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Lake Towada

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Lake Towada

Though Lake Towada (Towada-ko) technically lies within two prefectures, it is considered the jewel of Aomori Prefecture. This lake, stunning in every season, has long-remained a stopping point for visitors to the far north. It’s not hard to see why! Towada-ko is situated 400 meters above sea level in the Hakkoda Mountain range. Its crystal blue water reaches depths of more than 300 meters, making it Japan’s third deepest lake. Towada-ko’s unique shape links with its fascinating past: the lake is actually a double caldera (crater) lake that was formed through volcanic activity. Flowing out of Towada-ko are several rivers and streams, the most visited being Oirase Stream, which is known for its autumn colors. Hiking trails abound; visitors in any season will be delighted with spectacular views and vibrant colors.

Lake Towada is part of the Hachimantai National Park. It was a sterile lake with no fresh fish available for the miners at the Kosaka mine to catch. A man named Wainai Sadayuki made great efforts to introduce 600 salmon fry into Lake Towada in 1884, but failed. After many trials and errors, he was finally successful in 1903 when a majority of the trout he introduced two years prior survived. He then established a hatchery to introduce a variety of fish to the lake and now there are princess trout, rainbow trout, cherry salmon, Japanese eel, carp, etc. living in the waters, making it a popular fishing spot.

Numerous small towns and villages add to the lake’s charm. One such place is the town of Yasumiya. Here, visitors can take in the local culture as well as enjoying the sights and sounds of the natural world. Because of its proximity to Towada-ko’s shores, the town provides many avenues for water activities, including kayak or paddle boat rentals, boat tours, and a sea-side boardwalk. The town is surrounded by dense forest, and a paved path leads from the heart of Yasumiya toward Towada-jinja. This shrine was built around the 9th century and it is said the great god of Towada Stream was enshrined there until the end of the Edo period. Today, the shrine is dedicated to Yamato Takeru who was the legendary prince of the Yamato Dynasty. The walk to this shrine is almost other-worldly, and visitors may simultaneously feel the hush of the forest and the sacred energy of this location. The shrine has many mini-shrines and a luck bringing staircase; it is said that climbing the stairs will bring you good luck. A short walk past the shrine will lead visitors to Otome-no-Zo, the maidens statue. This statue, created in 1953, has long been considered the symbol of Towada-ko.

Yasumiya has several small restaurants serving local fare. During festival times, street food vendors can be found peddling roasted corn, yakitori (grilled chicken), and yakisoba (buckwheat noodle stir fry). If produce is what you seek, markets and stalls throughout the town carry Aomori apples of all shapes, sizes, and levels of sweetness!

All in all, Towada-ko is a must-see location for nature lovers! Whether you prefer to enjoy lake views from up on mountain peaks or from a paddle boat on the water, there is something for everyone in this stunning region of Aomori Prefecture!



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Visit the must see sites of Japan with group sizes ranging from 12 to 35 people.

These tours are great for first time visitors to Japan looking for comfortable accommodation with all entrance fees and most meals included. Our Japan Deluxe Tours are accomodated with professional tour guides, fluent in both Japanese and English, to ensure an educational and valuable visit. Air-conditoned, private coaches are also included, so you can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free time in Japan. Our tours range from 7 to 21 days, to various regions of Japan.

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