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Region
Tohoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Fukushima
Population
2,126,998

Lake Inawashiro

Lakeside breeze and fresh mountain air.

Lake Inawashiro in the Aizu Region of western Fukushima is Japan’s fourth-largest lake. Its cool waters make it an ideal destination for a camping or swimming trip.

The lake may be the most scenic in spring and fall when nearby Mount Bandai is covered by snow and the surrounding trees are sporting colorful blossoms or autumn foliage. Summer, however, is the most popular season to visit. Cool air from the nearby mountain provides a fresh breeze and nice reprieve from the sweltering heat.

Camping, biking, and swimming

Beach with Mount Bandai in the background, Lake Inawashiro

Photo by: Johannes Schonherr Shidahama Beach is a popular choice for swimming at Lake Inawashiro.

The Inawashiro lakeshore is dotted with campgrounds and swimming beaches. Shidahama Beach (Map) is one of the more popular ones, but you won’t have to look too far to find a more secluded place to pitch your tent or take a dip.

The Tenjinhama Auto Camping Ground (Map), a short taxi ride from either Sekito or Kawageta Station, is one such option. It’s generally more on the quieter side while still providing gorgeous lake views and much-needed shade.

Mount Bandai as seen from nearby Lake Inawashiro

Photo by: Johannes Schonherr Camp with a view of Mount Bandai in the background!

The circumference of the lake itself is about 60 kilometers with small roads closely following the shoreline. Cruising around the lake on a bicycle makes for a nice, smooth ride with stunning views stretching to Mount Bandai and the surrounding mountains.

Around Lake Inawashiro

If you feel a bit of historic sightseeing is in order after relaxing on the lake, hop on the train to nearby Aizu Wakamatsu. This perfectly restored Edo-era samurai town is famous for Tsuruga Castle. In 1868, the Tokugawa Shoguns made their last stand against the modernization of Japan right here!

Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle in Fukushima, Japan.

Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle, also known as Tsuruga Castle.

You don’t even have to leave the lakeshore to delve into the area’s history. The Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Museum (Map), Hideyo Noguchi’s birth house, is right at the northern shore.

You may recognize Noguchi as the guy whose portrait is on the back of the ¥1,000 note. He was an internationally active medical researcher at the beginning of the 20th century who discovered a lot of germs and found remedies for various serious illnesses.

The museum itself is a beautiful Meiji-era-style building surrounded by a Japanese garden with many exhibits detailing Noguchi’s turbulent life inside.

Things To Know

Hours and fees

Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Museum

Hours: April to October 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; November to March 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Admission: adults ¥600, children ¥300

Official website: https://www.noguchihideyo.or.jp/ (Japanese only)

How To Get There

Address

Gozenyanagi Katada, Inawashiro, Yama District, Fukushima 969-3132, Japan

By train

From Tokyo

Take the Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo or Ueno Station to Koriyama and transfer to the JR Ban-Etsu West line bound for Aizu-Wakamatsu.

From Sendai

Get on the Tohoku Shinkansen towards Tokyo, transfer at Koriyama to the JR Ban-Etsu West line bound for Aizu-Wakamatsu. Starting from Joko Station on, several train stops are very close to the lake, Inawashiro Station being the largest and most central. The trip takes about two hours.

Where To Stay

Shakunagedaira Rental & Cottage All Resort Service
  • 35-1 Izumodan, Yama-gun Inawashiro-machi, Fukushima, 969-3111 Japan
  • ¥19,800 - ¥102,960
  • 4.71/5 (107 reviews)
  • 3.4 km
Hotel Listel Inawashiro Wing Tower
  • 2414 Hoterurisuteruinawashiro, Yama-gun Inawashiro-machi, Fukushima, 969-2696 Japan
  • ¥12,150 - ¥27,900
  • 4.35/5 (2,871 reviews)
  • 4.2 km

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