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Okama Crater

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Okama Crater

Okama Crater (御釜) was created in the 1720s when Mount Zao erupted. The name Okama comes from the Japanese meaning for “kettle” or “pot” because of its resemblance to the shape. Okama Crater is located on the border of Yamagata and Miyagi Prefecture. The crater lake in Mount Zao is one of the most beautiful in the world. It is also known as Five Colored Lake or “Goshikinuma.” This is due to the fact that the water changes color depending on the season, time of day or even the angle it is viewed from. The water in the crater is very acidic thus no organisms can inhabit it. The crater is also unapproachable and can only be seen from a distance due to the dangers of the active volcano it is situated in. The stunning hues of Okama Crater bring hikers up the Zao Echo Line just to bear witness to the amazing spectacle. In the winter the lake freezes hindering the color change, but between the months of May and October visitors is the best time frame to see the lake. Visitors can choose to drive or hike up the Zao Echo Line to see Okama Crater. Another option available is the Zao Sanroku Ropeway that takes you to a viewing point overlooking the crater lake.