About 2 hours by car from Osaka or 3 hours from Nagoya, in the north-east part of Nara prefecture is Soni village, a rich natural village which is part of Muro-Akame-Aoyama Quasi-national Park. Soni highland stretches there with its golden grass plains which resemble the final scene in the popular anime move “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind”. In the autumn the place is a popular touristic spot. I will introduce some fascinating spots in Soni highland.
Start your happy journey with soft rice flour breadHold your excitement and buy bread from “Okome no Yakata”. Eating this bread while you enjoy the view from the highland is an experience of its own. The bread is always fresh, soft, made from rice flour and pleasant to eat. Alternatively, you can have “onigiri bread” which is ideal for hiking, or the “spinach bread” which won a prize as a popular prefectural souvenir. If you go the bakery after hiking, they will be sold out! Therefore make a brief stop early. You can also book in advance on the phone to be sure to get the popular bread rolls that are usually limited in numbers.
Soni highland’s “Okome no Yakata” Address: Nara, Uda-gun, Soni-son, Taroji 837 Phone: 0745-96-2888 Open: 10:30~15:30 (closed after sold out) Closed: Wednesday (except if a public holiday, then closed the following day), New Year’s vacation
In the autumn Soni highland becomes a golden plain!
In the bright autumn days the silver grass sways in the wind and creates a beautiful view. The best time to see is about 30 minutes before the sunset. The light of the setting sun paints the grass gold and invites the viewer into a magical world. There are also hiking trails in Soni highland. The best way to enjoy the place is to walk amidst the silver pampas grass and return for the golden picture at the end of the day. For more information and maps of the hiking trails, please check the link below to Soni highland’s pampas grass.
Watching the splendid Mount Kabutodake and Mount Yoroidake from the open-air hot spring known as "the beauty hot spring"
Soni highland’s “Okame no yu” hot spring Address: Nara, Uda-gun, Soni-son, Oji-Taroji 830 Phone: 0745-98-2615 Open: 11:00-21:00 (until 20:30 from November till March) Acceptance until 20:00 (until 19:30 from November till March) Closed: Wednesday (except if a public holiday, then closed the following day), New Year’s vacation Natrium bicarbonate hot spring For more information, please check the link below to “Okame no yu”.
The golden beer directly related to Braumeister in which the yeast is still fresh
Soni highland’s “Susuki no Yakata” Address: Nara, Uda-gun, Soni-son, Taroji 839 Phone: 0745-96-2888 Open: 10:00~6:00 (varies by the season; shorter in the winter) Closed: Wednesday (except if a public holiday, then closed the following day)
For more details, please check the link below to “Susuki no Yakata” and “Mugi no Yakata”.
Great scenery, hot spring, delicious food and beer. Soni highland has it all
All of the facilities I introduced here are about 40-minutes’ walk from Soni highland, making them easy to access touristic spots in Soni village. Do not miss the view of Japan’s plains in what can be described as “the most beautiful village in the country”.
Note: With a car it takes about 5 minutes from Soni highland to the facilities.
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