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Narawara Mystery Tour

Narawara Mystery Tour
by Dylan Robinson

Let your mind wonder as you tread through a mysterious forest in an alternate dimension—or so the trees of Narawara make it appear.

Narawara is situated near the center of the Notsuke Peninsula. It is home to a haunting forest of dead Mongolian oak trees that perished due to erosion caused by seawater. The Narawara Mystery Tour offers a special opportunity to visit this protected area, accompanied by a local nature guide, as it is not usually accessible without a permit.

The tour promises an otherworldly experience, described as “a journey to a forest beyond time and space.” The adventure starts at the Notsuke Peninsula Nature Center, where the guide will provide an overview of the tour and any necessary instructions or precautions.

The tour continues by car towards Narawara, with stops along the way and then continues on as a walk for the remainder of the journey. As you stroll, the guide will offer insights about Narawara and the Notsuke Peninsula, including its geologic formation, and introduce the wildlife that inhabits the area.

Walking along the lagoon's shore, which is surrounded by the forest, you may spot Ezo deer wandering within the trees or along the shoreline. Upon arriving at Narawara, the sight of the dead trees in contrast with the living forest creates a desolate ambiance. In the fall, the red hues of the glassworts and other shrubs add to the eerie atmosphere.

If you visit in late autumn, you may even catch a glimpse of resting swans, foraging red-crowned cranes, and white-tailed eagles soaring high above in the sky.