Yokoyama View Point and Park Guide
- Yokoyama View Point and Park Guide
Yokoyama View Point and SurroundingsTOP
Yokoyama View Point is a network of walking trails and hillside observation decks overlooking Ago Bay to the south.
Yokoyama Tenkū Café Terrace offers panoramic views of Ago Bay from 140 meters above sea level. With a parking lot and wheelchair-accessible ramp and toilet, it is open all year round. From 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., a takeout café sells drinks and refreshments made from local ingredients. Komorebi Terrace is a more secluded viewpoint at the same elevation and is also accessible by wheelchair.
Soyokaze Terrace is further up the slope at 168 meters elevation. Higher still are Ago Bay View Point (177 m), which has a three-dimensional map of the bay, and Miharashi View Point (180 m) at the top of the ridge.
These decks and terraces are connected by walking trails through the forest that extend down to the Sozo-no-Mori area below. Sozo-no-Mori has ponds and wetlands with their own unique ecosystems, as well as gardens that bloom with cherry blossoms and azaleas in their respective seasons. Lawn Park, a short distance away, is a popular family picnic site.
The Yokoyama Visitor Center is located at the base of the Yokoyama View Point area. It provides advice and guidance for visitors, and contains exhibits offering insights into the ecology and history of Ise-Shima National Park.
The network of walking trails on Mt. Yokoyama extends up from the Yokoyama Visitor Center to Miharashi View Point at the top of the ridge, along with other trails leading to the Sozo-no-Mori area. The trails wind through the hillside forest of ubame-gashi oaks and other evergreens, passing a number of observation decks and other sites of interest. Because the trails can be steep and uneven, visitors should wear sneakers or other suitable footwear, avoiding high heels or sandals.
Yokoyama Tenkū Café Terrace is a wooden deck with panoramic views of Ago Bay and the Pacific Ocean beyond from 140 meters above sea level. The rest facility by the deck sells snacks and refreshments made with local ingredients, and has a rooftop viewing area for even more elevated observation.
Further up the walking trail is the more secluded Komorebi Terrace. Komorebi means “light filtered through leaves,” and this terrace is cool and shady in summer but warmed by the sun in winter. Above it is the open, breezy Soyokaze Terrace and the Nagora no Uki-ishi, a group of sacred stones said to have been taken from the sea and carried up the mountain about a century ago.
Higher still is the Mikimoto Kokichi Memorial, honoring the man who invented pearl cultivation in Ago Bay, and beyond the memorial is Miharashi View Point. This is the highest observation deck in the Yokoyama View Point area, at 180 meters above sea level.
The walking trails of Yokoyama View Point are also connected to Mt. Sengen View Point, about 35 minutes’ walk away.
Sozo-no-Mori Yokoyama is a place for creative, hands-on participation in activities within the natural environment of Ise-Shima National Park. “Sozo-no-Mori” literally means “Forest of Creation,” and staff, volunteers, and local residents use this area for everything from flower viewing to ecological surveys.
The shelter by the parking lot functions as a base camp for projects in Sozo-no-Mori. Its large windows also make it popular among birdwatchers, particularly in the colder months, when trees shed their leaves and birds are easier to see among the branches. In spring, the shelter offers fine views of the nearby Cherry Blossom Garden.
Sozo-no-Mori also contains ponds and wetland areas. For example, the Biotope is a shallow pond specifically created for ecological research and activities. Brown frogs arrive there in spring to lay clutches of eggs, which volunteers count to monitor the frog population. A few months later, the pond fills with fringed water lilies (asaza). In summer, the nearby Hydrangea Walk comes into bloom.
The trails in Sozo-no-Mori are connected to the network of walking trails that lead up to Yokoyama View Point and its observation decks. One particular route up the mountain is used for Kurort health walks, a form of exercise that combines relaxed walking with pulse checks and breathing exercises.
Lawn Park is a popular site for family picnics. It is a short walk down the hill from Yokoyama Tenkū Café Terrace, and is also accessible by car, with a small, attached parking lot.
The park is a grassy square surrounded by forest. Nearby trees include cherries that bloom in early spring and deciduous trees with red and gold foliage in autumn. In summer, the trees are home to stag beetles, and the park begins to fill with wandering glider dragonflies who arrive during the warm months to lay their eggs.
Lawn Park also has a two-story pavilion with views of the hills above, where visitors can relax amid the foliage.