Okama Lake, Miyagi Prefecture
This article was published on
21st April, 2021
As the cherry blossom season finishes in the Tohoku Region, warm weather brings new leaves on the trees🌳 and clear blue skies🌞.
Ever thought about immersing in a comfortable environment in open air, away from the city crowds?
Tohoku does justice offering some of the most spots ideal for refreshing.
Equipped with a wonderfully magnificent nature-filled setting, these spots ensure a uniquely refreshing experience to remember!
Nestled in the deep forested mountains of Aomori, lies the Oirase Mountain Stream.
This magnificent mountain stream flows from Lake Towada, located approximately in the center of Aomori, to Yakeyama.
With a flow of approximately 14 kilometers, its gushing waterfalls flowing from the upper to lower stream almost resembling white threads with a variety of rock formations is a sight so enchanting, it feels almost magical!
There are also sidewalks within the premises that form according to the mountains paths, for anyone who would like to take a stroll and explore this exotic forest on foot with the soothing sounds of rushing water and lush greenery of overlapping trees.
This mountain stream is home to many waterfalls that come in many shapes and sizes, with the most popular being the Choshi-otaki waterfall, a 20-meter wide with a 7-meter drop waterfall considered to be Japan’s very mini-Niagara!
For nature lovers, this is your heaven!
Take a JR bus bound for Towada-ko from either Shin-Aomori Station (120 min) or Hachinohe Station (50 min), and get off at Yakeyama bus stop.
The JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)🎫 is valid on the JR buses.
*During the winter months, access by public transportation is limited.
The Geibikei Gorge is one of Japan’s most anticipated sites located in the south of Iwate Prefecture, famous for its scenic beauty.
The refreshing greenish forest landscape enclosed with towering stone cliffs sitting on a placid river, exudes a cooling breeze, a good spot to enjoy a bracing walk!
This 2-kilometer long gorge is formed by the Satetsu River. The cliff surrounding it are over 50 meters high, and peaking at 124 meters.
Indulge yourself in the tranquil scenery of nature with impressive, tall cliffs and rock formations within the gorge that can be viewed along the way through a pleasant river cruise.
To add some spice on your trip to Geibikei, choose your favorite “Undama” (lucky stones) with your desired wish (these stones have Chinese characters of destiny, longevity and luck carved on it) and throw these Undama into an opening formed on a large rock as you stand across the river on the other side.
Don’t underestimate these lucky charms. Who knows, your wish might just come true!
Take the JR Ofunato Line from Ichinoseki Station to Geibikei Station (32 min) , then a short walk (5 min) to the boat launch.
Selected as one of Japan’s 100 views, the Lake Tazawa is an exquisite and mysterious caldera deep blue lake with a depth of 423 meters.
The lake’s deep blue colour is exotically attractive, leaving visitors in awe at its sight.
A famous golden statue stands at the west side of the lake known to be the statue of Tatsuko, a beautiful maiden who legend believes, prayed to upkeep her beauty, but instead, face unfortunate circumstances of being cursed and turned into a dragon and eventually sunk to the bottom of Lake Tazawa.
The area surrounding the lake has many scenic sights including historic landmarks, several hot springs and vacation resorts that can be found on the hills above the lake.
The area also houses the biggest ski resorts in Akita Prefecture known as Tazawa Ski Area, which overlooks the lake.
Other fun-filled activities lined up for tourists include leisure sports, cycling, and pleasurable sightseeing leisure boat rides.
Take a bus (the Nyuto Line) from Tazawako Station to Tazawako-han bus stop (15 min).
Photo by Tourism Division of Miyagi Prefectural Government
Secluded and resting within the hills of Mount Zao, lies a magnificent caldera lake called Okama Lake.
The road to approach the lake called ‘Zao Echo Line’ is closed during the winter, and reopened in the end of April.
To the mid of May, you can enjoy a drive with Snow Wall along Zao Echo Line on the way to Okama Lake.
Embodying a diameter of about 330 meters, this circular volcanic lake exudes a colour of rich emerald green bringing an exotic contrast with its surrounding rough crater walls.
The lake, famous for its continuous changes in colour, is named after its shape and structure that resembles an ‘okama’ cooking pot.
Its scenery is breathtaking on a sunny day in spring as the changes in the lake’s colour is reflected by the sunlight!
Due to its high altitude of 1670 meters, the temperatures can be rather chilly and breezy even during the spring and the summer!
Please don’t forget to bring your own clothes in case you need to keep yourself warm.
[From Shiroishizao Station]
Take a Miyagi Kotsu Bus to Zao-Katta Sancho bus stop (64 min), then a short walk (5 min).
[From Kaminoyama-Onsen Station]
Take a free shuttle bus (60 min) to the Katta parking area and take the Zao-Katta ski lift to the top (8 min). Then a short walk (6 min).
Regarded as one of the most exotic hot spring resorts in Yamagata Prefecture, Zao Onsen sits 900m above sea level.
As the temperature rises, it becomes a perfect weather for forest bathing feeling the spring breeze.
Its temperature in summer falls at 20°C, making it a perfect summer travel getaways on a refreshing plateau.
As a hot spring oriented facility, the resort offers various bath houses ranging from small, old-fashioned community baths to a modern ones with several pools, with the Zao Dai-Rotemburo earning its way in the limelight as the most popular outdoor baths.
The vicinity also serves as a ski resort for skiing fans.
Take a Yamako Bus from Yamagata Station to Zao Onsen bus terminal (40 min).
Goshikinuma, located in the Kogen Plateau, Fukushima Prefecture, is a scenic spot consisting of 30 large and small lakes.
The lakes sparkles in ever changing hues from emerald green, cobalt blue, turquoise blue, emerald blue, and pastel blue depending on the weather, time zone, viewing angle, and occasional volcanic substances confined in the water.
Immerse yourself in the sight of these exotic lakes of many colours that unleashes a refreshing cool breeze in a tranquil atmosphere at its best!
Take the JR Banetsu West Line to Inawashiro Station and change to the Bandai-Tobu bus bound for Urabandai / Hibara to Goshikinuma Iriguchi bus stop (90 min).
The nearest station of all the refreshing spots above can be easily accessed with JR trains and Shinkansen covered by JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)🎫.
Get the pass before you start travelling and take advantage of this deal!
Explore the Tohoku region with JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)🎫 to save on the travel budget!
The pass covers 5 days of unlimited rides on JR trains🚃 and Shinkansen🚄 in the area.
Click the link below to get more information:
Tags : tohoku, miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate