji (operates on weekends and national holidays only, April – June and September – November, 3 round-trips per day. 30-minute bus journey For more information please contact: Ritto City Sightseeing Association FAX:077-551-6158).
By car
<Access>
  • From Kamikiryu of Otsu-city: Shin-Meishin Expressway Kusatsu-Tanakami IC → Pref. Route 2 (East) → Pref. Route 108 → Ichijoya Parking Lot (10 minutes’ drive from the IC)
    (Parking lot capacity / parking charges)
    Parking lot capacity: 100 standard-sized cars, 5 large vehicles (tall parking)
  • From Konshoji Temple of Ritto-city: Meishin Expressway Ritto IC → Pref. Route 55 → Pref. Route 12 (toward Shigaraki) → Konze-no-Sato Ritto Roadside Station (20 minutes’ drive from the IC)
    From the Roadside Station, take the Higashi-namiki forest road, Konshoji Temple → Yokogamine Viewing spot -Bato Kannondo mae (parking lot) (15 minutes)
<Car parking capacity / parking charges>

Bato Kannondomae: capacity: 8 standard-sized cars (Free of charge)
Ichijoya:capacity: 100 for standard-sized cars, 5 for large vehicles (Pay)
For more information please contact: Omi Konan Alps Recreation Forest Management Committee (TEL:077-551-0148)

Nearby tourist facilities
  • ・The entrance (parking lot in front of Bato Kannon Hall) is 80 minutes on foot from Konze-no-Sato.
Management office contact details
Shiga District Forest Office
Tel: 077-544-3871
Fax:077-544-3867
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Konze-no-Sato [External link]
Nissan Leaf Forest (Mount Konze Kenmin-no-Mori Forest)
Official Tourist Information
Ritto City [External link]
Ritto City Sightseeing Association [External link]
Biwako Visitors Bureau [External link]
Teisan bus [External link]
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Omi Konan Alps Recreation Forest Management Committee
(Administration Bureau: Parks & Open Space Association, Kiryu)
TEL:070-4469-3734
Supporters
Other

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