Mar 4, 2010
Impressive scenery in the Onioshidashi volcanic park
If you’re curious what would it look like on another planet (or in the apocalyptic world after the global financial crisis), step into the Onioshidashi volcanic park in Japan!
Onioshidashi-en (鬼押出し園) is a huge natural park in Gunma Prefecture that was created after the catastrophic eruption of the Mt. Asama volcano on August 5, 1783. On that fateful day, a 7 km (4.3 miles) wide stream of flaming lava from the volcano — which, mind you, is still active today — swallowed the entire surrounding area and wiped a nearby village of Kanbara off the map. It is said that the ashes reached as far away as Europe.
The volcano last erupted in 1973 and the steam has been coming out ever since. For security reasons, hiking is prohibited within a 4 km (2.5 mile) circle around the crater.
The Onioshidashi-en park which is 12 km (7.5 miles) long, 3 km (1.9 miles) wide and located something over 1300 meters (4265 ft) above sea level, is considered one of the three greatest volcanic sights in the world. Nowadays, brave tourists can hike on a 2.7 km (1.6 mile) long trail that meanders through the sea of molten lava and offers a spectacular panoramic view of this very unusual landscape.
How to get there? Regular buses Seibu Kogen can take you to Onioshidashi-en from Naka-Karuizawa Station (about 35 minutes) or from Karuizawa Station (about 50 minutes) which is also connected to a JR line. Near the entrance they have plenty of souvenir shops, resting places and a restaurant. The park is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM and is closed in winter months.
Want to see more? I invite you to take a look at the rest of the photos I took at Onioshidashi. Fantastic scenery!
Address: 1053 Kanbara, Tsumagoi-mura, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma-ken, Japan