Hiruzen or the Hiruzen Kogen area is a highland plateau located in northern Okayama on the border of Tottori Prefecture. This region stands apart from other destinations in Okayama due to its elevation and unique combination of natural beauty and agricultural importance. As Hiruzen is situated at a cool elevation and is inland, the agricultural possibilities are akin to what you would find in northern Europe, as opposed to the Mediterranean climate of lowland southern Okayama. This means that the environment is highly suitable for cattle farming and in fact, Hiruzen excels in this industry.
Jersey cows dot the landscape and provide not only a picturesque view but also a valuable source of revenue from the sale of delicious locally produced dairy products. Indeed, some tourists visit Hiruzen just for the ice cream! Visitors can even take part in cow milking and ice cream making workshops. The natural beauty of Hiruzen can be appreciated in many ways. As the district is home to several “power spots”, found in the form of waterfalls, forests and mountains, just being their will energize you.
Hiking is a favorite activity for both day travelers and those planning to stay in the area for a more extended period of time. Enjoy trekking along the many trails of the Hiruzen mountain chain, which includes three main peaks at elevations of around 1200 meters. Climbing guidebooks are available in English. Cycling in Hiruzen is a treat on account of the regions wonderfully paved flat, long and straight roads. Rental bikes and tours are available with experienced local guides. In the winter, cycling on the snow and downhill runs have gained in popularity.
There are various forms of accommodation available, from rental cabins to hot spring resorts. Campsites are also plentiful and varied, from standard campgrounds to luxurious glamping (glamorous camping) with perpetually pitched platform-based bungalows.
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