These mountains, straddling the border with Iwate Prefecture, are admired for summer wildflowers, autumn foliage and a rare prevalence of both dry and wet plant species. Over two days you can pursue a 17km course that takes in three peaks, overnights in a picturesque mountain hut and ends with a rewarding soak in the healing waters of Nyūtō Onsen.

Access the trailhead at Komaga-take Hachigōme (eighth station) by taking one of seven daily buses (all departing before 1.30pm) from Tazawa-ko Station (¥1120, one hour). From the eighth station, it's a two-hour hike to the summit of Oname-dake (男女岳; 1637m) before pressing on to the eastern edge of the oval-shaped pond below and claiming your space at the Amida-ike Hinan Goya (阿弥陀池避難小屋) unstaffed mountain hut; it's recommended that you leave a small tip (¥1000). You can also double-back for 20 minutes or so and scale O-dake (男岳; 1623m).

On the second day, it's a seven-hour descent to Nyūtō Onsen, including first reaching the summit of Yoko-dake (横岳; 1583m). The trail down follows the ridge line most of the way before winding through expansive marshlands rich with bird life. Emerge at the Nyūtō Onsen bus stop, from where it's a short stroll to a heavenly bath.