Soni Kougen (Soni Highground) is the quintessential scene of Soni Village, and some might even say of Japan itself. It is a kind of high basin, reaching 800-900m, spreading out across 38 hectares. The pinnacle of its beauty can be seen in October when it is covered in susuki grass, a kind of tall grass that appears to shimmer with a silvery color during the day. Just prior to sunset the land seems to glow gold with the grass. It has been declared one of Japan’s most beautiful sunsets. The area is also lantern-lit throughout October to enjoy the evening scenery.
The land is cleansed in a controlled burning in March, which destroys plants besides the susuki and also fertilizes the grass. From the parking lot, it is approximately a 1-hour circuit hike along a rocky-but-well-maintained path. Bathrooms are available in the parking lot.
Prepare Before You Go
Please take all precautions you would take for any other hike- dress appropriately, bring adequate food and water, and be prepared for sudden changes in weather. Please note that Soni Kougen can be cool, especially at the top, even during the peak of summer. Please also note that the ground is completely open- there is no protection from the sun, wind or rain.
From Haibara Station – Some Days in July and August
Buses are only available on some days in July and August from Haibara Station. The cost is 1,200 yen one-way.
|Date||Haibara Station to Soni Kougen||Soni Kougen to Haibara Station|
From Nabari Station – October and November
Buses are only available during October and November from Nabari Station. The cost is 850 yen one-way and it takes about 50 minutes.
|Weekdays||Weekends and Holidays||Weekdays||Weekends and Holidays|
If you have your own car, please use the map below and follow signs for 曽爾高原. Parking is 600 yen.