Hachimantai (八幡平) is a relatively flat topped mountain with a summit at 1613 meters above sea level, and is often referred to as a plateau. It is the third highest mountain in the Towada-Hachimantai National Park after Mount Iwate and Mount Akita-Komagatake, and offers some nice mountain scenery.
Views of the landscape can be enjoyed from the Hachimantai Aspite Line sightseeing road, a former toll road, which connects Akita with Iwate Prefectures and leads to within a short walk of the summit of Mount Hachimantai. The road also passes by Goshogake Onsen and gets partially closed in winter.
A network of walking trails provides access to the summit of Mount Hachimantai from a parking lot along the road and offers easy walks from 40 minutes to two hours. The trails pass by numerous ponds and cut through a forest of evergreen trees. At the summit there is a small observation platform that allows visitors to see over the top of the trees, but due to the flat topped nature of the summit, the views are not very dramatic.
The walking trails also leads to and around Hachiman-numa Pond, which is with a circumference of about one kilometer much bigger than the other ponds along the way. Small marshlands are found on both sides of the pond. Autumn colors around the summit of Mount Hachimantai are usually best in early October, with the best views enjoyed from along the road.
Mount Hachimantai can be reached by bus or car along the Hachimantai Asupite Line sightseeing road from either Iwate Prefecture in the east or Akita Prefecture in the west. The mountain is inaccessible from early November to late April, when the higher section of the road gets closed.
From Morioka Station in the southeast
From late April to early November, there is one direct bus per day between Morioka Station and Hachimantai-chojo bus stop near the summit of Mount Hachimantai (110 minutes, 1360 yen). Two more daily connections require a transfer of buses at the Higashi Hachimantai Kotsu Center along the way.
From Tazawako Station in the southwest
On weekends and during holidays from mid April to late October, there are two buses per day between Tazawako Station and Hachimantai-chojo bus stop near the summit of Mount Hachimantai (135 minutes, 1840 yen). The buses also stop at Tazawa-kohan bus stop at the eastern shores of Lake Tazawa, Tamagawa Onsen and Goshogake Onsen.
From Kazuno-Hanawa Station in the northwest
On weekends and during holidays from mid April to late October, there are one or two bus connections per day between Kazuno-Hanawa Station and Hachimantai-chojo bus stop near the summit of Mount Hachimantai that require a transfer at the Asupite Iriguchi bus stop along the way.