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  • Decodaira Marshlands
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  • Onogawa Fudo Falls with foliage changing to autumn colors
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  • Footpath following the route of an old tramline track
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  • Traveling butterfly―chestnut tiger
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  • Grandeco Snow Resort
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  • People trying to catch chestnut tiger butterflies
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  • Hikers appreciating the magnificent view of Urabandai
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  • Spring formed by up-welling water (Hyakkan Shimizu Spring)
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  • Blooming Asian skunk cabbage
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  • Dynamic Onogawa Fudo Falls
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Urabandai-Dekodaira Recreation Forest

804.96ha

Elevation Lowest: 800 m / Average: 1,000–1,300 m / Highest: 1,650 m

A gathering place for traveling migratory chestnut tiger butterflies in the summer
that is covered by pure white powder snow in the winter

―Decodaira, a resort amidst bountiful nature―

A gathering place for traveling migratory chestnut tiger butterflies in the summer
that is covered by pure white powder snow in the winter

―Decodaira, a resort amidst bountiful nature―

Newest information
CHECK
Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Area
Kanto
Activities
Flower-viewing (Cherry (Prunus)) : Sakura Pass in Kitashiobara Village(Outside the forest) Autumn leaf viewing (Includes surrounding area) Waterfall viewing (Includes surrounding area) Birdwatching (Includes surrounding area) Picnics (lawn area/park) (Includes surrounding area) Paddling / fishing / boating (pond / lake / river) : Lake Hibara, etc. (Outside the forest) (Payment required for use of facilities and participation in activities) Guided tours (Includes surrounding area) (Payment required) Ski resort (no. of trails: 1) (Includes surrounding area)
Overview
Geographical/topographical features
The Azuma Mountain Range stretches from east to west along the border between Yamagata Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture. Mt. Nishi-Daiten (1,982 m) rises at the western end of the mountain range, and a vast highland spreads across the southern slope of the mountain.
This highland has been named Decodaira as it is flat and wide like a person’s forehead ("odeko" in Japanese). Various stories exist about the origin of the name. Most of Decodaira has been developed into a snow resort. However, it offers a variety of natural environments, including marshes and primeval forests of Buna (Japanese beech (Fagus crenata Blume)) at higher elevations. At lower elevations, Onogawa Fudo Falls is a perfect destination for river trekking in the summer and snowshoe trekking in the winter.
Historical/cultural features
When Mt. Bandai erupted in 1888, a large debris avalanche at Urabandai dammed rivers, forming hundreds of lakes and ponds.
Among these, the Goshikinuma Ponds earned a one-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide Japon in 2016. They were named "Goshikinuma" (five-colored ponds) because their surfaces are different colors, and they are also referred to as mystic lakes. Urabandai is also a production area for highland daikon radish.
Decodaira is said to have been a daikon radish field before its development as a resort. Because of this, one story holds that "daikon" gradually morphed into "deikon" and then "deko" in the name "Decodaira."
Climate, flora and fauna
In the Decodaira Marshlands―located at an elevation of 1,320 m―you can enjoy seasonal alpine plants, such as Mizubasho (Asian skunk cabbage (Lysichiton camtschatcensis)), Ryukinka (Caltha palustris L. var. nipponica Hara), Watasuge (tussock cotton-grass (Eriophorum vaginatum L.)) and Ezo-oyamarindo (Gentiana triflora var. japonica subvar. montana). In around June, a white carpet of tussock cotton-grass covers the marshlands, making it a particularly good time to visit.
In addition, traveling chestnut tiger butterflies gather in this area, seeking the Yotsubahiyodori (Eupatorium glehnii F.Schmidt ex Trautv.) flowers that bloom in clusters in the Decodaira Marshlands and on slopes. A chestnut tiger butterfly is a beautiful and wondrous butterfly that migrates more than 2,000 km. They stay in the Decodaira Marshlands from late July through early September and fly south in early autumn. They are said to travel as far as Okinawa and Taiwan.
Attractions
The Recreation Forest is a well-maintained resort. The ski area offers liberating courses where visitors can enjoy various winter sports including snowboarding, nature skiing, and airboarding in the abundant high-quality snow with a panoramic view of Urabandai's landscape. From spring to autumn, visitors can admire each season’s scenery by trekking and hiking in the marshlands and in the primeval Japanese beech forest.
The area is also known as a habitat for a variety of wild birds that can be seen in the area throughout the year. The Onogawa Fudo Falls Trail is a popular course for river trekking in the summer and snowshoe trekking in the winter.
Other
The Panorama Gondola operates even outside skiing season for trekkers to the Decodaira Marshlands and Mt. Nishi-Daiten. Various facilities, including a footbath, can be found in the vicinity of the gondola's Summit (Sancho) Station.
Latest Information
Facility fees are subject to change.
Please check the facility's website for the latest information.
Warnings (Flora and fauna)
Bears: 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.
Warnings (Dangerous areas)
Forest roads are unpaved. Please drive slowly and carefully.
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
None (Panorama Gondola fee ― Junior high school students or older: 1,600 yen round trip / 1,200 yen one way; 4 years old to elementary school students: 1,200 yen round trip / 900 yen one way)
Operating hours and seasons
Accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
Accommodation options
Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel
Facility
Toilets and drinking fountains (Includes surrounding area) Toilet (accessible) (Includes surrounding area) Walking trail (Includes surrounding area) Parking lot (Includes surrounding area) Observation platform Visitor center (staffed only) Vending machine (Includes surrounding area) Shop (Outside the forest) Restaurant (Includes surrounding area) Free public wireless LAN (Wi-Fi)(Includes surrounding area) Accommodation facilities (Hotels/Japanese inns) (Outside the forest) Hot Spring : Decodaira Onsen (Outside the forest) (Payment required)
Map
pdf
Location
Hibara, Kitashiobara Village, Yama County, Fukushima Prefecture
Access
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)
Parking lot capacity / parking charges
  • [Grandeco Snow Resort Parking Lot]
  • 3,000 vehicles (1,000 yen on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and the year-end/new-year period during the ski season; free at other times)
Nearby tourism facilities
  • ・Goshikinuma Ponds (25 minutes by car)
  • ・Lake Onogawa (10 minutes by car)
Management office contact details
Aizu District Forest Office
TEL:0242-27-3270
FAX:0242-27-3272
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Official Tourist Information
Urabandai Tourism Association [External link]
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Supporters
Other

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