Affiliated Nature Study Park

▐ Affiliated Nature Study Park

 The prefecture-owned park Kenmin-no-Mori is located about 12km west of Yamagata City's Kajo Park. This area is 600m above sea level at the foot of  Shirataka mountain and encompasses at least 10 lakes and marshes  including the large lake Hataya-ōnuma, and also Are-numa, Magari-numa, Biwa-numa and others. It is a recreation area for people in the prefecture, filled with groves of  trees like chesnuts, water oak mizunara, Japanese red pine akamatsu, and also areas of planted Japanese cedar sugi forests. Among the lakes in this area Lake Biwa-numa has particularly well-developed wetlands with unusual animal and plant life.
 The Yamagata Prefectural Museum  established "The Nature Study Park Affiliated with The Yamagata Prefectural Museum" in 1976 (Showa 51) to preserve and utilize this valuable wetland with its animals and plants, as well as to promote the love of nature among people in the prefecture. The park was designated as a Prefectural Protected Natural Area in 1978.
 Lake Biwa has a perimeter of 1km and maintains its water level year-round, and has colonies of aquatic plants including varieties of sedge and sphagnum peat mosses. The central area is a wet land which developed on a peat bed, and is a habitat for such cold-region plants as sphagnum papillosum, a species of peat moss; scheuchzeria rannoch-rush or pod grass; and calla palustris, the bog arum or marsh calla, as well as small cranberry, eripophorum cotton grass and pogonia, a variety of small orchid. Among these, calla palustris and scheuchzeria are said to have survived from the ice age, and are noteworthy in terms of plant distribution.
 In the animal kingdom, this is a birthing area for various small animals, nurtures amphibians like Japanese black salamander and forest green tree frog, and supports insect life including more than 20 kinds of dragonflies such as the naniwa spotted dragonfly, oze damselfly, blue damselfly and scarlet dwarf dragonfly.
Photograph:Affiliated Park for Nature Studies

▐ Location and Transportation

When going to the park by Car

  • Please use the parking lot at Magari-numa lake in Kenmin-no-Mori park. Two minutes walk to the entrance.

Routes to the Nature Study Park

  • 35 minutes by car from the Yamagata-Chuo interchange of theTohoku-Chuo  Motorway. 
  • 45 minutes by car from the Yamagata-Zao interchange of the Yamagata Motorway. 

Getting here by Bus

  • Currently, there is no regular bus service to the bus stop in front of  Kenmin-no-Mori park.
  • The closest bus stops are Hataya, the last stop on the Yamagata-Hataya bus line, and Oginokubo, the last stop on the Yamagata-Oginokubo bus line.
    It is about an hour on foot from there to the Affiliated Nature Study Park . 
    Please note that there are no buses on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. 
Map of the Affiliated Park for Nature Studies

▐ Open Hours, Closed Days and Others

  • No set open hours or closed days. 
  • In winter, because of the dangers of heavy snowfall, please don't enter the park.
  • Collecting animals or plants is prohibited. Activity is restricted to observing nature only.