Kyushu Island is a paradise for mountain hikers who appreciate the numerous volcanoes, providers of opportunities for sport activities, as well as wonderful natural landscapes. Those who are not into sports can nonetheless enjoy easy and memorable hikes in Oita prefecture. The wider area is famous for harboring Yufuin Onsen hot springs, the popular Mount Aso caldera, and Tadewara Wetlands, whose meadow occupies almost forty hectares.
A self-paced discovery of the marshland
Chojabaru Visitors Center marks the entrance to Tadewara Wetlands with:
- An information center about the marsh and an exhibition area;
- A restaurant;
- A souvenir shop.
It is the starting point of several walking trails and checking in is required before starting a hike. Visitors are provided with English-language documentation, a paper map and a guide to the main vegetal and animal species that can be found throughout the seasons. A free guided visit in Japanese is organized each Sunday from 10 a.m.
Tadewara Wetlands offers a beautiful and invigorating walk via three marked routes: from the easiest (about 20 minutes, accessible to persons with reduced mobility), to the longest (2,5km long and winding in the nearby forest). Each route is a cedar-tree boardwalk especially build to avoid treading on flowers, creating an almost aerial and wonderful landscape. Everything is made to let visitors leisurely admire the nature spreading at their feet, or breathe fresh air when looking up to Kuju Mountain Range, and especially Iozan volcano and its fumaroles.
A unique and protected natural site
Summer offers a stunning landscape with contrasting colors, from the mellow green of the grass to the darkness of coniferous trees, the blue sky and the various hues of the mountain flowers. This wonderful scenery is quite rare in Japan. Since 2005, Tadewara Wetlands as well as the neighboring marsh named Bogatsuru, are protected by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.
The marshlands are carefully monitored to avoid the introduction of any species that not belong to the biotope. In spring, the meadow undergoes an annual burning, under the control of the region’s inhabitants, in order to help renew the local flora. Several animal species also live in the wetlands such as small birds, butterflies in summer, and mammals like foxes, deers and raccoons.
Tadewara marsh is an invigorating halt for visitors in Oita prefecture, close to Kumamoto, and accessible to anyone regardless of age or condition.
How to get to Tadewara Wetlands
From Yufuin JR Station:
- ~20 minutes by local train Kyudai Line, bound for Hita / Kurume, to Bungonakamura Station
- ~50 minutes by Kokonoe municipal bus to Kuju Tozan-guchi
or ~40 minutes by car, Prefectural Road #11 / Yamanami Highway (connecting to Aso), to Chojabaru: 255-33 Oaza-tano, Kokonoe-machi, Kusu-gun, 879-4911
Location unreachable with the JR Pass
Get there with a rental car
Get your Japanese Yens free of charge
Chojabaru Visitors Center:
- Open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (until 4 p.m. from November to April)
- Annual closure from December 29 to January 3
How long / when to visit
All year round, during one to two hours
タデ原湿原 (Tadewara shitsugen)