Hiruzen-kogen Highlands Area蒜山高原エリア
An herb garden that displays 250 different species of herbs. A clear water stream inhabited by giant salamanders.
The Hiruzen-kogen Highlands are situated at the foot of three mountains' the 1,200-meter-high Mt. Kami-Hiruzen, Mt. Naka-Hiruzen, and Mt. Shimo-Hiruzen are on the border of Okayama and Tottori, and part of Daisen-Oki National Park. The highlands are also known as the Karuizawa of the west. For 14 kilometers east and west, and 5.5 kilometers north and south, you can see herds of Jersey cows grazing in the peaceful scenery.
Around the highlands is the Hiruzen Herb Garden, which boasts of its 3 hectare-size. Two hundred and fifty different varieties of herbs, including 20,000 lavender plants, are grown. At the Kaori-no-Yakata, or the House of Scent, which is attached to the garden, you can experience making herbal goods. There is also a restaurant at which you can savor dishes that use herbs grown here. This garden is popular with visitors.
The Shiogama-reisen Cold Spring, the source of the Asahi-gawa River that runs at the foot of the Hiruzen-kogen Highlands, is known for having some of the best water in Japan, and the area around the spring is a habitat for giant salamanders, a protected species.
From Tokyo :
[Air] 1h 15 min from Haneda to Okayama Airport, and 30 min from the airport to Okayama Station by bus.
[Rail] 3h 20 min from Tokyo to Okayama Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line, and 2h 20 min from Okayama to Chugoku Katsuyama Station by JR Tsuyama Line.